How to Interpret and Utilize Point Spreads in Sports Betting

by | 29 Jul 2022

If you’ve ever come across point spreads in sports betting, you may have wondered how to make sense of them. Relax, because today we’re going to unravel the mysteries of spread betting. Whether you’re a seasoned bettor or a newbie trying to grasp the concept, this guide will provide the fundamental insights you need to interpret and utilize point spreads effectively. So let’s dive right in and decode the art of point spreads together.


What is a Point Spread?

To start with the basics, a point spread, also known as the “line” or “spread,” is a technique used to even out the odds between two teams in a game that might otherwise have a clear favourite. Oddsmakers set a line that predicts the expected margin of victory for one team over the other.

Related: Understanding the Different Types of Bets in Sports


Interpreting the Spread

When you come across a point spread, you’ll see a positive or negative number next to each team’s name. The team with the “-” symbol is considered the “favourite,” while the team with the “+” symbol is the “underdog.”


For instance, if the point spread is -5.5 for Team A and +5.5 for Team B, it means that Team A is expected to win by 5.5 points or more. To win a bet on Team A, they must not only emerge victorious but also secure a margin greater than 5.5 points. On the flip side, for a bet on Team B to succeed, they can either win the game or lose by fewer than 5.5 points (or win outright, of course!).

Related: Betting on the Winning Margin in Sports

Utilising Spread Betting

Spread betting offers various options to add excitement and strategy to your betting experience. Here are a few strategies to consider:


1. Covering the Spread

A common strategy involves betting on a team to “cover” the spread. In this case, you predict that the favoured team will win by a larger margin than the projected point spread. Conversely, you can bet on the underdog to cover the spread by losing by a lesser margin than predicted or by winning the game outright. This strategy allows you to support both teams, depending on their performance relative to the spread.


2. Teasers and Parlays

For those seeking a bit of thrill, teasers and parlays are options that enable you to combine multiple point spread bets into one. Teasers allow you to adjust the point spread in your favor by a selected number of points, increasing your chances of winning. Parlays involve wagering on the outcome of multiple games, with each selection dependent on the others. While parlays offer higher payouts, they also carry increased risk.


3. Understanding Key Numbers

In certain sports, such as basketball and football, specific numbers hold significance, known as “key numbers.” These numbers often represent the typical point difference observed between teams. Having knowledge of key numbers can inform your betting decisions, as spreads that fall on or around these numbers may present favourable opportunities.

Related: Developing a winning sports betting strategy for a more sustainable income



Armed with the fundamentals of point spreads, you’re better prepared to navigate the world of spread betting. Remember, it’s all about interpreting the spread, selecting the right strategy, and utilizing your knowledge to make informed decisions. So the next time you consider a bet, examine that point spread carefully and put your skills to the test.

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