Spread betting is the most popular way to place a wager on a football or a basketball game at an online sportsbook. This page explains what a spread bet entails and how to place one.
What is a Spread Bet?
There is normally a clear favorite and an underdog on a football or basketball game. If you bet on the favorite, your chances of winning are strong, but you may not receive a particularly attractive payout. You will get a much larger payout on the underdog, but your chances of success are comparatively slim.
The point spread removes this issue. The betting sites will give the favorite a points handicap, which allows them to offer similar odds (normally -110) on either team covering the resulting point spread.
How to Place a Spread Bet
You have two options when placing a spread bet, as you can bet on either team to cover. For example, if the Miami Heat are the 3.5-point favorites against the Charlotte Hornets, you can either bet on Miami -3.5 or Charlotte +3.5.
If you bet on the Heat, they need to win by at least 4 points. If you bet on the Hornets, they can win the game or lose up to 3 points.
When you have made your decision, click on the team you think will cover the spread. That selection will then be added to the betslip, which should automatically pop up on your safe betting site.
Type in the amount you want to bet on the team to cover the spread and it will tell you the return you will get. If you are happy with that return, click to confirm, and you will have placed a spread bet.