If you have had any experience with sports betting, then you know that there are two basic types of bets that can be made. The first is the money line, or fixed odds, bet. In this type of bet, a wager is placed straight up on a team to win the game.

The problem with money line bets is that if they were the only type out there, the sports books would never make any real money. It’s pretty easy for any sports fan to pick the team that will win a game; a knowledgeable fan will be right 75% of the time. In order to balance the books, and the number of bets on each team in a given match, the books use what is known as the points spread.

The points spread is a way for bettors to predict the outcome of a match with some accuracy, rather than just an educated guess on who will win the game. In order to win, the bettor must select the team who will beat the spread.

Beating the spread means selecting the team who will have the higher score when their points totalled, plus the points in the spread, will be greater than the points total of the other team. Confused? Well, let’s see how the points spread works in the two sports where it is most popular; basketball and football.

The points spread in basketball

Because basketball is a sport in which scores tend to be relatively high the points spread is usually the preferred method of sports betting. Not only do teams score often, but the value of those baskets is higher than 1. Here is a look at how a points spread would look in a pro basketball game:

Washington Wizards +3.5
Memphis Grizzlies -4.5

The favorite team is always indicated by the minus sign. That might seem counterintuitive, but the reasoning is sound. If a person were to wager on the Grizzlies, the team must not only win, but beat the Wizards by at least five points. So, to find out if you won, you would take the Grizzlies’ final score and minus 4.5 points from it. If that figure is lower than the Wizards’ final score, you would lose the bet. If it is higher, you covered the spread (won your bet). สัตว์เลี้ยงยอดนิยม

A points spread in football

As in basketball, points spread betting is the favored method of wager as again, the scores tend to be high and the point value increased. Let’s look at a typical points spread in a pro football game:

Washington Redskins -3.5
Pittsburgh Steelers +3.5

In this example, the Steelers are the underdogs. If you bet on them, you are said to be taking the points (again, the plus sign indicates this). At the end of the game, the Steelers may have actually lost. However, if you bet the spread, you would win the bet as long as the Steelers lost by three points or less. You would also win the bet if the Steelers were to tie, or of course if they won.

Note that in both of our examples, there is a half point attached to the spreads. Sports books frequently use the half point in order to avoid tie games, where they have to return all bets made on the match.

In basketball and football, betting the spread is by far the most popular type of wager. It allows those engaging in sports betting on these games to use a little bit of extra knowledge, and offers a higher rate of return than a simple money line bet when a team covers.

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