You may be a professional sports better looking to make money from betting on basketball, or just a basketball fan who wants to spice up the experience of watching a game. Either way, a working knowledge of the kind of bets that you can place will add to your enjoyment of the wagering process. You should remember that you will normally have a choice of either single game bets or of bets that combine the results of multiple games. The multiple game bets are more risky but provide a much higher payout. We explain below some of the more popular forms of betting:

Betting on point spreads. This is one of the most popular forms of betting and attempts to equalize the odds between the two teams. The odds makers identify a favorite and an underdog and then create a points spread (also called a “line”) that make the two teams equal in theory. The actual result of the game does not matter. If you bet on the favorite, you deduct the points spread from the score of the favorite, and, if the favorite still comes out ahead, you win. If you bet on the underdog, you add the point spread to the score and you win if the underdog comes out ahead. On all these bets, you generally need to bet $110 to win $100, though some sports books will give you better odds at $105/$100. To take an example, if the Chicago Bulls are playing the Utah Jazz, and the Bulls are favorites for the game, the odds makers may fix a line of 7 points. This means that if you pick the Bulls to win, you have to subtract seven points from their score and the spread will be shown as – 7. Similarly if you bet on the Jazz, you have to add seven points to their score and the spread will be shown as + 7.

Betting on Moneylines. In this form of betting, the point spread is completely eliminated and you just have to pick a winner. Here, the game result does count and the odds that you would receive depend on how the odds makers perceive the two teams. Because of this, you would have to bet more on the favorite to win less and bet less on the underdog to win more. You can find conversion charts on the Internet that enable you to convert point spreads into odds. Here are two examples:

1. A spread of two points on our Bulls/Jazz game converts into the following odds: Bulls -130, Jazz + 110. This means that you would have to bet $130 on the Bulls to win $100 and you would only have to bet $110 on the Jazz to win the same amount.

2. If you take the 7 point spread that we have used in our earlier example, the odds would be as follows: Bulls -330, Jazz +250.

Moneylines is a sensible form of betting, especially if you can pick a short priced underdog who has a reasonable chance of winning. Because you win more than you bet, you can profit even if you win less than 50% of the time.

Parlays. These are highly risky bets that pay off handsomely but require you to pick anything between two and 12 teams and to get all your bets right. Even a single mistake will make your parlay bet worthless. Here are some examples of the kind of odds that you might receive:

3 teams 6/1
6 teams 40/1
9 teams 300/1
12 teams 1800/1

As you can see, if you bet on 12 teams correctly, you can win $180,000 on a bet of $100.

Teaser bets. These bets resemble parlays in that you have to pick multiple teams and win all your bets but you do have the flexibility of shifting the point spread. This can best be understood by taking the following specimen odds:

Number of teams – 4 point spread – 5 points spread
2 – 1/1 – 5/6
6 – 7/1 – 5/1
9 – 20/1 – 12/1

There are a number of other bets that you can make such as totals and pleasers and details will be available from the sports book where you are placing your bets.closing time

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