Ever since its invention about 70 years ago by a mathematician turned bookmaker, spread betting has experienced a steady increase in popularity, to the point that today it’s well know in both Europe and North America. Next you’ll learn the essential aspects of one of its variants, namely point spread betting.
In contrast to fixed-odds betting, point spread rewards wagers based on their accuracy, rather than relying exclusively on the outcome of a match (win or lose). The way it works is straightforward: points are added or deducted from the final score of each of the two competing teams, which are labeled as either the favorite or the underdog.
Most bookmakers assign “+” to the underdog and “-” to the favorite. Whether or not you win the bet depends on the final score that results after the point spread is added to or deducted from the score with which the match concluded.
The following are the funpoingdamental rules of point spread betting.
• To win the bet the team you wagered on must remain ahead after the point spread has been applied.
• Some bookmakers allow you to modify the point spread for special events; all you have to do is purchase points.
• To avoid a push (which occurs when after the application of point spread to the outcome of a match the result is a tie) bookmakers use either half-point fractions or specify before the contest that ties win or ties lose.
• Normally, point spread bets cannot be placed on teams that are clashing. Moreover, it cannot be placed alongside a fixed-odd bet on the same competitor.
A bookmaker features a spread of 5 points for an upcoming contest, leaving a potential bettor with two possible choices:
1. Go with the underdog “+” (take the points). With this choice, if the final score of the underdog plus the spread points beats the favorite’s score then the bettor wins.
◦ Outcome before spread points are added: underdog 70 – favorite 74
◦ Outcome after spread points are added (+5): underdog 75 – favorite 74 (Win)
2. Go with the favorite “-” (give the points). With this choice, if the final score of the favorite minus the spread points beats the underdog’s score then the bettor wins.
◦ Outcome before spread points are added: Underdog 70 – Favorite 74
◦ Outcome after spread points are deducted (-5): Underdog 70 – Favorite 69 (Win)
One of the reasons for point spread betting’s increasing appeal is its riskiness, which fascinates many gamblers: with point spread betting you can lose on a bad day all your money; similarly, on a good day you can become rich. Moreover, the way point spread bets are designed favors bookmakers who, after changing the point spread until it reaches certain levels, can ensure that there will be a relatively equal number of bettors on each side of the contest. This in turn allows bookmakers to earn directly from commissions and avoid relying on the the outcome of the game.