What is a Point Spread? Points Spread Betting
Point spread betting is something you hear about every day in the world of sports betting. When you are betting the spread, you are betting “ATS,” which is against the spread. If it was as easy as picking the winner, and getting paid 50/50, everyone that was legally able to would be betting on sports. ATS or point spread betting evens the playing field out, and in fact makes sports betting the difficult habit that it is today.
Basketball and Football are the two major sports which use the point spread most often. Baseball and Hockey are not used for the point spread, because they typically have less scoring, which does not provide for a point spread. Once you are able to understand the point spread and how it works, it is not a difficult concept. The point spread is an adjustment made by the bookmakers to even the game out. The point spread should not be a factor in who wins or loses the game on the field or court, but as we have seen in the past, “point shaving” has happened, which is illegal.
Let’s take a look at a few examples. First – out of the National Football League – you see this line:
St. Louis Rams +3.5 (-110) vs. Dallas Cowboys -3.5 (-110).
What this is telling us is that the Cowboys are the favorite (the better team), the team that is supposed to win this game, according to oddsmakers. The St. Louis Rams are the underdog. Dallas is giving up 3.5 points, and the Rams are getting 3.5. So when you bet with the point spread, you want to take this into account. Can the Cowboys beat the Rams by more than 3.5 points, OR can the Rams win or lose the game to Dallas by LESS than 3.5 points.
If the Cowboys win by 4 points or more, and you bet on them – you are a winner. The -110 is what they will be paying out. So for each $110 you wagered, you will win $100. If the Rams win the game, or even lose by three points or less, and you bet on them – you win. The same applies, since they were listed at +3.5. Since it is 3.5, the game cannot end in a push. If the line was three, and the final was 27-24 Dallas; this would be a push, and you would just get your wager back.
Be sure to check out what it takes to win at point spread betting. Certainly it is not easy, but it is a very common form of betting. The National Basketball Association allows for point spread betting as well. So if the Dallas Mavericks are at -4.5 over the Memphis Grizzlies, Dallas would have to win by 5 points or more to “cover.” Find out where to bet on the point spread at your favorite sportsbook and begin building your bankroll with teams that “cover the spread.”