Why Point Spread Betting Is Used In Football

What Is It?

Point spread betting is a form of sports wagering where the sportsbooks spread the risk such that the wager has a chance of winning irrespective of the team that eventually wins the game. The system bases the odds on the margin of victory or loss each team gets. The gist of spread betting is that your team should exceed expectations. It gives bettors a reason to bet on both sides.

How It Works

Of course, some football teams are better than others, and sportsbooks will treat the stronger team as the favorite while the weaker team is the underdog. When sportsbooks use point spread, the bettor only wins if the victorious team wins by a margin similar to the point spread in the offer. Typically, the favorite has a negative (-) point spread while the underdog has a positive (+) spread.

Wagers win if the underdog wins the game or loses by a margin that is lesser than the one set in the point spread. Similarly, wagers can only win the bet if the favorite wins the game by a larger margin than the one set in the point spread. If either of the teams wins or loses by the exact margin set in the point spread, then the outcome is a push, and the sportsbook refunds everyone. Most sportsbook firms set point spread numbers at 3 and 7 for football games because the margins in the final score often fluctuate between the two figures.


Ravens -3,5 (-110)

Dallas +3,5 (-110)

In the above illustration, Ravens is the favorite and needs to win by 4 or more points for the wager to win the bet. Conversely, Dallas is the underdog and has to win or lose by 3 points or less for the bettor to win the prize. If the Ravens win by 15-12, the wagers who bet on them lose their money while those who chanced on Dallas win the prize. Also, note that you would get the prize if Dallas won 15-14 despite them being the underdogs.

What Does The Winner Get?

If you had bet on the Ravens to win, then the betting house would refund the $110 you had bet and award you a prize of $100. Therefore, you would walk away with $210 for your troubles. However, if you lose, the sportsbook operator keeps all the $100 you had bet.

How Spread Affects Odds

Typically, point spread bets are set with odds of -110, which is the house edge. The bettor then stakes $110 for a prize of $100. The odds ensure that the betting house accrues some revenue even when results go against it. Sportsbook firms seek to collect equal amounts from either side of a point spread. When results go in their favor, the profit margin of these firms matches their vigorish.

Sportsbooks often set the point spread in a way that induces bettors to wager on the outcome that does not attract many bets. This can involve changing the odds to reflect the changing fortunes of a team. For instance, a sportsbook can set odds on Monday for a game that will be played on Sunday and change them mid-week to favor a particular outcome. This means that you have to be careful when betting because a seemingly attractive odd can be misleading and cause you to lose the bet.

Difference between Whole Number and Half-Number Spreads

Whole number bets are wagers that can be matched by either of the teams. In contrast, no side can match a half-number spread. This means that bettors are guaranteed of a win or a loss in a half-number while a whole number can result in a push. Most sportsbook firms favor the half-number odds because they always produce a winner and a loser.

Betting On Different Parts of the Game

Football fans can bet on different parts of a game. Indeed, most sportsbooks introduce new spreads at the start of the second quarter or half of a game. Fans have to guess the team that will be leading or trailing at different points and place their bet. This makes following the game very exciting because teams can change positions several times in the same match.

Why Point Spread Is More Exciting Than Moneyline Betting

Moneyline betting is the system where you can only bet on the team that will win a match. Unlike in point spreads, odds in moneyline are fixed because the scores are often very low. In moneyline betting, the favorite gets a negative scoreline while the underdog gets a positive number. These figures do not change at any point, but the payout for either team can change to reflect their chances of winning. Point spread is more fun than moneyline betting because you stand to win at different points in the same game.

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