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Online Gambling USA / Betting Guide / What is a Point Spread or Side Bet? + Definition for Point Spread Explained for Online Betting

What is a Point Spread or Side Bet? + Definition for Point Spread Explained for Online Betting

Publish Date: 04/06/2020
Fact checked by: Jesse M Cox

Anyone looking to start their sports betting career needs have sports betting point spreads explained to them.

Our sports betting point spreads explained betting guide will help you understand the betting rules, explain the odds to you, teach you how to find the best sportsbooks lines, and even answer the burning question “What is a sportsbook?”
Part of understanding sports betting is having more complex betting markets, such as sports betting point spreads explained to you.

The point spread is a betting market commonly offered when the teams aren’t an equal match in their skill levels. Having sports betting point spreads explained allows you to understand how to use this betting market to your advantage.

Key Areas Covered in This Guide 

  • sports betting point spreads are explained as evening the playing field
  • Point spreads are easily recognizable
  • Spread betting bets can be won in various ways
  • Point spread betting can result in a tie
  • Sports betting point spreads are explained as being essential for fair betting

If you’re of a legal gambling age, and want to know how to bet on sports, how to sign up for a sportsbook, or just how to manage your sports betting bankroll, we’ve got you covered.

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Sports Betting Point Spreads Explained – Your Definitive Guide

If you’re just learning how sports betting works, you might be asking yourself, “what does a point spread mean?” You need to have sports betting point spreads explained.

It’s a commonly asked question. Sports betting point spreads are explained here in an approachable way. Not all teams playing each other will be an equal match in their level of skill and there needs to be a way to account for that so that you can place a fair bet.

To even the playing field, teams are fairly handicapped against each other, and the point spread reflects this. A point spread indicates the number of points given to or taken from each team. The point spread can be considered a carefully calculated prediction of how much a particular team is likely to win or lose by, in that match.

It’s also important to understand betting rules, as well as the best sportsbooks lines.

How to Tell If a Point Spread Has Been Applied

When viewing the odds board, you can tell if a point spread has been applied by noting that the name of a team or individual has either a plus or minus sign after it and a number associated with that sign.

The odds of sports betting point spreads are explained thus. When it’s a plus sign and a number, it means that that team or individual is considered the underdog (weaker) of the two. A minus sign and a number means that this team or individual is the favored one by the number of points indicated.

Then the final score will be adjusted according to the point spread stated. The underdog will have the point spread number added to the final score, and the favorite will have the point spread number subtracted.

How to Know If You Have Won Your Point Spread Bet 

When making a straight bet, commonly referred to as a moneyline bet, the team or individual you have bet on must win for you to receive a payout. Sports betting point spreads explained properly will help you to understand that you don’t need a victory to claim winnings.

Winning in sports betting point spreads is explained as having placed your bet on the team or individual that outperformed the results predicted. It’s a more strategic bet than other types of wagers, and requires having good information to predict team performance. It’s a market that often requires more advanced betting strategies.

If you bet on the underdog, you can still win if they lost by less than the point spread indicated. If you bet on the favorite, they would need to win by more than the point spread that was determined. We call this “covering the spread.”

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How a Point Spread Bet Works 

Part of having betting strategies and sports betting point spreads explained to you, is understanding how point spread bets work. Let’s consider a hypothetical match between Team A and Team B. The odds board shows the following point spread:

Team A -5.5

Team B +5.5

You can see that Team A is the favorite, and Team B is the underdog. The numbers tell you that the oddsmaker or sportsbook believes that if Team B had a 5.5 point start, the match would be even and each team would have an equal chance of winning.

If you bet on Team A, they would need to win by more than 5.5 points for your bet to payout. If you bet on Team B, they would need to either win the match, or lose by less than 5.5 points in order for yours to be a winning bet.

Can Point Spread Betting End in a Tie?

This is a vital question when you’re reading a betting guide and having sports betting point spreads explained. Ties can, and do, happen during point spread betting. Although not very common, there are instances when the point spread is an even number. If the result of the match is that the teams or individuals end with an even score, it will still be considered a tie.

In the case of point spread betting, a tie is called a “push.” When a push occurs, all bets made will be returned to the bettors. This outcome means that you will get back the same amount as the bet that you placed because there is no winner or loser for a tied match. Now you’ve had ties in sports betting point spreads explained.

The Difference Between Traditional Betting and Spread Betting

Traditional sports betting is also known as fixed odds betting. With traditional sports betting, you bet on the outcome of the match, race, game, fight, or other events that are available for betting. Traditional wagers are “all or nothing” because you will either win or lose, depending on your bet.

As sports betting point spreads are explained, they give you a greater variety of options. Spread betting is applied to a wide range of events.

Horse racing is another event in which spread betting is fantastic. With a traditional bet, your horse would have to win for you to win. But, the way that sports betting point spreads are explained, you could bet on things like by how many lengths a particular horse will win the race. This approach gives you more options. A vital aspect of sports betting point spreads explained has now been discussed.

Now you know how to bet on sports, it’s time to get out there and give it a go.

Why Is Spread Betting Needed?

To have sports betting point spreads explained adequately, you must understand why there is a need for it. Quite simply, because not all teams are an equal match, it is necessary to try and ensure that equal betting occurs on both sides of a match and spread betting helps to do this. If a point spread were not applied to unevenly matched teams or individuals, then everyone would just bet on the favorite every time.

Sports betting point spreads are explained as helping to create a fair betting culture.

How to Be a Successful Spread Bettor

Having sports betting point spreads explained means knowing how to be a successful spread bettor. These are some of the things you can do to increase your success rate when placing point spread bets:

  1. Analyze the game – get to know the events that you want to bet on so that you understand what a more likely outcome is going to be
  2. Know the players – whether it is a sports match, horse race, or any other event, learn as much as possible about who or what you will be betting on
  3. Consider the conditions – weather, fields, and other conditions can significantly affect the outcome of any event, so it’s essential to consider these before placing your bet
  4. Study the stats – studying the stats from previous events can offer insight into where you should place your bet, and what spreads are likely to be successful
  5. Pick wisely – it is usually better to choose just a few events that you think will be successful, rather than randomly placing bets on many events

Ready to give it a go? Our guides on how to bet on sports and how to sign up for a sportsbook will help you get betting in no time at all.

Now that you’ve had sports betting point spreads explained, you’ll want to keep learning. In addition to sports betting point spreads explained, we have many sports betting guides which cover the most basic aspects of gambling.

We also have sports betting strategies like how to win at cricket betting and matched betting strategies. Our experts make sure we only provide betting strategies that work and profitable racing strategies.

Additionally, we have tons of handy online casino guides, summaries of which slot machines pay the best, and comparisons of slot games.

Our betting strategies will have you gambling over under in no time, as it teaches you to make value bets when you’re sports betting.

Successful Spread Betting – The Conclusion

We hope that you’ve enjoyed our sports betting point spreads explained article. Now that sports betting point spreads are explained, you can see that this approach enables fair betting.

It also gives you multiple ways to win wagers because it doesn’t need a straight-forward victory by either side. You can use spread sports betting to your advantage and increase your chances of winning. Happy and successful spread betting!

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