If you’re new to the world of online gambling, you’re probably wondering about the different types of bets. Perhaps the most popular bet type for online gamblers is the points spread bet, but what exactly is it? On this page, we’re going to let you know everything you need to know about points spread betting, so you’ll be able to go ahead and place this type of bet online.
Points spread betting is sometimes known as equaliser betting, while abroad it is referred to as handicap betting. It works like this: one of the teams will have points added to their total, while the other will have points deducted. This helps to even the playing field. So, if you place a bet on a team that has +4.5, you’ll win even if your chosen team loses by up to four points.
Perhaps an example can be used. We want you to imagine this: the Los Angeles Rams are taking on the Seattle Seahawks and the points spread betting looks like this:
- Los Angeles Rams -5.5 (-110)
- Seattle Seahawks +5.5 (-110)
This essentially means that the Seahawks get a 5.5-point head start. So, if the game ends 41-38 in favour of LA, those who bet on the Seahawks would still win, as they’d be able to tack on the extra 5.5 points. It might sound complicated at first, but you’ll soon get the hang of it once you start making points spread bets.
If the points spread is a whole number (i.e. not 4.5, for example), there is the chance that the match could end as a tie. If this is the case, you will generally find that the bet is deemed a push. This means that the gambler won’t win any money, however they will have their bet refunded to them. Some sportsbooks will state that ties win or ties lose though, so there’s no chance of them having to spend time refunding money. You should check this before placing a bet, as it could affect how favourable the odds are.
The Advantages to Points Spread Betting
There is one huge advantage to points spread betting, and it is this: it makes every game an interesting one. Even if you have a potential Super Bowl winner taking on a team that’s 0-10, you’ll still find that they’re well matched, as the worse team will have extra points given to them. So, even if the game looks all over, those betting on the points spread could still find themselves in business.
Another advantage is the fact that points spread betting allows you to pick a team to win on their current form. Do you think that the previously mentioned 0-10 is improving? If so, a bet on them could be a great idea. Or perhaps you think that the potential Super Bowl champions are on the slide, so you decide to bet against them.
You’ll also find that there are often a number of different points spread markets for a single game. So, you might find that you can bet on a team with +4.5, +6.5 and +8.5 points. This extra choice gives you even more opportunity to use your instincts and pick the spread that looks best to you. It also means a wider set of odds, so you can potentially win more if you managed to make a really good bet.
The Disadvantage of Points Spread Betting
There’s only one real disadvantage to points spread betting, and it’s this: there is no way you’re going to find a bet that is almost certain to be correct. There are some people who like betting on the sure-fire favourite, keen to win a smaller amount but safe in the knowledge that the bet will almost certainly be a good one. With points spread betting though, every game should be close to a 50/50 matchup. Most agree that this makes betting on a match far more exciting though.
How Points Spread Betting Odds Change
It is generally the case that the sportsbook wants to have an equal number of bets on either side of the market. By doing this, they give themselves the best chance possible of making a profit from the game. To keep things equal, they will therefore change the odds as bets are placed.
So, for example, let’s go back to that match-up between the Rams and the Seahawks. If the sportsbook finds that there’s a rush of people betting on the Rams, they will alter the odds, in a bid to persuade more people to bet on the Seahawks. It’s a fine balancing act, but one that the sportsbooks are very well-versed in.
The best gamblers will instinctively know if the odds are going to go up or down and will place their bet at just the right time. It can be very annoying to suddenly find the odds rising after you’ve placed your bet, however it is really satisfying when you make a bet and then see other people having to accept lower odds.