You might already know what NBA picks are, but if you are planning to bet on them, you will want to be sure that you know what you are doing. Betting can be as complicated as you want to make it, and it is easy to overestimate your chances of winning when you first start making NBA bets. Here is everything you need to know about how to bet on NBA picks as a beginner.
Picks are basically just odds, the chances of a particular team or player doing a specific thing that would make that bet succeed. Unlike the normal ratio style of odds, these odds generally use a plus or minus system that takes a while to learn. This system uses 0 as the middle point, with numbers above gaining a plus sign and numbers below gaining a minus sign.
Numbers that begin with a +, such as +120, signify underdogs. The number after the plus sign shows the amount that you will win for betting $100, meaning that +120 leads to £100 + $120 if you win. The more of an underdog the team is, the higher number.
On the other hand, numbers like -120 are the opposite. They mean that the team is a fan favorite and has a much higher chance of winning. This minus also means the opposite to the plus sign: it shows how much you will need to bet to get $100 in winnings. -120 means that you would have to bet $120 to reach a point where your winnings came in at £100, for example.
This system can be confusing at first, but it is relatively easy to learn once you understand what it is for. The numbers also allow you to quickly and easily identify how different picks stack up against each other, making it fairly easy to compare the odds of one team winning over another. This can be useful if you are looking for a way to balance your chance of winning and the amount that you will actually win.
Spreads are slightly different. During a spread bet, you are not betting on a yes or no outcome but a certain margin of victory for the team. If the spread is four points, for example, then your NBA team has to beat the other by over four points to win – if they beat it by four or less, then you lose the bet, even if the team still won the game.
A point spread is often used to balance out underdogs and favorites by making the bet less straightforward and can sometimes even go into the negatives. For example, a -2.5 point spread means that a win, a tie, or a loss by up to 2.5 points still counts as the bet being complete. You can win by having your team lose in these situations.
How do I find good NBA picks?
NBA picks come from a wide range of sources, and not always from the bookmaker managing them. A common source is through handicappers, who take information from various past games involving the teams and players to try and build up a profile or prediction of what will happen. This data is not always accurate, but when it is, it can often be a very precious thing that betters will pay a lot of money to get hold of on a regular basis.
Some handicappers are more effective than others, but a lot of them aim to create a very consistent level of quality and provide accurate data. A lot of this information goes through their own algorithms, which are often secret and use very specific equations to try and piece together a perfect prediction of any given game.
It is also possible to play without using any third-party picks, although it can be risky. The bookmaker will usually have NBA picks lined up and ready to use, so it is often easiest to just take a look at the odds and figure out what you are comfortable betting on. Some players prefer high risk and high reward, others stick to safe bets that don’t earn them very much and plenty hang around somewhere in the middle looking for a good balance of chance and payout to snag an opportunity that they are happy paying for to happen.