It’s finally time for some basketball. This is Opening Week for the 2017-18 NBA regular season, and in less than a month, college hoops will be tipping off. As always, Bovada will provide basketball betting lines for every NBA game and most NCAA Division I matchups; here’s some 101 on the many different bets you can place this basketball season.

Single Bets

This is easily the most popular method for both NBA betting and college basketball betting. Single bets ask you to wager on the outcome of a single event, and there are three ways you can do it: the point spread, the moneyline, and the total. The point spread is the most common of the three. When you see a line like Golden State –5, it means the Warriors need to win by more than five points to cover the spread and pay out. If you see Golden State –200 instead, that’s the moneyline. Now the Warriors only have to win the game straight up (SU) instead of covering a spread (ATS) for you to get paid. And with the total, oddsmakers predict a combined score for both teams in a game, and you simply bet if you think that actual number will be Over or Under the posted total.

Half Lines and Live Betting

As online betting becomes more popular, so do these in-game NBA and NCAAB betting options. Instead of betting on the outcome of an entire game, you can bet on first-half (1H) and second-half (2H) basketball lines, as well as lines for each of the four quarters (1Q through 4Q). You can also visit the Live Betting section for each available game at Bovada and place your bets while the game is in progress.

Futures and Props

Even if there isn’t a game on the board, you can still bet on basketball anytime you like. Futures bets ask you to wager on the outcome of a future event, like who will win the NCAAB National Championship. Props (short for proposition bets) are like futures, except you’re betting on outcomes not directly related to the result of an event. An example of a season prop would be, who will lead the NBA in points per game – James Harden is the +180 favorite at press time. An example of a game prop would be, who will be the first to reach 10 points: the Toronto Raptors or the Chicago Bulls.

Parlays and Teasers

Finally, if you want to bet on more than one NBA and/or NCAAB line at the same time, you can parlay 2 to 12 wagers together in a combo bet, and get paid exponentially more if all your bets come true. A teaser bet is a kind of parlay where you combine 2 to 10 basketball lines and “buy” either 4, 4.5 or 5 extra points off each line, thus increasing your chances of winning. You can even make sweetheart teasers where you buy up to 13 points. Consult the Help section for more information, and we’ll see you on the hardcourt.


*Odds as of October 17, 2017