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NBA point spread betting explained

NBA point spread betting online is a wager on how many points a team will win or lose by. This is one of the only wagers where you can bet on a team to lose, and as long as they keep the final score within the spread number, you still win your wager.

What is NBA point spread betting?

In point spread betting, to make the games fairer a number of points are taken from the favorite and given to the underdog by the oddsmakers. This is designed to receive equal action on both sides, and to minimize the gap between both teams.

A spread bet allows the bettor to place a wager on the favorite to win by more than the set number of points (covering the spread), or the underdog wining outright or losing by fewer points than the set spread number.

How to place an NBA point spread bet

Using the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat as an example, where the Lakers are favored by 2.5 points, the market will be shown as:

Los Angeles Lakers -2.5 (-110)
Miami Heat +2.5 (-110)

In this game the minus sign (-) beside the spread indicates the favorites. In this case, the Lakers are favored by 2.5 points. If you think the Lakers will win by more than 3 points, then your spread bet would be Lakers -2.5 at -110 odds. A $100 wager would return $190 – your initial stake in the bet, plus $90 profit.

If you think the Heat will win, or lose by 2 points or less, then your spread bet would be Miami +2.5 at -110 odds. A $100 wager would also return $190 – your initial stake in the bet, plus $90 profit.

It’s important to note that you do not have to wager $100 when NBA point spread betting online. The choice is yours. Our Odds Calculator can show you how much you'd win based on your bet total.

NBA point spread FAQs

What does a +7 spread mean?
Are points spread accurate?
What is a 2.5 point spread?
Why would you bet on negative odds?
What does betting the spread mean?