Most sport bettors know the points spreads for football but few realize how significant they are in the college ranks. In addition, while the point spreads do have a significant impact on the probabilities of a team winning, there is a lot of additional risk involved in betting on the spreads. Consequently, owners of the NFL gambling lines are increasingly seeking the best strategies to take advantage of this risk and provide their players with the best possible probabilities and odds to win.
In order to understand the reasons for the different betting probabilities assigned to points spreads, it is important to have a basic understanding of the way odds are calculated. If you understand how this is done, you will be better prepared to use the point spread to your advantage when placing your bets.
When betting on football, you have several different betting options. You can bet the money line or the over/under. Betting the money line is the most common option used in football betting. To explain this further, if there were 10 teams in the NFL competition, and the odds on a team were 6,5,5, or even 6, you would bet on the team with the greatest possibility of winning, 6 to 5. This is expressed by a number preceded by a plus (+) or minus (-) sign. The number indicates the particular team that you think will win. If you think a team will win, you bet the money line. If you are going to bet against a team, you bet the over/under.
The plus sign in the number indicates that you are betting on a team to win; the minus sign indicates that you are betting on a team to lose. In the example NFL football team two, the odds would be 6.5 on a -6.5 spread. The favorite team, the Ravens, would be 6 points better than the Raiders, the oddsmakers would have to payout to you as a $7 for every $6 you bet. Each block is called a point spread and the numbers behind the spread are how much you have to bet in order to win $1. The bookmakers are required to put a number of teams on the board to make the point spread line balanced. This makes sure that there is an even amount of teams paid for every dollar wagered.
In the NFL the point spread is often called the “DewaGG“. You might see a line set for 6.5, 7, or 8 points. What this means is the estimated amount of points the team needs to win in order for you to win $100. If you bet the over, you will win $100 for every $100 you bet. If you bet the under you will win $110 for every $100 you bet. In sports betting this is known as a push, since your team does not need to win by the specific amount. Rather the determined by how much a team wins or loses.
The best way to show how to read the point spread is to imagine the NFL betting the over and under as well as the free basketball spread. Now let’s say the over is -6 and you bet $100 on the over. Your payout will be $140, but you have to risk $100 to win $140. Since the over is usually a lot higher than the spread, this is a good return for betting the over. In the NBA, the number might be around 10 points. When you bet under you will win $100 for every $100 you wager. When you bet over, the payout is $180, but you have to risk $110 to win $100. Since the over is a lot lower than the spread, this is a great bet for a basketball bet since you are not risking much to win a lot.
In baseball, the points spread is near the bottom of the moneyline. You will often see the points spread listed as -1.5, -1.8, -3, -3.5, -5, -6.5, etc. The first couple of values are the decimal equivalent of the fraction. For example, -1.5 is 5% and -1.8 is 6%. The -3.5 is the 2000% to make the odds larger. A positive sign adjacent to a fraction indicates a preference for this bet. The -5 and -6.5 indicate the favorite and underdog odds, respectively. In the NFL the point spread is the bottom of the moneyline.