What is the Point Spread & How to Bet It
Even those who are not regular sport betting enthusiasts will have heard the term ‘points spread’
and indeed may even have a vague idea of how it works, but in order to impart some vital knowledge on the matter, check out our guide to how to make the most of your spread betting experience.
When someone is referring to ‘the spread’ in relation to a sporting fixture or event, they are essentially talking about the gap in quality between the two sides taking part. This could be considered as the ‘handicap’, which is how it’s termed outside the US.
This is effectively one of the most popular ways to conduct a sports bet, alongside the moneyline, and if you want to know how the point spread works, let’s take a closer look at the key basics. If you consider the two parties going head to head, there will always be one that is considered the favorite and one the outsider. The gap between the two can be slight or huge, and this is where the fun begins.
Example Of The Point Spread
Below you’ll see an example of how a point spread is traditionally displayed by a sportsbook operator
New Orleans Saints +4.5 (-110)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers - 4.5 (-110)
In this example the favorite is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and a $110 wager would earn you $100 though in order to win Tom Brady and his teammates would need to be the outright winner by 5pts or more.
Conversely, the New Orleans Saints, the underdogs in this NFL scenario, start with a 4.5 point advantage. Therefore so long as they stayed within 4 pts of Tampa Bay, this would represent a win as regards to your bet.
Backing the spread is a good way to add motivation to a bet on a game that might have a clear favorite. In other words if a big team is very likely to pick up a win then there’s little in the way of betting interest there, unless you back the spread. If you were to wager across the moneyline it might not be a sufficient calculated risk to take, whereas the spread gives you some leeway.
Best Ways to Win On the Spread
If you are choosing to try out some spread betting, here are a few tips that could help you maximise your profits.
Check Out Different Operators
Shop around when it comes to the spread, look for the best odds and bet accordingly. You’d be surprised at the range you can find when you switch between operators and an extended spread might give you a much better shot when it comes to backing the underdog.
Different Spreads for Sports
When it comes to the points spread, pay in mind the sport you are dealing with. For instance the strategy will be entirely different when associated with NFL betting over the NBA. For instance the key metrics in American Football would be between three and seven points, given the points associated with touchdowns and field goals.
In Basketball the range can be entirely different and you should take that into account, for baseball the line is almost always set at 1.5 runs (due to the close nature of the games) and similarly the ‘puck line’ is adopted in NHL, with a similar split.
Keep Up On Pre-Game Info
The spread regularly changes up to the start of an event as aspects like player injuries, recent form and even the weather can play a part in how the spread is set, so make sure to read up on the game before you commit to any decision.