Betting the point spread is by far the most popular bet at any online sportsbook. This is mostly because it’s the main staple for football bettors. When you’re betting the point spread you’re betting on a team to win by a certain number of points which is set by the book. You can also go the other way and bet on a team to lose by fewer than a certain number of points as well.
Let’s take a closer look at point spread betting with this example.
New England -7.5
This is how a point spread would look at an online spots books. Here the Patriots are a 7.5-point favorite versus the Jets. Whenever you see a minus number beside a team that means they are the favorite. If there is a plus number beside a team they are the underdog.
So, the Patriots are a 7.5-point favorite. What does that mean? It essentially means they start the game trailing the Jets by 7.5 points. So, to win the game against the spread New England has to beat the Jets by more than 7.5 points. The final score of this game was Patriots 30 – Jets 21. Since the Patriots won by nine points and covered the spread anyone who bet on the Patriots in a winner.
Let’s say the final score was Patriots 30 – Jets 25 instead. In this case anyone betting on the Patriots loses because they did not cover the 7.5 points. However, if you were to bet on the Jets here you would win your bet even though the Jets lost the game. That is because to win against the spread the Jets only had to lose by fewer than 7.5 points.
Spread betting is most popular in football, but it is not limited to it. Along with NFL and college football you can also find spread betting in the NBA and college basketball.