Beginner’s Guide to Betting on Basketball – Part Three

We’re glad to see you back here exploring the philosophy behind betting on basketball. This time we’re going to look into what they stand for and how to use them.

Totals are perhaps the second most popular and one of the easiest types of bets you can place on basketball games. They come down to predicting the overall point-score at the end of the game. The bookmakers assign a number and your job is to guess whether the real results will exceed it or fall short to do so.

In this hypothetical example Chicago Bulls is playing Orlando Magic. The bookie assigns a total of 197. Person A decides to bet over, and person B goes for under. The game ends as such: Chicago Bulls 97 – 92 Orlando Magic. The overall points equal to 189, so person A loses their money, while B profits. If the results were to be 191 or higher, it would end on the contrary. Finally, if the game was to end 95 – 95, or overall 190, the wager would be a tie and both bettors would be refunded.

Here similarly to point spreads, bookmakers assign 11-to-10 odds, meaning you’d have to stake 11 bucks to win 10.
Statistically, it has been proven that people tend to bet over the appointed total. For that reason exactly bookies started responding to the increasing number of over bets by hanging the total by .5 or 1.5 points. This way they make the under bet a tad more enticing and attract money to both sides so that they can guarantee more profit for their establishment.

For example if the maximum bet assigned by a particular bookmaker for that game was $425 and someone put that exact amount on the line betting on the over, the bookie would most probably adjust the total to 190.5 to spread the money flow evenly between under and over bets.

In the next and last part of our handbook on basketball betting we’ll discuss teasers and parlays.