NBA Odds: Calculating Probability of Winning
When it comes to calculating the probability of a team to win – there isn’t really a rule for American odds because it is one of the newer odds formats, so to calculate your probability of winning your bet, you will need to convert your odds to decimal.
- For positive odds (underdog NBA odds) let’s say +200: 1 + (odds / 100) = 1+(200/100) = 3.0
- For negative odds (favored boxer’s odds) -200: 1 – (100 / 200) = 0.5
Now that you have your decimal odds, we can help you calculate your winnings and implied probability:
Decimal NBA Betting Odds
Decimal NBA odds are way more common in European countries, but in the United States, it’s way more common to use American – for obvious reasons. It’s easier to calculate your American odds by converting them to decimals, especially when trying to calculate the probability of winning.
To calculate your potential winnings when using decimal odds, you need to take your odds, multiply them by your stake, and then subtract the stake.
- 3.0 odds would be calculated as (3.0 * $10) – $10 = $20 in winnings
- 1.25 would be (1.25 * $10) – $10 = $2.50
To calculate your implied probability of winning, you will need to divide 1/decimal odds which is 1/ 3.0. This gives an implied probability of 3.33%. Implied probability is an important part of your NBA betting strategy and will help you improve your chances of winning in the long term.
Fractional NBA Betting Odds
This is where your grade school math class can come in handy: in fractional NBA betting odds. If you see a fractionated number, like 10/1 on the odds board, this means a team has a ten to one chance of winning the game. This way, you can also calculate their probability of winning – from the fractional NBA odds.
The formula looks like this: B/(A+B) = %
For example, if the NBA betting odds are set for a game and the team has 8/1 odds to win, there is an 11% chance they will win the game.
1/(8+1) = .11 (11%)
Or, if a team has 1/4 odds to win the match, that can be calculated like so – 4/(4+1) = 0.80 (80%) This team is favored and will likely win the game.
So, how much will you win on fractional NBA betting odds? It’s pretty simple – for every value on the right side of the fraction you wager, you will win the left.
So, 9/1 odds – for each $1 wagered, you will win $9.
1/4 odds – for each $4 wagered you win $1.
Top NBA Betting Options
Now that you understand basic odds calculations and can understand the lines, we can look at a few of the top NBA betting options before you get started.
NBA Moneyline Odds
The most simple betting type you can lay down in terms of NBA betting is the moneyline. It’s simple and easy to understand and great for new bettors. Your job is to determine which team will win the game – that’s it.
If the Warriors and Lakers are playing, and their odds look like:
- Golden State Warriors -300
- LA Lakers +120
If you want to bet on the Lakers, you can calculate their probability like so:
1 + (odds / 100) = 1+(175/100) = 2.75
Now that you have your decimal odds, you will calculate your implied probability by dividing 1 /2.75 = 0.36 (3.6%)
Low chance of winning, but let’s calculate the winnings on a $50 wager.
(2.75* $50) – $10 = $87.50 in winnings
NBA Point Spread Odds
Point spreads are extremely popular in the NBA, and almost any of the main professional sports. Point spreads are intended to give the underdog an imaginary advantage or level the playing field in games that are one-sided. Your oddsmaker or sportsbook will decide who the favored team is, and determine the spread based on how those two teams match up.
The spread tells you how many points a team must win or lose by, depending on which side you’re betting on. If you choose the favorite, their spread will be a negative number, and they must win the game by that amount. If you choose the underdog, they must lose by less than that number or win the game.
The odds can be calculated like any other wager, most times the odds will be fairly low, as you took most of the risk out by choosing the point spread.
NBA Totals Odds
If you’re looking at the lines and you aren’t leaning toward a particular team or just aren’t familiar enough with one team or the other to make an educated wager, you can always bet the totals or the over/under as it’s commonly referred to as. Totals betting is very simple, and you don’t have to choose one team over another – you simply have to decide if the total amount of points scored by both teams collectively will be over or under the oddsmaker’s line.
The totals will have odds like -110 attached to it, based on the bets coming in leading up to the game. The odds won’t stray too far from the -110 or -105 range as the totals bet is fairly safe, and way less risky than other options.
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