NBA Vegas Odds
This is your first time in a Las Vegas sports book, and you finally get a chance to bet on one of the 30 teams in the National Basketball Association. It doesn’t take long for you to notice about two dozen high-definition TVs on the surrounding walls, and you think to yourself: “I wish my man cave looked like this.
Vegas NBA Betting Online
The league added the American Basketball Association’s innovative three-point field goal in 1979 in hopes of opening up the game. It worked. Big time.
Not only has the scoring improved, but so has the interest from fans. Today, the NBA ranks among the most popular sports to bet on at Las Vegas sports books.
As you enter the area of casinos on the Strip designated for sports betting, you will likely be overwhelmed by numbers of big screen TVs, giant LED walls with odds and statistics, comfortable seating with chairs and couches and, if it’s a big game of any sort, the party-like atmosphere. Drinks anyone?
This is the place to be to enjoy the NBA Finals. Money line, point spread, over/under: These are some of the betting opportunities for beginners or the experienced gambler. Then there are futures and prop bets just to make the game a little more exciting. And, if you can’t make it to Las Vegas, there are many online options to place a bet — such as Bovada, TopBet and Betonline.
The NBA consists of 30 teams divided into two conferences. In the East and West conferences are three divisions of five teams each. There are 29 teams located in the United States and one in Canada.
The NBA originated in 1946 with 11 teams, dribbling its way to the 30 teams in the league today. The regular season starts in October and ends in May, before the playoffs begin. The NBA Finals conclude sometime in mid-June.
During the regular season, each team plays 82 games, 41 each home and away. On busy nights during the season, there can be as many as 15 games to choose from. The NBA is also the only league that regularly schedules games on Christmas Day. Games have been played on the holiday since 1947.
So, it doesn’t matter if you’re from the era of Magic or Bird, Michael, Kobe or LeBron … take your best shot and pick a winner.
In 2017, Game 1 of the NBA Finals between the Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors was played on June 1 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif. The Warriors beat the Cavs 113-91. Let’s use this result to explain the different betting options available on NBA games.
NBA Money Line
Cleveland (+250) at Golden State (-300) — This is one of the easiest bets of them all. Pick the winner and you cash your ticket — period. The numbers listed after the teams designate how much profit you make. Since the Warriors won the game, you would have to bet $300 to make a $100 profit. That’s why they are listed as the favorite at -300. If you bet $100 on the Cavaliers and they had won the game, the payout is $100 plus $250. That’s why they are listed as the underdog at +250.
NBA Point Spread
Cleveland (+7) at Golden State (-7) — Maybe you don’t like the return offered if Golden State just wins Game 1. The payoffs improve if you’re willing to add some risk to the bet. In this wager against the spread, the Warriors must now win by eight or more points for you to cash a winning ticket. The payoff will be greater than the money line wager. From our Game 1 example, GSW won by 22 points and “covered” the seven-point spread.
NBA Over Under
Oddsmakers listed the over/under total for Game 1 at 225.5 points. It doesn’t matter which team wins to score on this bet. The total number of points is all that matters — 113+91=204. That total is “under” the betting line of 225.5.
Oddsmakers listed Golden State at -260 to win the championship just before Game 1 of the NBA Finals in 2017. Cleveland was listed at +220. In a futures bet, you are wagering on an event which finishes in the future. In this example, you have to wait until the entire series is over in order to find out if you picked a winner. In this case, if you bet on the Warriors, you get to cash your ticket when they hoist the trophy.
NBA Prop Bets
Prop bets have nothing to do with the final score. They are a game within the game. Props can be offered on players, teams or events. In our example, one prop bet listed was which team will be the first to score 20 points in Game 1? The betting line was posted as Golden State (-170), Cleveland (+140). Golden State took an early 20-17 and scored for those who backed the Warriors in this prop bet.