Sports Betting Dictionary
31.07.2023, 09:58
27.05.2024, 05:11

Unraveling the Pointspread: The Heart of Sports Betting

A 'Pointspread' is a fundamental concept in sports betting, acting as a virtual handicap that levels the playing field between two unevenly matched teams. It is the estimated margin of victory or defeat for the teams in an upcoming match.

The concept of a 'Pointspread' can be traced back to Charles K. McNeil, a mathematics teacher from Connecticut who became a bookmaker in Chicago in the 1940s. It was introduced to offset the innate advantage of one team over the other, thereby making the betting proposition close to even.

Term Origin

A pointspread represents the number of points the favourite team is expected to outscore the underdog. For instance, if 10 points over Team B favour Team A, the point spread is 10. Team A must win the game by 11 or more points for its bettors to win their bets. Conversely, those betting on Team B will win their bets if Team B wins the game or loses by nine points or less. If Team A wins by exactly 10 points, the bet is a 'push', meaning the bet is a tie.

Similar Terms

'Pointspread' intersects with other betting terms such as 'Cover' (when a team wins or loses within the pointspread), 'Favorite' (the team expected to win), and 'Underdog' (the team expected to lose).

Examples of Usage of ‘Pointspread’ in Sports Betting

Example 1

A sports analyst might say, "The Patriots are playing the Jets this weekend with a pointspread of -7. This means the Patriots are favoured to win by more than 7 points."

Example 2

In a betting guide, the author could write, "Understanding the pointspread is critical for any bettor. It's not enough for the favourite to win; they must 'cover the spread'."

Example 3

A bettor might say, "I believe the underdog will cover the spread in tonight's game. They might not win, but I think the game will be closer than the pointspread suggests."


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