How are NBA Betting Odds Generated?

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How are NBA Betting Odds Generated?

For years, the NBA betting industry was a domain of old-school Vegas bookmarkers. Things have changed in recent years, thanks to tech advances and the growth of online bookmarkers. However, one question remains; how do bookmarkers determine NBA betting odds?

Well, since the early days of NBA betting, bookmarkers’ aim was balancing the action on both sides of wagers. The advent of algorithms and betting software hasn’t changed that. NBA betting odds are designed to ensure equal action from each side of a betting line. When generating odds for an NBA game, bookmarkers don’t focus on creating a probable or actual picture of the reality. Instead, they aim at mitigating their risk.

The Making of Odds in a Tech-Savvy World

In years gone by, bookmarkers primarily relied on power rankings and their “gut feeling” in odds making. Today, the process is aided by computing power. Odds makers rely in statisticians and mathematicians who pore over large volumes of data besides incorporating trends into the process.

Understanding bettors’ behavior, mitigating risk mathematically, and determining the general public’s reaction to lines of play also play a role in the odd generation process. By incorporating the insight of statisticians and mathematicians into the odd-making process, betting odds have become more precise and quantifiable.

Rather than relying on instinct and experience alone, NBA bookmarkers synthesize mathematical knowledge and the understanding of risk and probability to create the most accurate lines. Any successful bettor will tell you that the more accurate a betting line is, the more profitable it is to bookmarkers.

Money Line Bets vs. Point Spread Bets

In every NBA game, there’s typically an underdog and a favorite. When it comes to betting odds, a point spread determines the victory margin. Thus, a betting line for an NBA game may look like this:

Denver Nuggets (-182) vs. Chicago Bulls (+145)

If you’re making a money line bet, these numbers clearly show who’s the favorite. Thus, if you bet on the Nuggets at (-182), it means you should wager $182 to win $100 on your bet. Conversely. If you bet $100 on the Bulls at (+145), you could win $110.

In point spread bets, the favorite team’s margin of victory is estimated as a line, thus making the content even from a betting perspective. Point spread bets often have similar or the same odds irrespective of the selection you make. If more money is placed on one team, bookmarkers often adjust their betting lines of odds to factor in the heavy action, thus hedging their bets.

In a points spread bet such as Denver Nuggets (-2) vs. Chicago Bulls (+2), the Nuggets are the favorites. Therefore, you will only win your bet if they win by over two points. Moreover, you’ll still win the bet if the Bulls lose by less than two points and you’ve waged your money on the Nuggets.

Why NBA Betting Odds Tend to Change

Betting odds are often formulated to help bookmarkers predict the outcomes of games. The odds tend to change depending on the betting action. Thus, it’s best to look at different bookmarkers for odds and lines since this will give you an edge when betting on games.

The idea behind comparing different bookmarkers’ odds is that some websites may have more action on one side. This explains why NBA betting websites tend to display different betting odds, lines, and point spreads for the same games. Thus, checking out multiple betting sites will give you the best edge on your bets.

Finding the most attractive betting odds for a specific NBA game can be challenging. It’s best to remember that NBA lines rarely move at all. Depending on your strategy, you can either lock your bet the moment the line is produced, or you can wait a little bit more to see whether there will be a change. Also, be on the lookout for prop bets that give you a bang for your buck.