NBA Spread Betting

NBA Betting

The NBA is a league where the best teams are much stronger than the weak ones and this is why NBA spread betting is more popular than money line betting.  With NBA money line betting a wager on the favorites will payout very little and a wager on the underdog will almost never win.  With spread betting NBA bettors can almost double their money betting on either the favorites or the underdogs.  NBA spread betting is very easy to understand and this page will explain it to you in detail.

For spread betting the oddsmakers set a number of points in which one team is favored by.  NBA bettors then have two options.  They can choose to wager on the favored team winning by more than the set number of points (aka covering the spread) or the underdog either winning or losing by fewer points than the spread (aka beating the spread).  For example, if the spread is set at 5.5 points then the favorite must win by 6 or more for a spread bet on the favorite to payout, while the underdog must either win straight up or lose by 5 or fewer points for a spread bet on the underdog to payout.

Sportsbook Rating Bonus Review Visit
100% up to $250 Review Visit
50% up to $1000 Review Visit
50% up to $1000 Review Visit

NBA Spread Betting Example

Los Angeles Lakers +6.5 (-110)
Denver Nuggets -6.5 (-110)

In this game the (-) sign beside the spread amount indicates that the Nuggets are the favorite.  A bet on the favorite would win if the Nuggets win the game by more than 6.5 points (7 or more).  The (+) sign indicates that the Lakers are underdogs by 6.5 points.  LA must either win the game outright or lose by fewer than 6.5 points (6 or less) for a wager on the Lakers to payout.

Other NBA Spread Betting Information

In the NBA the spreads still have betting odds attached to them.  The most common odds associated with each side of the spread will be -110, which means a $110 wager would win $100.  In some cases the odds associated with the spreads may differ.  For example, the Nuggets to win by more than 6.5 could have +100 odds attached, while the Lakers odds to beat a 6.5 spread could be -120.

The spread amounts can either be half numbers (6.5) or whole numbers (7.0).  When the spread amounts are whole numbers there is always the possibility that the favorite will win by the exact spread amount.  If this occurs any spread bets on that game are pushed.  This means the bets are refunded with no winnings awarded.

NBA Spread Betting Example

Let’s look at another example using a screenshot from a Suns vs Timberwolves playoff game at

In this example the Minnesota Timberwolves are 3 point favorites (-3). They must win the game by 4 or more points for a spread bet on the Twolves to payout. The Suns are 3 point underdogs (+3). A bet on the Suns +3 would payout if they win the game outright or lose by 1 or 2 points. If the Timberwolves win by exactly 3 points then spread bets placed on the Suns +3 or Timberwolves -3 would “push” and be returned.