Bet The Lead

It’s Easy to Become a Better Bettor


Sports betting in the NBA can appear incredibly complex, especially with all the different terms, bet types and statistics.

To get ahead of the game and make informed wagers, it’s important to understand these different terms and learn which ones have credence. 

When we look at sports-betting metrics, NBA betting lines are one of the more important figures when betting on over/under markets. Let’s dive into what they are and how they can affect your over/under bets.

What are Betting Lines in Basketball?

Basketball betting lines are essentially the middle line set for over/under bets. They are used exclusively in prop bets, as opposed to traditional moneyline bets. 

With moneyline bets, there is no “value” that you are betting againstall you are doing is picking the winner. For example, you might have picked the Denver Nuggets to beat the Los Angeles Lakers earlier this postseason.

In contrast, betting lines are used where there is a figure you’re betting on. For example, a sportsbook might have an O/U (Over/Under) prop bet on the Nuggets’ points of 115.5. The betting line is 115.5it’s the benchmark. You’re then placing a wager on whether you think Denver will score more or less than 115.5.

It’s that simple. The betting line is the value the sportsbook sets that you are betting over/under against.

Different Types of Bets Where Lines are Used

Betting lines are present in any prop bets that include an over/under choice.

Some sportsbooks keep it simple and only offer betting lines for total team points, but many offer a wide range of props for a variety of team and player stats, such as

  • Total team points
  • Total player points
  • Total player rebounds
  • Total player assists
  • Total player 3-pointers made

Depending on the sportsbook, there can be a massive number of betting lines on single games, and if you love the game, you can delve deep into these different markets. The skill is analyzing the betting line and what it means for the potential outcome of the O/U bets.

How You Should Analyze NBA Betting Lines

Newbie sports bettors will simply look at the over/under scores for different bets, make a selection based on their “gut feel”, and never really think any further than that.

That’s fine, but it’s also a surefire way to throw cash away and make some awful bets.

This is why it’s important to look at betting lines and consider what they actually mean and how likely the player or team is to go over/under. You need to use the betting-line benchmark, together with other factors such as the opposing team, injuries and recent performances, to judge your over/under bets.

Let’s look at an example.

It’s a regular-season game for the Boston Celtics and Detroit Pistons. There’s an over/under for the Celtics at 125.5. Now, from the outset, this might look quite high, and you may be tempted to go for the under. However, their season-average PPG is 120.6second in the league.

This means their season average is only 4.9 points below the over. Ok, it still doesn’t seem like a wise bet, but consider the opponent. It’s the Pistonsone of the worst teams in the NBA. Next, you see that the Celtics are fully healthy and are playing at home.

By analyzing the betting line and looking at the surrounding factors, we can now see that an over on a betting line of 125.5 is actually quite achievable against the Pistons, considering the Celtics’ homecourt advantage, full-strength squad, and season-average PPG, among other Celtics team stats.

You can’t just take NBA betting lines at face valueyou must delve deeper and look at why the bookmakers have set the line at that number, and what contributing factors there are that could sway your over/under choices. It’s this more in-depth analysis that will help you improve your predictions and make more educated picks instead of simply placing wagers based on gut feelings.

Understanding Betting Lines and Season Averages Can Help Your Predictions

Sportsbooks don’t just choose arbitrary betting lines.

They have dedicated teams of statisticians and use complex AI algorithms to create these lines and set the bets. The main purpose here is to sway the betting lines in their favor and create a house edge while still making the over/unders seem appealing to us, the customers.

It’s your job to analyze those betting lines and also look at the surrounding metrics, such as average PPG, recent performance, opponents and injuries. By breaking down betting lines, you are giving yourself a better understanding of the likelihood of over/under bets at sportsbooks instead of placing blind wagers based on feeling and emotion.

Cold hard stats don’t lie, so use these to your advantage to improve your understanding of individual betting lines for NBA games.

About The Lead Staff

Articles by The Lead Staff.

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