As known from:
USA Today logoVOX logoVentureBeat logo
VA
Online Gambling Sites US > Betting Guide > What Is The Spread In Sports Betting 2024: Explained for Beginners from Experts
Contains commercial content

What Is The Spread In Sports Betting 2024: Explained for Beginners from Experts

Publish Date:19/05/2023
Fact checked by: Heather Williams

Spread betting is an important tool for any sports bettor, and anyone who doesnโ€™t understand it is missing out. For that reason, we have created this short guide to fill in any gaps in your knowledge.

While the principle is quite simple, to have spread betting explained properly you need additional information about how sportsbooks work. This way, not only will you have a better grasp of spread betting, but you will also know when it is best to use it for your own betting style.

What is the spread in sports betting?

The spread is an additional factor created by sportsbooks to make some betting markets more appealing to bettors. For instance, in a football game, if the sides were so mismatched that the odds for the favorite were -400, most of the money would be going there. This is not the ideal situation for sportsbooks as they prefer to have money on both sides of the game. To even things up a little, they might calculate what the difference in the score might be โ€“ for instance 15 points in a football match or three goals in a hockey game.

This difference is called the spread and will be presented as an additional market with a new set of odds based on that. This means in the above example, if you were betting against the spread, the favorite would have to win by at least 15 points for your wager to be a winner.

What affects the spread?

The spread is calculated by the sportsbook, but there are many things that go into that calculation. The first and most obvious factor is the relative ability of the two teams, but of course, it goes much further than that. They would also look at a range of other factors like recent form โ€“ for instance where one team was, on paper, much better than another, but had lost the last few games against poorer opposition.

Head-to-head records would also come into it, as every side has a โ€˜bogeyโ€™ team, one they canโ€™t seem to beat no matter what. There can also be โ€˜grudgeโ€™ matches against long term or local opposition, which are also occasions where the game might not go to form.

When should you choose spread betting?

Once betting the spread is explained, you will have a better idea of whether or not betting against the spread is the right move for you instead of just taking the moneyline option when placing your wager. In the example above with the favorite sitting at -400, you would be risking $400 to win $100. If you like to keep risk to a minimum, you might well pass that one by. On the other hand, if there was a wager with a negative point spread of -15 with odds of -110, you might be tempted, as you would only be risking $110 to win that same $100 should the favorite cover the spread.

On the other hand, you have another option to bet on the underdog. By betting the spread, you can back the underdog to lose by less than those 15 points, which again might be a less risky option than backing them on the moneyline market. As most sportsbooks like to find a spread where both options have odds of around -110, you would again be wagering $110 to win $100.

There can also be opportunities for bettors if they feel the best betting sites have got the spread slightly wrong. You might, for instance, feel that -15 is too much and while the favorite should win, it is unlikely that they will win by that much. Alternatively, you might feel this is nowhere near enough and the favorite should win by a much greater margin. Both of these instances could also provide much better value than the moneyline option, but as always the choice is ultimately yours.

Conclusion - learn what you need to know about spread betting with this guide

Having spread betting explained can help you look for other options when the odds of a contest do not fit in with your betting style. They can provide an alternative to moneyline betting, which when added to parlay bets or wagering on the under-over markets will give you a larger set of tools to improve your betting experience.

If however, you are unaware of what parlay betting is or donโ€™t know your way around the under-over markets, you will find the best betting guides elsewhere on this site that will tell you what you need to know.

Our favorite betting offers

Bet365
1.
Favicon
4.7/5
First Bet Safety Net up to $1000 OR Bet $5 and Get $150
Virginia
Players from Virginia accepted
Requirements (WR): 1x Bonus, Min. Deposit: $10
Go to Bet365
Get bonus now
At bet365 we don't do ordinary, that's why if you sign up now you'll get the choice of two great New Customer Offers, the First Bet Safety Net up to $1000 or Bet $5 and Get $150 in Bonus Bets. Deposit required. Bonus Bets wager excluded from returns. T&Cs, time limits and exclusions apply. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-Gambler 21+
BetMGM
2.
Favicon
4.7/5
Up To $1500 in Bonus Bets Paid Back if your First Bet Does Not Win
Virginia
Players from Virginia accepted
Min. Deposit: $10
Go to BetMGM
Get bonus now
T&Cs apply, 21+
FanDuel
3.
Favicon
4.6/5
Bet $5 Get $200 in Bonus Bets if your bet wins
Virginia
Players from Virginia accepted
Requirements (WR): 1x Deposit, Min. Deposit: $10
Go to FanDuel
Get bonus now
T&Cs apply, 21+
Caesars
4.
Favicon
4.5/5
100% up to $1000
Virginia
Players from Virginia accepted
Requirements (WR): 1x Deposit
Copy
Get bonus now
T&Cs apply, 21+
DraftKings
5.
Favicon
4.5/5
โ€“
Virginia
Players from Virginia accepted
Requirements (WR): 1x Deposit
Get bonus now
T&Cs apply, 21+

