Sports betting is among the most popular gambling activities. With such a massive offer of sports and events, thousands of people take part in betting activities worldwide. It’s one of the easiest ways to test your chances at scoring a big prize. Plus, the risk introduces an entirely new dimension to sports games that you will never experience as only a spectator. However, all the hot betting action is not as simple as you may imagine. There are many rules and ways to bet that you have to learn fully in order to gain the upper hand.
So if you want to test your luck and bet on football, basketball, soccer, horse racing, baseball, or many other sports, it is necessary to know the main betting rules. Then, you’ll be able to understand what the sportsbook is telling you when you see the odds and other betting options. Sometimes, it’s not only a matter of picking which team will win or lose. In specific bets, you will have to predict the number of points scored.
There are many terms in sports betting, such as totals, props, vids, odds, moneyline, in-play, etc. And one of the main things you need to know is the spread. If you have never seen this term before, it stands for a variety of betting types. All of them depend on the accuracy of the bet and differ from the standard ways of betting (fixed odds, etc.). So what is spread in sports betting? It’s time to spread ‘em and dive in deep to find out all about spread betting!
For hundreds of years, people have put their money on various sporting activities. Due to the fact that betting has been available for a long time, the activity has evolved a great deal. As mentioned, you can now wager in many different ways. One of the most popular betting types in the U.S. is the spread. It was invented in the 1940s by Charles McNeil, who was a math professor based in Connecticut.
Ultimately, the spread indicates a range of results — you will wager on whether or not the result will be above or below the betting spread. It is also called a point spread due to the fact that it contains plus and minus values.
The bookmaker or a sportsbook always sets the spread. In most types of U.S. spread betting, people will put their money on whether or not the final scores in the game will be larger or smaller compared to the spread value.
The Spread Rules
For example, let’s say the point spread is 4.5 for New York vs. Dallas in the NFL. If Dallas is the underdog, the spread will be +4.5. And if New York is the favorite, the value will be -4.5. The favorite is more likely to win, unlike the underdog.
When you see a plus or a minus betting spread, it will reveal the rules by which you have to bet. Namely, in the case you bet on New York, the team would have to win the game, but only by 5 points or over. Conversely, the underdog, which would be Dallas in this case, needs to either lose the game by 4 points or over, or win it in order for your bet to count.
For instance, if the result is 20–17 and New York wins only by 3, they will not “cover” the spread. But Dallas will cover it since they will remain within the 4.5 line. If Dallas wins the game by any number of points, your wager will be successful.
If you are confused by the half-point, it’s essential to know that the value is often indicated as such. This is done in order to eliminate the chances of a tie or push. If the game ends like that, the term “no action” is used, and all bettors will get their money back. In spread betting, a tie can harm the sportsbook since they could lose money on overhead costs. Sometimes, you might see the rule “ties lose” or “ties win” written in the sportsbook, so it’s important to pay attention to it to know exactly what you’re up against.
How to Win
If we stick to the previous example, we should also mention that sportsbooks will include another number in the brackets next to the spread value.
For example: New York +4.5 (-110).
The -110 number indicates the odds. While casino games always include a house edge to ensure the players do not have the advantage, spread betting has -110 tax commission. You can think of it as 10 to 11. Essentially, the number means that players will get 10 for each 11 wagered in case of a successful bet.
Thus, if you wager $110, you will win $100. Plus, -110 indicates that you will get your wager back, and ultimately, you will win $210 in total. Point spread betting does not require you to put up $100, though. You can use any amount, but the value of $100 is almost always used in the odds since the round number makes it easier to calculate the payouts.
However, if you lose the spread bet, the sportsbook keeps your $110. In some cases, the commission amount can be reduced by the sportsbook. For instance, if it’s -107, you will have to put up $107 in order to win $100.
Additionally, you may see the term Pick’em or PK. It indicates that the team match is tight, and there are no underdogs or favorites. Then, you can simply bet on either team to win. The PK eliminates the margin of victory.
Can the Spread Change?
In many cases, the spread offered can actually change depending on the match. Sportsbooks are allowed to change it before the game begins. For example, in the Super Bowl, some factors like injuries or the weather can influence the bookmakers to change the spread. Additionally, the sportsbook can modify the spread in case there is a larger bet number on one side of the betting line.
It’s essential to keep track of it before the game because it can give you affect you both positively and negatively.
As an example, if the spread is 4.5 on Monday and 3.5 on Wednesday, you will be at a disadvantage if you’ve placed you wager on Monday. The bettors who waited until Thursday will have better chances of winning — if they wager on the winner, the team will only have to win by 4 points or over.
If you placed the wager on Monday, you will most likely not be able to change the bet since most sportsbooks don’t allow it. Some online sites will allow you to win with the odds or the betting spread values that they offered after you’ve placed the wager, though.
Half and Quarter Spreads
Depending on the sportsbook, you could have the option to bet on the results of the first half, quarter, or other points in the games. In those instances, the spread could count only for those points in the match. For example, the range during the first half could be 2.5.
In case of the favorite, 2.5- would mean that the team would need to win by 3 or over in the first half. And for the underdog, the 2.5+ spread means that the team would have to lead by 2. But it also means that the favorite must not fall behind by 2 before the start of the second half.
For the most part, spread bets are most popular in basketball and football. If you wish to bet on hockey or baseball, the wager type is called “puckline” or “runline.” But in these sports, the spread is much lower (1.5), due to the fact that the score number is lower.
Spread Betting Summary
Overall, those were the basics of the spread. We’ve covered the spread in great detail and explained some of the main rules regarding this betting type. It’s a simple type of wager, and if you get familiar with the rules we’ve discussed, it will be easy to win bets and score some large prizes!