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What is an NBA point spread and how do you wager on them?

Author: americangambler | Last Updated: May 10, 2019

The point spread is a handicap assigned to a particular game to even the expectation for a team’s scoring for the purpose of determining a wager.

For example, if most oddsmakers feel that Team A is six points better than Team B, then Team A will be listed as a 6-point (-6) favorite.

In determining the winner of the wager, we will add six points to the final score of Team B, with the team with the highest score being determined as the winning team. Ties are possible.

Bookmakers will often use a set of power ratings, along with their perception of the public’s opinion to formulate the point spread on any given game. Then, they will open the markets to wagering, adjusting the spread when necessary to try and attract equal, or at least, less attention to a given side.

A person who decides to wager on an NBA point spread can choose from the favorite (where your team has to win by the assigned handicap) or the underdog (where your team can come within the assigned handicap) in order to win a bet.

Point spread propositions can also be offered for exclusively the first- or second-half, while in professional basketball, point spreads can also be offered for each quarter, particularly in the NBA.

Alternative point spreads can also be offered where an oddsmaker will adjust the vigorish in order to adjust the point spread just a few or several points, offering a greater or lesser return for such adjustment.

Point spreads can also be used in parlay and teaser wagering, combining the bets with other point spread wagers, or including wagers on totals, as well.