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Win Every Game You Bet On With These Point Spread Tips

Sports betting offers a myriad of ways to make money by predicting the outcome of a game, including betting on the point spread. But what is the point spread exactly? Simply put, it’s a method that bookmakers use to level the playing field by giving a handicap to the favorite team and a boost to the underdog.

The point spread helps bettors make more informed decisions by providing a way to handicap both teams so that they are evenly matched in the eyes of oddsmakers. In this article, we will dive into the intricacies of point spread betting and explain how it can impact your sports betting strategy.


Definition of point spread

A point spread is a popular method used in sports betting to level the playing field between two teams who are unevenly matched. It is a way to create a more even betting situation by giving an underdog a hypothetical advantage in the form of points, while also handicapping the favored team by a corresponding number of points.

The point spread is designed to encourage betting on both sides of a game and to give the sportsbook a balanced number of bets on both teams, regardless of the outcome.

The point spread in sports betting is often denoted with a plus or minus sign. The team that is favored to win will have a minus sign in front of their point spread, while the underdog will have a plus sign. For example, if the Miami Dolphins are favored to win a game by 3 points (-3), then they must beat their opponent by at least 4 points to cover the point spread and for the bet to be a winning wager.

On the other hand, if the New York Giants are considered the underdog and have a point spread of +3, they must either win the game outright or lose by less than 3 points for the bet placed on them to be successful.

The point spread serves as a way to balance betting on both sides of a game by taking into account the skills, performance, and strengths of each team. Without the point spread, it would be difficult to create a fair and equal betting opportunity for both teams, as bettors would repeatedly place wagers on the team with the better chances of winning. The point spread encourages more thoughtful and strategic betting because it requires bettors to take a closer look at each team’s strengths and weaknesses, and to evaluate the likelihood of a particular outcome.

Importance of point spread in sports betting

Point spread is one of the most critical elements in sports betting, and its importance cannot be overstated. Point spread exists to level the playing field, making it easier for bettors and sportsbooks to determine the likelihood of a game outcome. It is a critical element to understand before placing bets or making critical decisions on any sport.

Knowing the point spread ensures that bettors understand how much a team is favored to win by as well as how much money they can expect to win or lose. In essence, the point spread is an equalizer, and it creates opportunities for everyone, regardless of the team’s skill and popularity, to profit from their bets. By focusing on the point spread, bettors can make informed decisions regarding where to place their bets and which teams to back.

Additionally, the point spread can also help bettors determine which games to avoid, as some particularly lopsided matchups could indicate that the value in the game may not be present. Therefore, understanding the relevance and importance of the point spread in sports betting is a fundamental necessity for any aspiring sports better.

How point spread is determined

Factors considered in determining point spread

When determining the point spread for a sports betting game, there are several factors that are considered by bookmakers. The first factor is the strength of each team. Bookmakers will closely evaluate the performance of each team in past games, the quality of the players and their overall form.

Another factor that is taken into consideration is home field advantage. The home team usually has an advantage over the visiting team due to familiarity with the stadium, the crowd support and the added motivation to perform well in front of their fans. Injuries to key players can also significantly affect the point spread, as bookmakers will adjust their odds to reflect the impact of the injured players on the team’s overall performance. The weather conditions can also play a role in the point spread calculation.

For example, if a game is being played in poor weather conditions such as heavy rain or snow, it could have an impact on the game and the point spread. Bookmakers will also consider the public perception of each team. If a team is very popular or has a large fan base, this can cause the bookmakers to adjust their odds in favor of that team due to the high volume of bets expected.

Finally, bookmakers will also consider the betting behavior of the public. If a large majority of the betting public is betting on one team, then the bookmakers may adjust their odds to try and balance the betting action on both sides of the game. Overall, there are many factors that are taken into consideration when determining the point spread for a sports betting game.

