NBA Las Vegas Odds

Unless you somehow entered the world of betting but have been living under a rock, you should know Vegas is betting heaven.

Now, we have a plethora of different options of sportsbooks online, in and out of the United States. However, Las Vegas remains the home of sports betting.

Sin City still hosts the best oddsmakers and is still in command as to who opens lines, and the process of opening them. Other sportsbooks wait until Vegas talks, to then make their own lines, or flat out copy them.

Other states where sports betting is now legal still wait for Vegas odds to open. The state of Nevada wins billions -and billions- of dollars every year in betting income.

The NBA is one of the reasons why. Being a long season, Vegas stays sharp with the odds all year long.

Let’s see what the NBA Vegas odds look like, and how they function, so you are not blindsided by the amount of information they give.

What Are Las Vegas Odds?

When the stats guys say “odds”, they mean to calculate the chance of an event happening divided by the opportunity that an event won’t materialize. Mathematically speaking, the formula is like this: Odds = p/(1-p). That’s the numerical side of it.

In everyday conversations, the word odds takes a bit of a different meaning depending on who you talk. People usually use it when they talk about Las Vegas or gambling odds in everyday chats.

You will hear normal betting terms like 4 to 1 or 5 to 3. For instance, a chance of 3 in 4 or 1 in 5 of a specific outcome to occur. You hear that, but what do bettors actually mean when they say odds are 4 to 1 or the chance is 1 in 5?

Let’s imagine a chance of 0.5 (1/2= 0.5). In statistical odds, this will be the equivalent of 1 (0.5/(1-0.5)= 0.5/0.5 = 1). In Las Vegas odds, would mean there is a 1 to 1 probability of something happening.

In simpler terms, it is one chance for one chance against the said outcome. When exposed as an opportunity, it would translate into a 1 in 2 chance. This equals one chance in two of winning.

Now, when a gambler says that the odds are 3 to 1, it translates into an event where you have 3 chances to win against 1 chance to lose on the result. If a bettor tells you the chance is of 3 in 4, that means they have 3 opportunities to win out of four total chances.

In other, easier terms, you can say the probability equals 0.75, or 75%. The statistical odds would then be 3 (odds = 0.75/(1-0.75) = 0.75/ 0.25 = 3).

Another thing you will be looking at is something along with Las Vegas odds of 3 to 2. This is a synonym of saying 1.5 to 1, although you will never see Vegas putting it this way. Odds like 3 to 2 are a different way of saying there are 3 chances of winning to 2 opportunities of losing in the event’s probabilities.

If the odds exposed are 3 to 2 as a shot of 3 in 5, that says there are 3 opportunities to win in a total of 5 shots at it.

Even if the odds given are 3 to 2 or the chance of 3 in 5, the statistical chance is one of 0.6 (3/5 = 0.6). Thus, the statistical odds equals 1.5 (odds = 0.6/(1-0.6) = 0.6/0.4 = 1.5).

What Day Of The Week Do NBA Odds Open In Las Vegas?

Given the fact that NBA teams play back-to-back, the NBA odds for each game will open as soon as both teams who are facing each other finish their prior games.

Moneylines come out pretty much as soon as both teams finish their previous matchups. Shortly thereafter, half-time lines and the first, second, third, and fourth quarter are also available.

NBA player props open on game days as soon as the injury reports are confirmed by the teams.

How Are NBA Vegas Odds Determined?

The oddsmakers will focus their efforts to attract an equal number of wagers between both sides of the game.

The goal of Vegas oddsmakers is to receive equal betting volume on both sides, hence the spreads, moneylines, and different odds they put out.

The oddsmakers lean on large algorithms, power rankings, wins, futures, and teams of mathematicians and statisticians to come up with the numbers. It’s a huge process.

How To Read NBA Las Vegas Odds

For you to properly maximize your experience, you have to understand how Vegas projects their numbers. Here’s an example:

403. Suns. -8. -300

404. Timberwolves. 42.5. +280

To appropriately understand this presentation, we have to divide it section by section.

