Given the number of technical terms involved in the world of sports betting, it’s easy to get a little bit confused, especially if you’re only just starting to venture further away from simply betting on the outcome of a game. The point spread is one of the most popular types of wagers out there, so it really pays to understand what it’s all about if you want to maximise your chances of winning.
The points spread – also commonly known as ‘betting the spread’ or ‘handicap betting’ – is a sports betting market that means a team must win by a specific number of points / goals, or they must not lose by a specific number of points / goals.
Let’s say there’s a football game between Team A and Team B. The points spread might look something like this:
Team A +7.5
Team B -7.5
In this example, Team B are clear favourites for the game and so are given a handicap of -7.5. That means that Team B must win by at least 8 points for the bet to win. Team A are the clear underdogs in this match and are expected to lose, so they are given a handicap of +7.5. That means that Team A must not lose by 8 points or more for the bet to win.
The fact that a decimal figure (7.5) is given means that the bet can only win or lose, there is no option to tie; however, you may also see points spreads like the following:
Team C +3
Team D -3
In this event, if Team D wins by 3 points exactly, there is no clear winner and so the bet becomes a ‘push bet’. This effectively means that the bet is void and the initial betting stake is refunded.
Spread betting can prove highly profitable relative to the initial stake, particularly if you believe a team is going to win or lose as part of a blow-out victory. By researching form, key injuries and previous head-to-head results between teams, bettors can develop a stronger idea of what the outcome of a game will be.
For instance, let’s say there’s a basketball match-up between Team A and Team B. From looking at the head-to-head results between the two teams, we can see that Team A has defeated Team B by 10 points or more in each of the previous five games. This suggests a -9.5 victory for Team A could happen again in the next game. Of course, there are other key factors that need to be taken into account; yet it does offer some degree of indication as to the likely outcome.
As with all forms of sports betting, it pays to do as much research as possible before placing a wager on the points spread. It can also be easy to overestimate the performance of a team just because they are clear favourites for a particular game. You may think that a game between the first-place team and last-place team in the standings will always result in a blow-out, but that’s not necessarily the case.
Most sports bookmakers will aim to have equal money on each side of a points spread market; however, they may also choose to move the point spread slightly to attract more money on the team that people aren’t betting on. If you prefer to bet on in-game markets once the game has started, be aware that the points spread will change depending on the live score.
All things considered, points spread betting is a good option for those who expect to see a team perform particularly well or particularly poorly during a certain game. It also gives us a valuable indication of just how much an underdog a particular team is in the eyes of the bookmaker.
Like most betting markets, the odds that you will get on the points spread inevitably varies from bookie to bookie. And with the sheer volume of sports bookmakers out there, the task of finding the very best odds can seem like a tall order, to say the least.
That's where OddsChecker comes in. Our website compares odds, bonuses and offers from a huge range of bookmakers across all sports and events. We provide up to date information and useful insights for players looking to find the best deals currently out there. Before you place your next points spread wager, it's definitely worth checking the site to see which bookmakers are offering strong odds. That way you can make sure that you'll get the maximum return on your bet.
The OddsChecker website is completely free to use, and it's also free to register as a member if you want to receive additional benefits. We regularly send our members exclusive offers, competitions and newsletters, so it's a good idea to sign up if you want to take your betting experience to the next level!
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