Examples of point spread calculation

Examples of point spread calculation can further clarify how the point spread works in sports betting. Betting lines are generated to balance the amount of money wagered on each team, rather than picking outright winners. The favorite will receive a negative spread, while the underdog will receive a positive spread.

For instance, a favorite with a -9.5 point spread means they must win by 10 or more points. When betting on the underdog with +9.5 points, the team must not lose by more than nine points to win the bet. Some of the factors considered in determining the point spread include the team’s rankings, past matchups, and player injuries. The oddsmakers use complex algorithms and other forms of data analysis to come up with the point spread values.

For instance, a highly ranked team with a solid record might receive a higher spread than a lower-ranked team. The oddsmakers also include the betting public’s perception of the teams in question. Therefore, the point spread can change within minutes of being posted based on how the public is betting, and this is referred to as the “line moving.” If a large number of bets are placed on one team, oddsmakers will adjust the line accordingly to attract more wagers on the other team, balancing the money wagered on each side.

How to read point spread odds

Understanding the plus and minus signs

In sports betting, the most common way to indicate the teams’ probability of winning is through the use of the point spread, which assigns a handicap to the favored team that it must overcome to win the bet. Understanding the plus and minus signs is crucial in interpreting the point spread odds. The plus sign denotes the underdog team, and the minus sign represents the favored team.

Bettors place a wager on the game and indicate the team with the point spread that has a plus sign or minus sign. In other words, the plus sign represents added points to the underdog team’s score, while the minus sign represents subtracted points from the favored team’s score. For example, if a bettor wagers $100 on an underdog team with a point spread of +3.5, they win the bet if the team either wins the game outright or loses by three points or less.

But if a bettor places a bet on a favored team with a point spread of -3.5, the team must win by four or more points to cover the spread and win the bet. Understanding the plus and minus signs is crucial for interpreting the point spread odds and placing sound bets that have a high chance of winning.

Interpreting the point spread odds

Interpreting the point spread odds is critical to understanding the potential outcome of a sports bet. The point spread is a handicap given by the bookmaker to one team to level the playing field and give more favorable odds to the underdog. The favorite team is given negative odds, while the underdog receives positive odds.

For example, if the point spread for a basketball game is -5.5, the favorite team must win by more than 5.5 points to cover the spread. Conversely, if the point spread is +5.5, the underdog team can lose by up to 5.5 points and still cover the spread. It is essential to remember that point spreads are not predictions of the outcome, but rather a tool used by bookmakers to balance the betting action on both sides.

When interpreting the point spread, bettors must take into account various factors that can influence the game’s outcome, such as the teams’ previous performance, injuries, weather conditions, and home-field advantage. Bettors must also understand how the half-point spread works. Half-point spreads ensure that there is no tie or push, meaning that if the team wins by the exact point spread, the bettor will receive their money back.

Bettors should also pay attention to the line movement of point spreads, which can offer insight into where the public is betting. If there is significant line movement towards the underdog, it can suggest that the public believes the underdog has a higher chance of covering the spread or even winning the game. Additionally, bettors should analyze the implied probability of the point spread to calculate the expected value of their bet.

Overall, interpreting the point spread odds is critical to making informed sports bets. Bettors must consider various factors such as the point spread, half-point spreads, line movement, and implied probability when making their decisions. With a thorough understanding of the point spread, bettors can increase their chances of making profitable and informed sports bets.

Types of point spread bets

Against the spread (ATS)

The point spread is one of the most popular types of bets in sports betting, and betting “against the spread” or ATS is a common way to wager on games. When you bet ATS, you are not simply betting on which team will win the game, but also on by how much they will win.

The point spread is essentially a handicap given to the team that is not favored to win. For example, if the point spread is -7 in favor of the Kansas City Chiefs, that means the Chiefs are expected to win by at least 7 points.

Therefore, anyone betting on the Chiefs ATS would need them to win by 8 or more points to cover their bet. On the other hand, if the point spread is +7 in favor of the underdog, that means they can lose the game by up to 6 points while still covering the spread.

