In basketball betting, the term “+-” is typically used in the context of point spreads or handicap betting. Point spread betting is a popular form of wagering in which oddsmakers establish a margin of points that one team is expected to win or lose by. The goal is to create a more balanced betting market by giving each team an equal chance of covering the spread. Let’s delve into the details of what the term “+-” means in basketball betting.
Point Spread Basics:
The point spread is a numerical advantage or disadvantage assigned to a team by oddsmakers to level the playing field for betting purposes. When you see a point spread listed for a basketball game, it will be accompanied by a positive or negative number. The team with a positive number is the underdog, while the team with a negative number is the favorite.
When you see a plus sign in front of a number (e.g., +5), it indicates the number of points that the underdog team is receiving. In other words, if you bet on the underdog with a plus sign, your team can either win the game outright, or lose by fewer points than the specified spread, and your bet will be a winner.
For example, if Team A has a point spread of +5 against Team B, and you bet on Team A, your bet will be successful if Team A wins the game or loses by four points or fewer. Even if Team A loses by exactly five points, the bet is considered a push, and your stake is returned.
Conversely, when you see a minus sign in front of a number (e.g., -5), it indicates the number of points that the favorite team is expected to win by. If you bet on the favorite with a minus sign, your team needs to win the game by more points than the specified spread for your bet to be a winner.
Using the same example, if Team B has a point spread of -5 against Team A, you would need Team B to win the game by six points or more to win your bet. If Team B wins by exactly five points, it’s a push, and you get your original stake back.
- Push: A push occurs when the actual margin of victory or defeat aligns exactly with the point spread. In this case, all bets are refunded, and there is no winner or loser.
- Half-Points: To avoid pushes, sportsbooks often use half-points in point spreads. For example, instead of setting a spread at -5, they might use -5.5. This ensures there’s a clear winner and loser in every bet.
- Moneyline Alternative: While point spreads are prevalent in basketball betting, you can also opt for the moneyline, where you simply pick the team you think will win the game outright. However, moneyline odds are adjusted based on the perceived strength of each team.
- Understanding Odds: In addition to the point spread, you’ll encounter odds associated with each team. Positive odds (e.g., +150) indicate the potential profit on a $100 bet, while negative odds (e.g., -150) represent the amount you need to bet to make a $100 profit.