Point Spread NBA & NCAA



The NBA point spread bet is the most popular bet for the NBA. You are simply picking a team to win, but there is a spread, which makes the game more even in terms of the favorite and the underdog. The point spread is put out by sportsbooks, as they want to get even money bet on the game so they do not take a big loss.

An example of a NBA point spread bet will look like this:

Miami Heat +6

Cleveland Cavaliers -6

In this example the Heat are the underdog denoted by the + in front of the number and the Cavaliers are the favorite denoted by the – in front of the number. When you see the number that basically means that is what a team is giving and taking. So, therefore in this example the Cavaliers are giving 6 points and the Heat are taking 6 points. In the example if you bet on the Cavaliers they have to win by more than 6 points for you to win the bet and if you bet on the Heat they have to lose by fewer than 6 points for you to win the bet.

Many times you will see a point spread that looks like this:

L.A. Lakers +5.5

Utah Jazz -5.5

In this example you see a .5 after the number and you may wonder why this is since it is pretty obvious that you cannot score a point in basketball. The .5 after a number means that for that game there cannot be a push. In this example the Jazz have to win by 6 or more points to win the bet and the Lakers have to lose by less than 6 points to win the bet.

Lets say in the first example that the Cavaliers beat the Heat 106-100. They win by 6 points, which is exactly the number of the spread. In this case the game would be a push, in terms of the bet, and the bettor would get their original wager back. Putting a .5 after the number takes the push out of the equation.

When making a NBA point spread bet there are some things that you can look at in order to handicap the game. The sportsbooks will be aware, for the most part, of the information and put the spread out accordingly. Still, it is always a good idea to check out a team’s form, how they have been playing as of late, injury reports, ATS records (against the spread), and team head-to-head past results.

The ATS record is especially something to look for, as a team can be a great one, in terms of overall record, but if they are not a solid betting team against the spread than you may want to stay away betting on them. It is always a good idea to handicap a game before wagering on it, as the more information you have the more you can make an intelligent wager increasing your chances to win.