There are different wager types in sports betting. Bookmakers offer traditional single bets where you only decide which team, or individual, will win or lose the match, or whether the match will end in a draw. They also offer more complex betting combinations such as accumulator bets and point spreads.
Therefore, the questions that deserve a considered answer are:
- What are point spreads or betting lines?
How do you determine whether it is a good idea to wager on a specific point spread?
Let’s start out by considering a definition of point spreads, and by inference, the second question will also be answered.
What are point spreads: A case study?
At the outset of this discussion, it is essential to be cognisant of the fact that should you wish to wager on point spreads, you must first sign up with a sports betting agency. When you do so, there will be an opportunity to boost your bankroll by accepting a welcome bonus offer such as the William Hill bonus.
It is interesting to note that point spread betting is the most popular form of sports betting. Therefore, it is critical to gain a comprehensive understanding of both the concept and the practical application thereof.
Wikipedia.com defines spread betting as “any of various types of wagering on the outcome of an event where the pay-off is based on the accuracy of the wager, rather than a simple “win or lose” outcome.”
A spread is a range of outcomes, and the wager is whether the outcome is above or below the spread. The oddsmaker determines the values of the spread based on the statistical analysis of the match participants’ performance over time.
As described above, the purpose of spread betting is to “even the odds” or provide both an advantage and disadvantage based on the given margin of success or defeat for a specific team. In other words, the favourite team is at a disadvantage because they need to win the game by a predetermined number of points. And, the underdog is at an advantage because they must not lose the game by the same number of points.
As an elucidation of this concept, let’s consider the following example.
As with American or Moneyline odds, the minus symbol indicates the favourite team. And the plus sign indicates the underdog.
Therefore, let’s look at the betting slip of an American NFL game between New York and Dallas that uses point spreads.
New York -4.5 (-110)
Dallas +4.5 (+110)
The first thing to notice is that, based on the plus and minus signs, New York is the favourite to win the match, while Dallas in the underdog. Additionally, because New York is the favourite to win, they must win the game by 5 or more points. And, because Dallas is the underdog, they either need to win the game or lose the game by four points or less.
Finally, if the final match score is New York 20-17 Dallas, New York only wins by three points; therefore, they did not cover the spread. They needed to win by 5 points or more. On the other hand, Dallas covered the spread because they lost by less than 4 points. They lost by 3 points.