Basketball for Beginners: Everything You Should Know About Betting Hoops in Las Vegas

Basketball betting is rising rapidly in popularity. Whether you’ve bet before or you’re just getting started, there are a few betting basics you should know.

Basketball betting is similar to football betting. Simply tell the ticket writer the number of the team you wish to bet and the amount of the wager. If you download and sign up for a sports betting app like the STN Sports App, you can bet from anywhere in Nevada.

Ready to get started? Here’s what you need to know.

Betting the Point Spread

When betting a basketball game, the team you bet must “cover the spread.” In other words, they must win or lose by less than a stipulated margin of points.

In this example, the Lakers are favored by 4 1/2 points. The Lakers must win by no less than 5 points to be counted as a winner for betting purposes.

The Celtics need not necessarily win the game outright. If the Celtics lose by 4 points or less, they would cover the spread.

The “218” in this example is the OVER/UNDER. You may bet that the final score of the game will go over or under this stipulated number.

If the combined score of both teams is exactly 218, the bet is refunded. As in football, the odds are 11 to win 10 regardless of which side you bet. Overtime counts in all total wagers.

Betting the Money Line

On certain games, bettors have the option of disregarding the point spread and wagering on a team to win the game.

The Money Line is used to display these odds. In the above example, one could bet the Lakers at odds of –150 instead of laying -4 1/2 points. One wins this bet if the Lakers win the game. The margin of victory is of no consequence.

A $15 wager on the Lakers would win $10 for a payback of $25, or a $150 wager would win $100 for a payback of $250. A $100 bet on the Celtics would win $130 for a payback of $230.

BUYING HALF POINT OR MORE On basketball straight wagers, Players may buy a half point or more by laying 6 to win 5 (-120), or additional (0.10) or more from the current odds, on certain wagers selected by management.

Betting a Basketball Parlay

“Straight bet” wagers on one team against the point spread are the most common type of basketball bet. However, you may also combine several teams into one bet. This is known as a parlay. In basketball, one may parlay 2 to 8 teams. All teams and totals must cover the point spread to win the bet.

The odds are as follows:

  • 2 teams . . . . . .13/5
  • 3 teams . . . . . . .6/1
  • 4 teams . . . . . . .11/1
  • 5 teams . . . . . .22/1
  • 6 teams . . . . . 40/1
  • 7 teams . . . . . 80/1
  • 8 teams . . . . . 150/1

Remember that your bet is refunded in over-the-counter parlays in addition to your winnings. Thus, a $50 2-team parlay would win $130, for a total return of $180.

NOTE: Any game or total resulting in a “push” or tie vs. the point spread reduces the parlay one notch. For example, a 5-team parlay with 4 winners and 1 “push” becomes a 4-team parlay. A 2-team parlay with 1 winner and 1 “push” is considered a straight bet. Parlay card payouts and rules may differ from over-the-counter parlays.

In the event of a wagering tie, a 2-team teaser is deemed “No Action,” and all money wagered is refunded. A tie in a 3-team teaser reduces the wager to a two-team teaser, etc.

What are Basketball Teasers?

In a Basketball parlay, one has the option of “teasing” the point spread up or down a specified number of points.

In other words, you may modify the point spread by adding points to an underdog and/or subtracting points from a favorite.

We offer 4, 4 1/2, 5, 5 1/2, and 6 point teasers.

Betting Basketball Futures

On certain competitions, odds to win the event may be available well in advance; such as Conference or League Championships, etc. Odds on these events may, or may not, be displayed on the betting board or sheets in the display rack.

If you don’t see what you are looking for, please ask any ticket writer for assistance. Odds may change without notice, but payouts are determined by the odds at the time that you make your wager.

Betting Basketball Props

These are sometimes called “exotic bets.” Proposition bets are sometimes available on marquee events.

As an example, odds may be posted on if a specific player scores above or below a certain amount of points in a specific game.

Any available Proposition bets may be displayed on the betting board, or sheet rack, depending on space availability.

Betting From Your Phone in Nevada

Ready to give this a shot? If you can’t make it out to the sportsbook, you always have the STN Sports App. In fact, a majority of bettors are now shifting to a combination of “over-the-counter” bets at sportsbooks AND betting with a  mobile app.

Download the STN Sports App and get set up to make the games that much more exciting.

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