Point Spread Betting ExplainedPoint spread betting is usually used in high scoring games such Rugby and American Football, cricket and basketball. Unlike Money Line Betting where the bettor just needs to predict the winner the point spread gives the underdog a certain point’s advantage over the favourite.

In other words a handicap is used to make the bet more attractive to the eyes of the bettor as the teams are placed on level playing field by giving the weaker team a certain point’s advantage on the overall result. 

Football Point Spread Bet Example

Let’s understand point spread betting better through the use of an example:

Liverpool FC is facing AFC Wimbledon at Anfield. At first glance Liverpool is the sure winner and is everyone’s favourite.

Money bookers Odds:

Liverpool:              -2

Wimbledon:         +2

Here Liverpool FC is favoured to win against AFC Wimbledon by at least two goals, the minus sign will always be given to the favourite. Placing a bet on Liverpool to win against Wimbledon would require Liverpool to win by more than two goals for the bet to pay off.

Possible results when betting on the favourite, Liverpool:

Liverpool 3 – 0 Wimbledon  *Bettor wins

Liverpool 2 – 0 Wimbledon  *Push, this is a tie and the bet money is returned.

Liverpool 3 – 2 Wimbledon *Bettor loses

On the other hand AFC Wimbledon is given a two goal advantage on the end result, the plus sign will always mark the underdog. Placing a bet on Wimbledon would require for the team to win or lose by minimum 1 point. Losing by 2 points ends in a push and losing by more the bet is a loss.

Possible results when betting for the underdog, Wimbledon:

Liverpool 0 – 1 Wimbledon  *Bettor wins

Liverpool 2 – 1 Wimbledon * Bettor wins

Liverpool 2 – 0 Wimbledon  *Push, bets are returned as this is a tie.

Liverpool 3 – 0 Wimbledon  *Bettor loses

So is Liverpool still a sure bet?

After watching this the underdog might sound appealing as Liverpool needs to win by more than 3 goals without Wimbledon scoring any goal, something hard to accomplish in football even if you got a super player team. Wimbledon could just post most of its players on its goal area and keep the scoring low. This is where your handicapping skills come into play…

  • What is more likely to happen?
  • How does the Wimbledon coach usually respond to superior teams as a visitor?
  • Do they got at least a scoring player?
  • Is Liverpool strong on its offense this season?

These are the questions that sport bookers do to themselves for determining odds. These should be the questions you should be doing to yourself as well. In terms of developing a handicapping system there are several computer handicapping softwares that could come in handy.

Sportbooks use the point spread to even up the chances of a bettor winning or losing with either team, and necessary in order to create liquidity.

Here is Another Point Spread Example:

Point Spread examples

Manchester City: –      -4

Portsmouth: –              +4

If you are betting on Manchester City they need to win by more than four goals for your bet to payoff.

Similarly if you are betting on Portsmouth you can win the bet if Portsmouth loses by less than four goals.

 Understanding the Push in Point Spread Bets

Sometimes bookmakers in order to avoid a push place the odds in decimal points, here Liverpool will be given an odd of (-2.5) instead of (-2) so there will be no chance for a push as no score in football ends this way.

Pick’em Bets

In a Pick’em game, when both the teams are considered equal in skill there will not be any point spread or the point spread is the same either way. So bettors can win the bet if his team manages to win the match, which is basically a money line bet.

Money Line bets or Point Spread bets – Which is better?

Money Line Bets are easier to bet on because you just need to trust you instinct on who the winner is going to be. On the other hand point spread bets even up the team selection and it’s harder to choose.

The one major difference between the two is Money Line offers a bigger reward for the underdog but with bigger odds of losing, and a smaller reward for the favourite but with less risk of losing the bet.

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