All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. One of the most popular bet types in sports betting is the point spread. The point spread refers to the number of points plus or minus applied to the respective final scores of the two teams in order to determine the outcome of a bet.
One of the teams is designated the underdog, while the other one is the favorite. However, with a point spread, the playing field is leveled, which makes both sides of the bet equally as attractive since the odds are generally close to for both teams. With each matchup, the oddsmakers need to determine the appropriate point spread. Typically, the point spread will reflect the difference in talent between the two teams, and will be adjusted by various intangible factors, such as schedule, motivation, home field advantage, and the like.
After the game goes final, the bookmaker will add the point spread if an underdog or subtract the point spread if a favorite to determine the winner of the bet. When a team won the bet, it is said that the team covered the spread. Thus, cover in betting refers to 'cover the spread' -- when a team wins for its bettors after the application of the point spred. To further illustrate how point spread betting works, we'll dive in to show you all there is to know to get you started straightaway!
Alright, so you're into wagering, and you're already familiar with moneyline betting. Sports bettors in the United States prefer to wager on the point spread. But how does it work? Let's start with a simple definition of the point spread. The spread is a median number, calculated by the bookmaker, which has as its objective the equal division of money wagered on both the underdog and the favorite.
Point spread betting is most popular in football and basketball since there are lots of points scored in those games. It's also possible to make spread wagers in hockey and baseball, as well, but in a different form we'll dive into that later.
For now, we'll zoom into the way the number works -- how to read the point spread betting lines. The betting lines for this NFL game might look like this:. As you can, two teams are competing against each other here. One carries a plus sign, while the other a minus sign alongside the spread number.
The favored team is the Dallas Cowboys, and the Philadelphia Eagles are the underdog. The number represents the amount of points to be applied to the final score to determine the point spread winner. For the Cowboys, they need to win by more than 3. The Eagles, on the other hand, need to either win the game outright, or lose by less than 3. Here, the Cowboys could earn a narrow win by just two points, and fail to cover the 3.
You're in this to make money, so we'll show you just how to calculate the amount of money you can win. You must understand that the betting odds for point spreads are generally close to Now, let's take the previous example and add the betting odds:. In this example, you'll see two different odds for each team. Thus, the lower your odds, the less risk you have to take with your bet to secure a nice payout. Most sportsbooks will set the betting odds for a point spread wager around , but they have the latitude to adjust the odds, as needed, to balance the betting action.
It goes without saying that some sportsbooks have better odds for their players than others. BetAnySports , for example, is our 1-rated sportsbook, primarily because it has reduced juice. CO Gambling problem? Call Indiana Self-Restriction Program. NJ Bet with your head, not over it! Gambling Problem? Call Gambler. Contact the Nevada Council on Problem Gambling or call PA If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, help is available, call Gambler.
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