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Spread Betting

What is spread betting?

Spread bet is a type of bet on a score difference between two opponents in a sporting event. Spread betting is sometimes called point spread betting or even straight betting, although straight bet refers to a bet on only one event. It is not as profitable as arbitrage betting but if you are person with extensive sports knowledge then spread betting might be the best for you.

How spread betting works?

Here is an example of usual betting line.

Betting Line
Bet Number Team Moneyline Spread or Handicap Total Points
461 Bengals +150 +6 over 44
462 Patriots -170 -6 under 44

The favorites are the Patriots and that is marked with -6 next to their name. The underdogs are the Bengals and that is marked with +6 next to their name.

If you bet on the favorite, his score minus the spread must be greater than the underdog's score for you to win. Example: the eventual score is Patriots 20, Bengals 10: 20-6=14 and that is greater than 10, you win.

If you bet on the underdog, his score plus the spread must be greater than the favorite's score for you to win. Example: Patriots 20, Bengals 15: 15+6=21 and that is greater than 20 so you win.

If the favorite wins by exactly the spread, then the bets would be a push (draw, tie). Example: Patriots 20, Bengals 14: 20-6=14. In the event of a push the bet is considered no action, and the money is refunded to the bettors.

The spread is sometimes put in at a half point (e.g. -3.5) by the sportsbook to eliminate the possibility of a push.

Advantages of spread betting

Spread betting offers better odds if you are betting on the favorite. Usual odds for spread bets are 10/11 (fractional) or -110 (American). That means you have to wager $110 to win $100 (of course you would receive total $210 on payout).

When you are betting on the underdog, the underdog doesn't have to win for the bet to be successful, he simply has to cover the spread.

Spread betting gives you more excitement than any other kind of betting. A win in spread betting requires a combination of smart game planning and luck which will give you never experienced adrenaline rush.

Taking and giving the points

Taking the points means betting on the underdog or against the spread (ATS). Giving the points (laying the points) means betting on the favorite.

Buying points

Buy points means you can move the spread so that you give away less points with the favorite or take more points with the underdog. To buy half a point or more you have to pay an additional price. Not all sportsbooks allow buying points, and if they do, you can't buy off the usual three-point margin in football.

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