Spread betting explained FAQ

๐Ÿ’กWhat is the spread in sports betting?

The spread is a term you will see and hear often in sports betting circles, but not everyone knows how it works. Our latest guide will explain what a spread is, what affects how it is calculated, and when you might be better off using it.

๐Ÿ’ญWhy are the odds different in spread betting?

Spread betting is a useful tool that many bettors can use to their advantage, but only when they know how it works. By reading our latest guide, you will see why the odds are different for spread betting, and find out what difference that could make to your betting experience..ย 

๐Ÿ’ฐ Do you win more with spread betting than moneyline?

Spread betting and moneyline bets are very different, and while winnings are not guaranteed, one type might fit your betting style better than others. To see what is involved when betting the spread as opposed to straight money wagers, check out our latest guide, and you will be able to decide which is best for you.

๐Ÿ’ธ Is Spread betting legit?

With different odds and extra numbers on the betting lines, you might wonder if spread betting is for real. To get the lowdown on how spread betting works, read our short guide which will tell you what all of those extra numbers mean, and then you can decide if you want to try it for yourself.

Read Also
Best Kentucky Sportsbooks 2024
Kentucky sports betting has finally been legalized after the passing of bill ...
Solana Casinos
Bettors stand to gain several advantages playing at Solana casino sites, including ...
Bet365 Promo
Best Sweepstakes Casino List 2024
Here at The Game Haus, we enjoy winding down with free-to-play slots ...
Fortnite Betting Sites: Find The Best Options To Tip And Win In-Game Loot
Fortnite is a battle royale game with a straightforward objective - the ...
Dota 2 Betting Guide: Top Tips for Beginners
If youโ€™re looking for information on how to get started with betting ...
Top Betting Sites
Bet365
Bet365
Bet365 Review
4.7/5
BetMGM
BetMGM
BetMGM Review
4.7/5
FanDuel
FanDuel
FanDuel Review
4.6/5
Caesars
Caesars
Caesars Review
4.5/5
DraftKings
DraftKings
DraftKings Review
4.5/5
Top Betting Bonuses
Bet365
Bet365 Bonus
First Bet Safety Net up to $1000 OR Bet $5 and Get $150
T&Cs apply
4.7/5
At bet365 we don't do ordinary, that's why if you sign up now you'll get the choice of two great New Customer Offers, the First Bet Safety Net up to $1000 or Bet $5 and Get $150 in Bonus Bets. Deposit required. Bonus Bets wager excluded from returns. T&Cs, time limits and exclusions apply. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-Gambler 21+
BetMGM
BetMGM Bonus
Up To $1500 in Bonus Bets Paid Back if your First Bet Does Not Win
T&Cs apply
4.7/5
FanDuel
FanDuel Bonus
Bet $5 Get $200 in Bonus Bets if your bet wins
T&Cs apply
4.6/5
Caesars
Caesars Bonus
100% up to $1000
T&Cs apply
4.5/5
BetFanatics
BetFanatics Bonus
Bet $100, Get $100 in Bonus Bets Every Day for 10 Days!
T&Cs apply
4.5/5
Our Team

21+ and present in VA. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER.

This site is using Cloudflare and adheres to the Google Safe Browsing Program. We adapted Google's Privacy Guidelines to keep your data safe at all times.

Close
Our Sports Pros recommend these awesome sports betting sites this week:
×
Your Promo Code:
The bonus offer of was already opened in an additional window. If not, you can open it also by clicking the following link:
Visit Site