When betting ATS, it is important to understand the concept of “vig,” which is the commission or fee charged by sportsbooks for taking your bet. Sportsbooks aim to have roughly equal amounts of money bet on each side of a game so that they can guarantee a profit regardless of the game’s outcome. The vig is often -110, meaning you need to bet $110 to win $100. This extra 10% is the sportsbook’s commission, and it ensures that the bookie makes a profit regardless of the game’s outcome.

Another important aspect of betting ATS is understanding line movement and getting the best possible line. Lines can move throughout the day leading up to game time, and it is important to monitor them to find the best possible line for your bet. If you think a team is undervalued by the oddsmakers, you may want to try and lock in a bet early before the line moves too much in their favor. Conversely, if you think a team is overvalued, it may be wise to wait until closer to game time to see if you can get a better line and more value.

Overall, betting ATS is a popular and exciting way to wager on sports. It allows bettors to not only pick the winner of a game but also to bet on the margin of victory. Understanding the point spread, vig, and line movement are all important factors to consider when making an ATS bet. With some research and a bit of luck, betting ATS can be a profitable and enjoyable way to engage with your favorite sports.

Point spread parlays

Point spread parlays are wagers that combine two or more point spread bets into one cohesive wager. This type of bet offers a higher potential payout than individual point spread bets but also carries a higher risk. Point spread parlays require all individual bets in the wager to be successful in order for the wager to be a winner.

In order to win a point spread parlay bet, the bettor must correctly predict the outcome of multiple games. The higher the number of games, the greater the risk involved. However, the potential payout for a successful parlay bet is significantly higher than individual bets because of the increased risk.

When placing a point spread parlay bet, bettors must take into account the same factors as with individual point spread bets, such as the team’s injury report, previous performance, and the weather conditions. It is important to remember that point spread parlays are difficult bets to win, and a single incorrect prediction will result in a lost wager. As with all gambling, it is important to exercise responsible betting habits and never exceed one’s financial means.

While point spread parlays can be a thrilling way to potentially increase winnings, bettors must be aware of the increased risk involved. It is important to do thorough research and remain disciplined in order to maximize the chances of a successful point spread parlay wager.


Another way to bet on a point spread is by using a teaser. A teaser is very similar to a parlay bet, except that the bettor has the opportunity to adjust the point spread in their favor for each game they select. This allows bettors to create their own point spread by taking points off the favorite or adding them to the underdog. However, the catch is that all of the teams included in the teaser must beat the new spread in order for the bettor to win.

Teasers are often referred to as “sucker bets” by seasoned sports bettors, but they can be a lot of fun for novice bettors who are just starting out. The key to a successful teaser bet is to find the best value for each leg of the teaser, which can be a challenge when taking into account the vigorish and the odds for each individual game.


Focusing on long-term outcomes, Futures are sports betting opportunities that allow betters to predict the results of a season or tournament. These bets involve selecting which team will win a championship, an entire tournament or a league, and related results that are due to occur in an event in the future. Unlike other betting types, this is a long-term engagement in terms of the timeframes.

Futures bets are placed before the start of the season, several weeks before the start of the tournament, or even days or hours before it starts. The earlier one places their stake in a Futures bet, the higher the odds/risk-value quota, which may translate to high rewards- in turn, as the event get closer and the certainty of the probable outcomes increases, the ratio of the return on investment decreases.

Anyone can place a Futures bet for an upcoming sporting event. However, before placing a bet, careful consideration of a team’s current form, recent trends, player composition, and the overall landscape of competing teams must be made. In making these decisions, gamblers must take factors such as statistical records related to injuries, game experiences, turnovers, penalties, play styles of the competing teams, and home-field advantages into account. These factors can have a significant impact on the possible outcomes of the bet.

