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NBA Moneyline Best Bets

The NBA moneyline bet is one of the most common wagers that bettors place on NBA games. It takes away some of the complexities of other betting markets, allowing bettors to focus simply on the winner of the game. With moneylines available in the preseason, regular season, NBA Playoffs and NBA Finals, this is a betting market that is there for bettors every step of the way during NBA season.

NBA Moneyline Betting Explained

Moneyline betting in the NBA is a simple concept that any bettor can grasp easily. The point of a moneyline bet is to simply predict who the winner will be in an NBA game. Unlike the NBA point spread or NBA total markets, the number of points scored and margin of victory don’t matter. The only thing that matters is whether the team you are backing wins their game.

The nice thing about this market is that bettors only need one outcome to take place. When betting on NBA spreads, favorites not only need to win, but to cover the spread as well. When betting on totals, you need both teams to contribute to your side of the total in a positive direction. When doing some NBA futures betting, several games need to go your way. But in the moneyline market, the only thing that is required is for a team to win one game.

In each moneyline bet, there is a favorite and an underdog. The favorite is the team with a minus sign next to its odds, with their odds looking like a negative number. The underdog’s odds have a plus sign next to them, looking like a positive number. The favorite’s odds signify the amount a bettor needs to risk in order to win $100. The underdog’s odds signify the amount a bettor would win if they bet $100 on that side.

NBA Moneyline Bet Example

In this example of an NBA moneyline bet, let’s say that the New York Knicks are playing, with the Brooklyn Nets as their opponents. The NBA moneyline odds for this game have the Knicks as a +200 underdog, with the Nets as -300 favorites. That means that a $100 bet on the Knicks would yield a $200 payout if the Knicks won the game. Conversely, a $300 bet on the Nets would yield a $100 payout.

What should stick out here is the fact that bettors are required to risk more when betting on a favorite on the moneyline to achieve their desired result. Because the favorite is deemed more likely to win a game, they require more risk to win the same amount. In this example, a winning $50 bet on the Knicks would win $100, the same amount that a $300 bet on the Nets would yield. With significantly less risk required, betting the underdog on the moneyline is a popular move.

NBA Moneyline Movement

NBA betting odds, whether they are Las Vegas odds or odds through another state’s sportsbooks, are subject to movement before a game starts. There are many reasons why NBA moneyline odds might change before the start of a contest. Typically, changes in moneyline odds line up closely with any changes to the odds of a point spread bet.

The most common reason that odds change in the NBA before a game is injuries or rest for players. In the regular season, teams are very cautious with the health of their players, as the postseason is the be all and end all when evaluating the success of a team’s season. This leads teams to sit players in games out of an abundance of caution, with the absence of star players often being influential to betting odds.

The other main reason that NBA odds change is an influx of money wagered on one side or the other. Too much money on one side of a moneyline can expose a sportsbook to heavy liability and force them to adjust their line to prevent more one-sided action.

NBA Moneyline Betting Advice

There are a few things that basketball bettors should keep in mind when wagering on moneylines in this league. The best NBA moneyline advice is to avoid betting on teams with steep moneyline odds. While a -500 favorite may seem like it can’t miss, it is always possible that an upset happens in a league like the NBA. Instead of incurring that kind of risk, bettors might want to consider looking for value in the point-spread market or with NBA prop bets.

Bettors also need to consider the impact of motivation in the NBA. The goal for teams in the NBA is to win as many games as they can while conserving as much energy as they can for the playoffs. As a result, games between Eastern Conference and Western Conference teams don’t mean as much to teams as games against division and conference opponents. The same idea applies to teams playing on back to back nights.

Every team reacts differently to adverse situations in the NBA. Some teams rise to the occasion, while others fold. With only five players being on the floor at a time in basketball, organizational culture and leadership from star players is more important than it is in other sports. Developing an understanding of the mental makeup of each team can be very profitable in the long run.

How To Place An NBA Moneyline Bet

To place a bet on NBA moneylines, bettors can go to the sportsbooks that are permitted in their state. Some states allow for online sports betting to take place, while others require bettors to go to a physical casino to get their bets in. But these legal sports betting options allow bettors to wager on moneylines, as well as exotic markets like prop and future betting. Bettors should check for the sports gambling laws in their state to find what sports betting options are available to them.

NBA Moneyline Betting FAQ

What is an NBA moneyline?

An NBA moneyline is a betting market where bettors are tasked with determining which team will win a game. There is no requirement as to how many points a team needs to win by, just that a bettor accurately predicts the winner.

What does a +200 moneyline mean?

A +200 moneyline means that bettors would win double their risk amount if their moneyline bet is successful. For example, if a bettor wagered $100 at +200 odds, they would win $200 if their chosen team came through and won that matchup.

What do odds of +150 mean?

Odds of +150 mean that bettors would win 1.5x their risk amount if their moneyline bet won. For bettors who risk $100, that would mean a potential payout of $150. Those plus money payouts are what make betting the moneyline so attractive to some bettors.

How do NBA betting lines work?

NBA betting lines are based on a number of factors, such as which players are injured or resting. But at the end of the day, they are based on which teams are perceived to be superior to their opponents heading into each game and which teams have situational advantages.