In money line betting, you must simply pick the winner between two teams.  There are no other variables, just the right or wrong pick. Every team in the NBA is available for a money line bet with different values assigned to the bets called odds.

These odds are set by sportsbooks and oddsmakers by determining the perceived gap between the two teams.  This gap refers to the probability of winning. The odds are displayed numerically with either a minus or + next to it.

What Do The Plus (+) And Minus (-) Sign Mean?

The minus sign refers to the favorites of the game, and the plus refers to the underdogs. Picking the underdogs against the favorites may be riskier, which is why the betting reward is higher.  Similarly, betting on the favorites has a lower risk and subsequently generates lower rewards.

For example, betting on the Lakers versus the Cavaliers may be a safer bet, but it also gets you a lower reward.

Person holding hundred-dollar bills

What Do The Numbers Mean?

We’ve already discussed the plus (+) and minus (-) next to the numbers, but the numbers themselves signify the bet required as opposed to the winnings.

For example, a number with a (–)next to it is the minimum amount you need to bet for a $100 reward. On the other hand, a number with a (+) next to it refers to what you’d win if you placed a $100 bet.

How Do You Win?

Let’s take the Lakers versus the Celtics as an example.  If the Lakers odds are at -140 and the Celtics at +175, you will have to place $140 for a $100 profit – you get $240 back.  However, to win $100 while betting on the Celtics, you need to place a $36 wager since they’re the underdog and less likely to win.

To learn more and make your picks check out Charlies Sports and your free NBA picks. Our sports handicappers can guide you in picking the best teams in NBA to bet on.

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