Sports Betting Dictionary
14.08.2023, 08:55
26.05.2024, 05:03

"Spread" in Sports Betting: A Closer Look at Pointspreads

When you hear the term "spread" in the context of sports betting, it might seem abstract at first. However, once understood, the spread is one of the foundational concepts in wagering on sporting events. This article demystifies the spread, helping you grasp its significance and application.

The "spread," often synonymous with the "pointspread," is a tool bookmakers use to level the playing field between two mismatched teams. It’s a predicted margin of victory or defeat set for a game. The favoured team must win by more than the spread for bets on them to payout, while the underdog must either win outright or lose by less than the spread for wagers to be successful.

For instance, if 7 points favour Team A over Team B, the spread is 7. Bettors backing Team A need them to win by more than 7 points, while those backing Team B will want them to either win or lose by 6 points or fewer.

Term Origin

The concept of a pointspread originated in the 1940s, primarily introduced to make both teams equally attractive for bettors, ensuring balanced betting action on both sides. By doing this, bookmakers can mitigate their risk and mainly profit from the commission or "juice" charged on bets.

Similar Terms

  • Line: Often used interchangeably with spread, it refers to a particular event's current pointspread or money line.
  • Handicap: A term more commonly used in UK betting terminology, it's akin to the spread and implies giving one team a virtual deficit or advantage.
  • ATS (Against the Spread): Refers to how a team performs relative to the pointspread.

Examples of Use

  • "Despite their recent performance, Team A is still favoured by a spread of 5 points over Team B."
  • "The game ended in a tie, but since I bet on the underdog +3 spread, my bet was a winner."
  • "Always check the recent ATS records of teams before betting, as it gives a clearer picture of their performance against the spread."

In conclusion, the spread or pointspread is a critical component of sports betting, ensuring competitive wagering opportunities irrespective of the perceived strength or weakness of the teams involved.

Understanding its intricacies can significantly enhance your betting experience and decision-making process.


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