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The National Basketball League is the main basketball league in the United States, but it is also very popular in other countries. The popularity of this league has extended to the East, to countries like China and Japan, and to Europe, to countries like Greece and the United Kingdom. It is also very popular north of the border, in Canada. We have loved this league for a number of years, supporting the teams with the same fierceness as fans south of the border.

Those seeking to bet on the NBA in Canada have a few options to choose from, the best of these, along with a few tips on getting the most from your bets on the NBA, have been discussed at length below.

Choosing a winner?

If you have a good feeling that a certain team will snatch victory, then you should head for the main markets, known as the “money lines” and the “spread”. The former will give you outright odds for a team to win or lose, but the odds can differ greatly here. This is because, unlike sports like soccer, there is little chance of a draw, which means there is nothing to offset the win and lose markets.

One of the ways in which the bookies get around this and are able to offer even odds on all teams, is known as the spread. This is basically a handicap, so if a top team are playing against a poor team, therefore offering very short odds for a straight-up win, they will be given a spread such as -20. That means that they need to win by at least 21 points in order for the bet to win. The other team is given the same treatment, only their spread would be +20, which means that they can lose by 19 and still win the bet. If they lose by 20, which means that the other bet wins by 20, then the bet will be a push. During a push all bets are refunded. In some cases there will be no chance of a push, as it is negated by the bookmakers. In the example cited above, they would do this by offering a spread of -/+ 19.5 or -/+ 20.5. In this former example, for a -19.5 spread, then if the team wins by 18 or 19, they lose, whereas if they win by 20, then they win.

Cant pick a winner?

If you are struggling to pick a winner between two closely matched teams, but still want to place a bet on the game, then there are still plenty of options available to you. One of the main ones of these is the Under/Over Points Market. In this market you are basically betting on whether the total points scored will be over or under a set amount, and that amount is set by the bookies before the game tips-off. Typically, it will be around the 200 mark, but in truth it depends on the two teams playing. If they are both defensive minded teams then the total will be lowered slightly, although not by a huge deal. If they are offensive minded teams then it will be increased. As an example, during the NBA All-Stars game, where a team from the West plays a team from the East, it’s all about attack, it’s all about putting on a show and no one cares about defense. Therefore, the set total is typically around 300 points before the game starts.

As a bettor on this market you will be offered an Under or an Over bet, both of which are typically priced at 10/11. There are also variations of this. So, if the set total (the one offering the 10/11 odds) is offering Under/Over 200 points, then there will also be a market on 190 and 210, and many variations in between. A bet on Over 210 will get a very nice return, as will a bet on Under 190, whereas the under 210 bet and the over 190 bet is likely to return a big odds-on price that may be guaranteed, but will not give you a huge return for your money.

Stretching the odds.

There are some bets you can take that will push the odds up and therefore increase your returns. These include bets that you can place on the player who scores the most points, the one who make the most fouls, hit the most free throws, etc., These are often side bets as far as many punters are concerned, placed as additional bets to the ones mentioned above.

There are some sports books that will also combine all of these bets. So you might get a bet that says: Cleveland Cavaliers -10, Lebron James 16, Under 200. This means that if the Cavs win by 11 or more, Lebron James scores 16 points or more and there are less than 200 points scored in the game, then you will win. You can typically expect good returns on such a bet, so that a $10 bet will give you about $30, plus a return of your initial stake.

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