In Futures betting, a point spread is an essential part of the wager. The point spread is a margin of points that a team is expected to win/lose by, created by oddsmakers. The favored team in a Futures bet is identified with the negative point spread, while the underdogs have got the positive point spread.

Futures point spreads are frequently updated before major events and games. This is done to balance the risk between the competing teams’ point spreads and make the bets more attractive to those interested in betting. The goal of betting is to predict the outcome of a particular matchup or game. With Futures bets, the objective is to predict the outcome of an entire league or tournament.

Strategies for betting on point spread

Bankroll management

Proper bankroll management is essential to successful sports betting. It is crucial to understand how to manage your betting bankroll since the goal is to make smart bets and not lose all of your funds. Bankroll management involves the process of setting a budget and determining how much you should stake on each bet. In setting a budget, it’s essential to consider your financial situation and set aside funds that you are comfortable losing.

It’s also crucial to ensure that your betting bankroll remains separate from your other funds, and you only use it for betting purposes. It’s best to bet a fixed percentage of your bankroll on each wager, typically around 1-2% per bet. Doing so means that you have a better chance of minimizing losses and avoiding the temptation to bet more than you can afford.

In addition to setting a betting budget and determining stake amounts, it’s important to track your results. Tracking the results of your bets helps you understand your profitability, evaluate your betting strategy, and determine if any necessary adjustments need to be made.

It’s also crucial to avoid chasing losses – when already losing, don’t try to recoup your losses immediately by increasing the stake amount. Doing so increases the risk of losing more, leading to poor outcomes for your betting bankroll.

Your betting bankroll is the foundation for your sports betting activities. Proper bankroll management is critical to ensuring that you don’t run out of funds. Bankroll management isn’t a guarantee of success, but it’s an essential step towards becoming a successful sports bettor.

Remember, it’s essential to stay disciplined, remain patient, and stick to your betting strategy and budget. With proper bankroll management, you can minimize your losses and maximize your profits, leading to long-term profitability in sports betting.

Research and analysis

Research and analysis are critical components of successful sports betting and bankroll management strategies. Without adequate research and analysis, it is impossible to make informed decisions about the point spread and other betting options.

The first step in conducting effective research is to gather as much information as possible about the teams, players, coaches, and other relevant factors. This information can be obtained from a variety of sources, including sports news websites, magazines, and television programs.

It is also essential to understand the different factors that can affect a team’s performance, such as injuries, weather conditions, and recent trends.

Once the necessary information has been gathered, it is imperative to analyze it critically to develop an effective betting strategy. This involves looking at the data in a holistic way and identifying trends, patterns, and other relevant information. For example, analyzing a team’s recent performance against specific opponents can give a better sense of their strengths and weaknesses, which can then be used to make more informed bets on the point spread.

It is also important to stay up-to-date on the latest betting trends and strategies. This involves regularly reviewing betting odds, monitoring the performance of other bettors, and keeping track of relevant sports news. There are many resources available for sports bettors to stay abreast of these trends, including online betting forums and discussion boards, as well as blogs and podcasts dedicated to sports betting.

In conclusion, research and analysis are critical components of any successful sports betting strategy. Conducting thorough research and critically analyzing the data can help bettors make informed decisions about the point spread and other betting options. Additionally, keeping up-to-date with the latest betting trends and strategies can help bettors refine their strategies and improve their chances of success.

Line shopping

Line shopping is one of the most critical aspects of sports betting. It involves checking the various sportsbooks’ odds and finding the best line for the game or event you want to bet on. This practice can increase your chances of winning and maximize your profits.

When you find a sportsbook that consistently offers better odds than others, you can make that your go-to sportsbook and take advantage of their favorable lines to make more profitable bets. However, it’s important to note that line shopping requires patience and discipline since it’s easier to stick to one sportsbook and place your bets there.

Additionally, you must keep track of your bets and regularly check the odds to ensure that you’re not missing out on profitable opportunities. Some of the factors you should consider when line shopping include the sportsbook’s reputation, the payment options, and the betting limits. Furthermore, you should have accounts with multiple sportsbooks to ensure that you can access the best lines when you need them.

