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The football and basketball betting line look very similar. The most common odds you’ll see in the NBA are with the point spread.
In that example, the Bucks are the 4-point favorites, and have to win by 5 or more points to win the bet. If the Bucks win by exactly 4 points, it’s a “push” and the bet is refunded. These bets usually have -110 odds on each side, meaning bettors win $100 on a $110 wager.
The over/under, or “total,” and the moneyline are the two other common bets made on NBA games.
The total (combined points by both teams) is set by the sportsbook, and bettors can choose to bet over or under the total. Those bets normally have -110 odds.
The moneyline eliminates the point spread. Bettors just take a team to win straight up, and the odds change based on who is favored.
In this example, a $100 bet on the underdog Knicks would win $180 if New York won straight up. Bettors would have to lay $200 on the favored Celtics to win $100.
A popular NBA bet is wagering on who will win the championship, and those odds are offered almost year-round. A 76ers fan who wants to bet Philadelphia to win the NBA Finals might get 10-to-1 odds before the season.