The sports betting world is filled with different types of bets that you can place. Different players like engaging in different options for this. One such betting possibility is spread betting. Yet it is ideal to know how the point spread works when sports betting in South Africa. That’s why we have put together a guide for you to follow, so that you can understand this method of wagering.
What Is Point Spread Betting?
Point spread betting serves as the most popular form of sports betting within the United States of America. Its primary purpose is to create an opportunity to wager money on teams or players in a match by assessing their relative strength against one another.
The point spread surrounds the scoring units in the sport you’re betting on – so goals for soccer betting or runs in cricket wagering, for example. Through this type of bet, the aim is to create as level a playing field as possible between the two options, and this is displayed in the form of a projected margin of victory.
Let’s use an example to explain this further. In rugby, the New Zealand All Blacks are often a top-ranking team. Should they play a match against the Italian gli Azzurri, the likelihood is that the Kiwis will destroy them.
The point spread allows you to assess the margin by which you believe the All Blacks will win. So, if you believe they will win by at least four tries, then you could wager on this being the case. You’re betting on the margin of victory within the game, and most of the time the stronger team/player is favoured by a certain number of points.
How Point Spreads Are Displayed
You’ll find point spread betting to be particularly popular if you opt to wager on basketball or even American football, for example. You may see that the Kansas City Chiefs NFL team are the favourite to win against a team like the New England Patriots.
This would see the latter team listed as the underdog, formatted with a “+” sign. It will also display the number of points that an oddsmaker believes the team may lose by. The opposite would be true for the Chiefs, who would have the “-“ next to their number (of how much the oddsmaker believes the team will win by).
If the Chiefs are listed with -14.5 and the Patriots have +14.5, you can tell which the favourite team is to win. The odds for those point spreads would then be listed below.
The point spread represents the oddsmaker’s best guesses at the numerical separation between two competitors first, and then the betting market’s best guesses. In our NFL example, if you wagered on the Chiefs, the team would need to win by at least 15 points for your bet to be a winner. Of course, the larger the number, the bigger the points gap is expected to be.
A Note About ‘Covering the Spread’
The spread does play a role in the betting outcome of a game quite often. For an example of this, you can look at the 2020 Kansas City Chiefs versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers game. The week 12 match saw the Chiefs travel to Florida and win the home team 27-24. The Chiefs had a point spread of -3 while the Buccaneers had a point spread of +3. It was -3.5 that was the closing line. In this instance, the Chiefs won the game but did not “cover the spread” or win by more than the handicap.
If you take the 27 points won by the Chiefs and minus the 3.5 closing line, you reach a total of 23.5. The final score of the Buccaneers was 24, which is greater than the 23.5 of the Chiefs. Thus, the points spread bet at -3.5 lost.
In the same vein, the Buccaneers lost but they did cover the spread. 24 + 3.5 equates to 27.5. And since 27.5 is greater than 27 (the final score of the Chiefs), the sportsbooks offering +3.5 on the team provided payouts to anyone who had backed this market.
Just bear that in mind when considering taking part in point spread betting.
About the author
The creator of this project is not just another writer but he is, first and foremost, a passionate online gaming player. His attention to detail means he spends hours studying and trying out innovative new techniques in order to write content that is engaging and truly informative for the users of this blog. When he's not writing, you can find him in Macau and Las Vegas, with sunglasses and the ever-present cigar.