In conclusion, line shopping is a vital component of successful sports betting that requires research, analysis, and persistence. By finding the best lines, you can increase your profits, minimize your losses, and achieve long-term success in sports betting.

Avoiding common mistakes

A common mistake that sports bettors make is not being mindful of their emotions when placing bets. This can lead to impulsive decisions, chasing losses, and ultimately, draining one’s bankroll. Another mistake is not properly managing one’s bankroll. It is crucial to establish a budget for betting and stick to it, as well as keeping track of wins and losses.

Additionally, not conducting thorough research and analysis before placing a bet can also lead to losses. It is important to gather information on teams, players, statistics, weather conditions, and any other relevant factors that may affect the outcome of a game.

Line shopping, or comparing the odds offered by different sportsbooks, is also a critical aspect of successful sports betting. By doing so, bettors can ensure that they are getting the best possible value and avoid potentially losing out on higher payouts. In summary, avoiding common mistakes in sports betting requires emotional discipline, proper bankroll management, diligent research and analysis, and line shopping.


Summary of key points

The point spread is a popular betting method that has been used for decades. It is used to balance the playing field and make wagering more enticing for bettors. In a point spread bet, the favorite sports team must win by a specific margin, while the underdog team must lose by less than that margin or win outright.

The point spread is determined by odds-makers and is based on several factors such as previous performance, current injury reports, and other key factors. It is crucial to understand the point spread before placing a bet, as it can either help or harm your chances of winning.

Additionally, the point spread can also be affected by public perception, which can lead to different spreads for the same game at different sportsbooks. Lastly, bettors should also be aware of the concept of a “push,” which means the margin of victory is exactly the point spread and results in no winner or loser. Overall, understanding the point spread and its intricacies is an important aspect of successful sports betting.

Final thoughts

In conclusion, understanding the point spread in sports betting is essential for anyone looking to place a wager on a particular team or game. When used correctly, the point spread can help level the playing field and provide a more accurate representation of a team’s chances of winning.

Bettors must be aware of the line movement and keep up with the latest information regarding game conditions, injuries, and other factors that may influence the outcome. Moreover, they must exercise caution and discipline when placing bets and always adhere to a budget, as sports betting can be risky and unpredictable.

Lastly, it is crucial to conduct thorough research before making any bets and take advantage of the many resources available, such as expert picks, betting trends, and statistical analysis. By following these guidelines and remaining knowledgeable about the point spread and other key aspects of sports betting, bettors can increase their chances of success and make more informed wagers in the future.

the point spread-FAQs

1. What is the point spread in sports betting?

The point spread refers to the margin of points by which a favored team is expected to win over the underdog team in a particular game.

2. How does the point spread work in sports betting?

Point spreads are created by odds makers and it is the amount of points by which the favorite team is predicted to win. In sports betting, the favorite team must either win by more than the point spread or not lose by more than the point spread in order to win the bet. The underdog’s bet will be successful if their team wins the game or loses by less than the point spread.

3. What happens if the point spread is tied in sports betting?

In the case of a tied point spread, a “push” occurs and no one wins the bet. The money is refunded in such cases.

4. How are point spreads determined in sports betting?

Sports books use advanced statistical analysis to determine point spreads. They take into account a variety of factors such as team records, player statistics, team injuries, recent performance, and more.

5. Can point spreads change in sports betting?

Yes, point spreads can change in sports betting For example, if a significant injury occurs to a key player on the favored team or large amounts of money are placed on one team over the other, the odds makers may change the point spread to even out the bets.

6. Is it necessary to bet on the point spread in sports betting?

No, point spread betting is just one of the many ways to place bets on sporting events. Other popular options include moneyline betting, futures betting and proposition betting.

Also Read: How To Convert Fractional Odds To Decimal Odds

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