Rotation Number: Let’s start with this. In Las Vegas, the oddsmakers assign a specific number to each betting line they publish. Take into consideration that Las Vegas has hundreds of sports and thousands of teams that pop up on their boards.

The rotation numbers will help the bettors and sportsbooks to avoid any misunderstanding over the teams you’re planning to wager on. For instance, California has 19 professional sports teams. Nine of those play specifically in Los Angeles. It would be crazy hard to locate a team among so many without the rotation numbers.

Teams: This category shows the name of the franchise you are willing to place your bets on. A Vegas betting board will show the sports leagues, and the respective odds.

They put this data at the top of the betting tab. You need to read the tab thoroughly before placing any wagers.

Point Spread: The point spread is the number margin the oddsmakers expect a team to either win or lose by. The favorite will is handicapped with points, which is represented with a minus (-) sign in front of their spread numbers.

Inversely, the underdog will have a plus (+) sign, which is the advantage given by the sportsbooks to even the field.

Let’s have a look at this example:

  • Los Angeles Clippers -12
  • New Orleans Pelicans +12

As you can see, the spread here is 12 points. The Los Angeles Clippers are the favorites to win by an expected 12 points against the underdog in the game, the Pelicans.

To win the bet here, the Clippers need to win the game by a margin of 13 points or more. If you bet on the New Orleans Pelicans, you need them to either win the game or lose it by no more than 11 points.

If the margin of victory is by the exact number of 12 points in favor of the Clippers, the bet will be qualified as a push bet, also known as a tie.

In this case, the bets are ‘nullified’ and the stake bet is reimbursed to the bettors.

Over/Under & Total Bets: This bet is getting right on the total points scored in a game. Not the exact number, but whether the teams go over or under the total points line. The bookmakers will analyze each team and provide you with a number of points they think both teams will combine to score.

So, you have to bet on if the team’s playing will score more than what the oddsmakers think, which would be the over bet.

On the other side, if you think the sportsbook is giving you too high of a number for the teams to combine on, then the under is the number to bet here.

Vegas will usually put a hook in the shape of an “.5” after the number to avoid pushes between bettors and sportsbooks.

As with the point spreads, if there is a tie in the totals due to the absence of the half-point, the bet can get a push. As per usual, bets will get reimbursed.

Moneyline: Moneylines are exposed in American odds. These odds consider and select the favorites and the underdogs in a given game.

The number shown in moneylines tells the money needed to bet to win $100 in return when wagering on the favorite. They also tell you the amount of profit you’ll earn if you bet $100 to the underdog’s success.

Straight: A straight or single bet is when a bettor submits a wager on an individual event within a game.

Vig/ Vigorish/ Juice: These terms are the commissions the bettor “gives” to the sportsbooks for making a bet under their site or app. The oddsmakers usually add the vig into the odds and are determined as a percentage.

The vigorish is a moving number the bookmakers will change normally. They swift these numbers, depending on the odds in place. The standard juice is set at -110, although it’s not set in stone, as said before, they can change from time to time.

Overround: The overround is very related to the juice. Nevertheless, they perform two distinctive roles. The vigorish is what the sportsbooks charge a bettor to place a wager. As for the overround, it shows when there are two implied chances in a game sum to more than 100%.

Let’s say the 76ers have a 65% chance of beating their opponents in a game. The Raptors have a 45% probability of beating Philadelphia. If you add it up, 60+44 equals 110%. In this case, the overround is about 10%.

If the oddsmakers change the betting line, this will affect the overround, and therefore, it has a knock-on effect on the vig.

How Is The Winner Decided?

The winner will be determined depending on the betting style you choose to wager on. For instance, the total bets don’t depend on the match result, but in this case, you rely on the points scored between the two teams playing.

Simply put, you don’t care about who wins the game, but whether they get over or under the points number given by the sportsbook.

As for the point spread bets, the winner is determined in a different manner. You could bet for X Team at -8. This team could win the game, but if they didn’t cover the eight-point spread, you still have a losing bet submitted.

