Unless you are making a bet on how many points will be scored or who will be leading in a particular part of the game, betting on overtime in an NBA game is exactly the same as betting on a game that ends in regulation. Namely, everything counts.
Two common NBA wagers are moneyline bets in which you pick the winner of the game, and over/under bets, in which you wager on how many points will be scored. You can also, of course, bet on how many points a particular player will score or how many points the winning team will win by in the final score. The latter is called a handicap or spread bet. In all of these cases, what happens in overtime is included in your bet.
All NBA games have a winner because they will continue to play overtime until an outcome is decided. Overtimes can also add a lot of intrigue to your bet and change things dramatically.
Say, for example, you make an over/under bet, and at the end of regulation time the score is less than the over/under line. In this case, you are delighted if the game goes to overtime and you picked the over on the number of points. If this happens the overtime could very well turn a losing bet into a winner because the game will end with enough points to cover the over.
Similarly, if you bet on the favorite to win by a certain number of points in a spread bet, you will also root for overtime if the game is very close at the end and the winning team is not going to cover your bet. On the other hand, if you pick the underdog to cover and it has done so at the end of regulation play, you do not want overtime. And the reason is the favorite could pull away in overtime and end up covering its side of the handicap bet when it originally did not.
If you bet the over/under on the number of points a certain player will score, overtime could also save your bet. Should the player's number of points be under what you bet on after regulation play, the addition of overtime could result in the player increasing his point total to the point he will cover the over.
As mentioned above, sportsbooks often offer the option to bet on things such as the number of points that will be scored in the second half. In this case, the bet is decided strictly by what happens in that half and any overtime points will not be included. In other words, you can not add the overtime points to the second-half total.
Some sportsbooks may also offer the option of what's called a three-way bet on NBA games. In these types of bets, you can also bet on the game being tied after the regulation 60 minutes. If you wager on the game being tied after 60 minutes, what happens in overtime has nothing to do with the bet, so your wager would be a winner.
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