What Does Point Spread Mean in Basketball Betting?

Many fans of the NBA are well aware of the significance that point spreads have in determining the outcome of games. They may also be familiar with the term ‘point spread’ when seeing betting options in the context of sports wagering. But what is actually meant by the point spread in the context of basketball betting, and how does it work? Let’s take a quick look.

What Is The Point Spread In Basketball Betting?

When people think about betting on basketball, usually the first thing that comes to mind is taking a side in the outcomes of individual games. Points scored, assists tallied, steals achieved, and the like, are all important pieces of information but just one of the many things that can happen in an NBA game. The point spread in basketball is actually a formula that combines multiple statistical categories into a single number, which in turn is used to determine an underdog’s chance of winning.

To understand how the point spread works, let’s take a quick look at how traditional point spreads in other sports operate.

How A Traditional Point Spread Works

In most sports betting, the point spread is used as a method of comparison and contrast. For example, if the listed odds on a particular sporting event are 1.5 the favorite to score 3.0 points and the underdog is getting odds of 2.0 to score 3.5 points, the point spread is set at 0.5 points. This means that the favorite has a 0.5 point advantage. When applying this same logic to a football game, the point spread would be set at 0.5 for an NCAA football game, a 0.25 point spread for a high school game, and a 0.0 point spread for a youth league game. This type of format allows for some comparison of the competitiveness of various sporting events.

How Does The Point Spread Work In Basketball Betting?

In contrast to many other sports, in which the point spread serves as a tool for comparison, in basketball the point spread actually measures the competitiveness of the game. For example, in the 2018-19 NBA season, the Houston Rockets had an average point difference of 5.7 points per game, while the San Antonio Spurs were 2.7 points per game ahead of them.

This is measured by adding up the total from each team and then dividing this total by two. So, in the case of the Houston Rockets and the San Antonio Spurs, the point spread would be 5.7 + 2.7 = 9.4 points. This is then divided by two, resulting in a 2.7 point spread in favor of the Spurs.

Why Are Some Gamblers Skeptical Of Using The Point Spread To Bet On Basketball?

Although most would agree that the point spread is a useful tool for comparing and contrasting the competitiveness of different basketball games, some traders may have reservations about putting too much stock into one number. The point spread is a simple way to make an educated guess as to the winner of a game, but it’s not the only thing that one needs to do to make a successful bet. One should research the teams and individuals involved in the game, as well as consider other aspects like injuries and fouls which can skew the results of statistical analysis.

Why Are Some People More Compromised Than Others When It Comes To Using The Point Spread In Basketball Betting?

There are certain individuals whose profession it is to analyze statistical trends in sports. These are usually people who work for bookmakers and sporting-event organizers, and they use statistical models and algorithms to assist them in determining the outcome of games. Because of this, some people are more likely to trust the point spread than others. Those who are more trusting of the point spread are usually gamblers who prefer to rely on odds rather than skill when betting. These are the types of individuals who will likely be successful in using the point spread in conjunction with other betting strategies.

However, there is also a certain degree of skepticism associated with those who use the point spread for the first time. Even though the point spread is an easy way to compare the competitiveness of different games, it’s not always an accurate reflection of how those games will play out in the end. This is because there are many factors that may influence the final result of a game, and the point spread alone can’t account for them all. As much as possible, one should avoid making bets based solely on the point spread, and instead rely on other methods like handicapping an individual player or team, looking at individual stats, or consulting an expert.

Knowing when to use the point spread and which types of games it is most suitable for can be difficult. However, with some trial and error, one can become an expert user of this tool and start seeing results almost immediately. For those who are new to the game, it may be wise to avoid using the point spread altogether and try other methods since, as we mentioned, it can be difficult to know when this tool is appropriate, and which types of games it is most suitable for.

In the end, the choice is up to the individual user. However, with some practice, using the point spread to bet on basketball can be as easy and fun as betting on other sports.