For anybody who wants to try sports spread betting and doesn’t know where to begin, it’s best to get down the basics of what spread betting itself is first. Unlike ordinary betting, spread betting has a math-based rule system that you must follow, and doesn’t rely on whoever you’re betting will win so much as how well they do overall.
Virtually all sports bets have players (horses, teams…) called the “favorite” and the “underdog”. The favorite is the one most likely to win, and the underdog is the one that’s least likely to win in the gambler’s estimation. In the simplest form of betting, the one we’re all familiar with, the bet is on whether the favorite will win or not; this produces an imbalanced amount of bets in favor of the favorite, with few if any people placing their money on the underdog. Naturally, in order to make a profit, there needs to be some betting on the underdog.
Spread betting balances things out. A “spread” of points (typically 4) is established, and whether the bet wins or loses is calculated with the spread number and whether the bet is on the underdog or the favorite. Betting for the underdog is called “taking the points”; the person placing the bet wins only if the favorite’s score is less than the underdog’s score with the spread added on. Betting for the favorite is called “giving the points”; the player wins if the underdog’s score is less than the favorite’s score minus the spread.
Instead of betting on whether the favorite will win or not, the question is now whether the favorite will win by more points than the established point spread. This effectively gives the underdog a handicap. Best of all, it enables the bookmaker to make a profit whether the underdog or the favorite receives more bets.