Point Spread Betting
What is Point Spread Betting?
Spread Betting is basically placing a handicap on a Head to Head matchup in sports, giving the favorite a (-) handicap and the underdog a (+) handicap.
Spread betting is indicated by the use of the (+) or (–) symbols.
- When teams have a plus sign (+) in the betting market, it shows that that team need to win the match outright or lose the game by fewer number of points than the line.
- When teams have a minus sign (-) in the betting market, it shows that the team need to win the match by a greater number of points than the line.
Spread betting is a betting market where a bookmaker handicaps a match by setting a “spread” or margin for each team, essentially making the betting market equal. This margin outcome is referred to as the ‘spread’, which is where the term spread betting derives. A spread bet is only available for matches where there are two outcomes only, such as a game of basketball, where draws do not occur.
A spread betting line looks like this (using NBA as the example): Golden State -8.0 @ Dallas +8.0
For example; if the sportsbook thinks that Golden State is an 8-point better team than Dallas, the sportsbook will handicap Golden State -8.0 points. The spread bet requires Golden State to win the game by 8+ pts for a winning bet, or Dallas to be within 8 points at the end of the game for a winning bet for those who bet on the +8.0 Dallas spread.
Each spread will be of equal odds roughly -105 to -110 depending on the sportsbook.
The above example would be shown by the sportsbook as: Golden State -8.0 @-110 | Dallas +8.0 @-110
When you bet on the spread, you are not betting on a team to win or lose, you are betting on a handicap.
If you think Dallas are a chance to beat, or keep the game close against Golden State in the above example, a spread of +8.0 would be a good bet to take. On the other hand if you think Golden State will hand Dallas a thumping, a -8.0 line is a good bet.
With a spread line of +8.0, Dallas must win the game outright or lose by 8 points or less to cover the spread. On the other side, Golden State must win by at least 8 points to cover the spread.
Point Spread Betting Advice
Picking the Spread is a 50/50 chance, unless you’re following –
- Recent matchups between teams – Some teams play well against others and there are instances where teams in poor form match up well against elite teams (there may be value in the betting markets here).
- Player injuries – If there are injuries to players, the spread will move accordingly. Make sure to watch out for injuries and “personal leave” of players. If you do this, you may spot a bargain before the sportsbooks adjust the spread.
- Performances over the last 5-10 games – Teams often go on streaks of good and bad form, observing a teams form over their last 5-10 games can be an indicator of a team’s cohesion and confidence coming into a matchup.
- Back to backs, travel and rest – No matter how elite a team is, if they are playing back to back games, especially on the road, they will be tired. Take advantage of the fresh team. If a team has a couple of days of rest behind them, they should have energy and be ready to play. Keep an eye on a team’s history over these phases though, as some teams play poorly following rest days, while some teams play poorly on back to back schedules.
WATCH THE NEWS! Get ahead of the sportsbooks and find where the traps are set. While taking advantage of the odds where you can find them.
What if the spread is even?
The sportsbook will list the spread as either a solid number, or to a decimal .5 point.
For example; the sportsbook may list the spread as -6.0 or -6.5.
The odds for the solid number will generally be less, as there are now 2 outcomes, not 1.
If the spread is set as -6.0 and the winning margin is 6, the bettor has “Pushed” the bet, and (depending on the sportsbook) will get their bet refunded.
If the spread is set as -6.5, the only outcome is a Win or Loss.
We hope that this page has cleared up a few things about spread betting.