To win a spread bet, not only does the X Team need to win in this case, but they need to cover the margin as well.

Moneylines are the easier bet on them all. To determine a winner, it has an old-school beat to it. The team that wins the game straight-up wins the moneyline bet. That’s it.

NBA Vegas Odds vs. Regular Odds

Regular NBA betting odds base themselves on what Las Vegas says, so the variability, if any, are really not that broad. The Vegas odds will have the same favored teams and contenders as the off-Vegas odds.

The payouts may vary, but that usually happens in lots of other betting events.

The Favorites

Brooklyn Nets: Vegas Odds +250 vs. DraftKings Odds +225

The Nets formed a super team, with five former All-Stars on their roster. Despite not having PG Kyrie Irving available as of right now, they still have a stacked team all around.

They have the potential of being the best offensive team in recent times, with SG James Harden and SF Kevin Durant leading the offense.

The question is who can stop them if they are fully healthy. As for the odds, Vegas pays a bit more at +250 as DraftKings have them at +225 to win it all.

Los Angeles Lakers: Vegas Odds +550 vs. DraftKings Odds +500

The 2019 winners still have a loaded team, but also an aging one. Averaging more than 30 years of age, this team has a lot of former All-Stars who are past their prime, but still can ball.

Add of course, SF LeBron James and PF Anthony Davis, and they can be powerful, but health and fatigue are an issue for them.

Alike with the Nets, Vegas pays more as their odds are set at +550 and DraftKings have the purple and gold on +500.

Milwaukee Bucks: Vegas Odds +750 vs. DraftKings Odds +850

The reigning champs retained their solid championship core for this season. With the unstoppable force Giannis Antetokounmpo at PF, and the Robins to his Batman in SF Khris Middleton and PG Jrue Holiday, they will aim to run it back.

This is the first case where Vegas has a lower payout. Sin City pays the Bucks winning at +750 while DraftKings pays them +850.

The Contenders

Golden State Warriors: Vegas Odds +900 vs. DraftKings Odds +850

The Splash Bros. will eventually be back and that makes the Warriors a big problem. PG Steph Curry and SG Klay Thompson will make it rain from downtown and have championship experience. They are a threat.

Vegas pays them at +900 and DraftKings has a little more faith in them, paying a bit less, at a +850 odds to win.

Utah Jazz: Vegas Odds +1200 vs. DraftKings Odds +1300

The Jazz is one of the best, and most complete rosters in the whole NBA. They have stars, top role players, depth, and a solid project all around.

The Jazz is not to be taken lightly, as you can see on their odds across Vegas at +1200 and DraftKings paying them to win the ring at +1300.

Phoenix Suns: Vegas Odds +1300 vs. DraftKings Odds +1700

The Suns went to the NBA Finals in a losing effort, so they will go all-in this season to repeat as Western Conference Champions in a stacked conference.

Their backcourt is elite in every sense and most of the team is back. Vegas and DraftKings think way differently with the Suns. It’s a +1300 payout for Vegas, while DraftKings is less hopeful of a +1700 payout.

How To Place Bets Using Vegas Odds

Actually, it is quite simple step-by-step. Of course, to play with Vegas odds, you must be in Sin City.

1. Determine which bet you’re playing. It can be a straight bet, a parlay/teaser, a total, or any of the many types of wagers available.

2. Find the sport you want to put your money on. Then, go to the game(s) you’re aiming to bet at the Vegas betting board.

3. Choose the betting criteria you want your bet to be submitted. Whether it’s a point spread, a moneyline, over/unders, or many other markets.

4. Select how much money you’re willing to lay on the line.

5. Wait for your turn, and approach the bookmaker when appropriate.

6. Tell him the rotation number, the betting type, the criteria you want to bet on, and the amount of money wagered. Enjoy, and hope for the best.

As advice, be very specific.

Otherwise, the Vegas sportsbook will immediately lean to a spread as a default.