Is Beating the NBA Point Spread the Toughest Bet in Sports?

Betting the NBA point spread can be challenging, but proper steps can be taken to make sure you’re well equipped.

What is the Point Spread?

In any given matchup, there will be an underdog and a favorite. The point spread is a number set by oddsmakers to give bettors a chance to wager on either side of the game. Instead of making a moneyline bet where you would simply pick a winner, the point spread allows you to wager on how many points the favorite is going to win by or how many points the underdog can lose by and still cover the spread.

An NBA point spread at the sportsbook could look something like this:

Boston Celtics -7

Toronto Raptors +7

The favorite is represented by the minus sign (-), whereas the underdog is represented by the plus sign (+). In this case, the Celtics would have to win by more than seven points to cover the spread or the Raptors would have to win the game or not lose by more than six. If the Celtics win by exactly seven, it would be a PUSH and your bet would be refunded.

Betting the NBA Point Spread

Sometimes it will appear that every NBA team is close to .500 both against the spread and on the totals board. This may seem discouraging but oddsmakers know what they’re doing. Sportsbooks are using their best guys to set NBA betting lines. That doesn’t mean betting the basketball point spread isn’t a good idea.

How Difficult is it to Beat the Spread?

The nature of the NBA game can make betting on the sport difficult. With so much scoring involved, even the best handicapping strategy can be blown up in garbage time by something as simple and frustrating as an uncontested three at the buzzer in a game that’s already been decided.

That said, there are ways to beat the NBA game and clean up on the point spread.

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Stay locked on Odds Shark’s NBA pages for odds, free picks and betting news
  2. Research both teams in the matchup to see if they have a history of covering the spread – this info can be found on our NBA Standings page
  3. Control your bankroll by wagering smaller amounts until you get the hang of NBA point spread betting
  4. Shop the lines at different sportsbooks to see who is offering the most favorable odds