What is a point spread?
Before you can place a bet on the point spread you first need to understand what it is. If you are reading this article then you have probably tried to understand this way of betting before, and you’ve failed. So here is a brief explanations of point spread as simply as I can put it. It is still really difficult to understand point spread betting unless you are a gambling expert or a mathematician, but here it is.
How to Bet the Point Spread
The spread means that a bookie places a point value on a game that you then bet against or for. Let me try to explain. Let’s say that a bookie decides the point spread is 4 for a game between a basketball team from LA like the Lakers and the Houston Rockets, With LA being the favorite to win because they are currently undefeated. In this scenario the LA team is called the favorite while the Houston team is the underdog. So you decide to place a bet on Houston to win. In the end the score is 10 to 13 in favor of LA, so ordinarily this would mean that you lost the bet but point spread may work in your favor, the spread given by the bookie was 4 which means the underdog team is given 4 extra points by the bookie, so 10 + 4=14 14 is greater than the LA score of 13 so you’ve won the bet.
Point spread betting is based on giving the underdog team an advantage while giving the favorited team a handicap and since bookies make a commission with this type of bet since they act as a third part, point spread is beneficial to both the bookie and the gambler, though for the gambler there is more of an element of chance involved.
Winning and Losing
Now let’s go to the flipside, say you are a LA Lakers fan and they are the prohibitive favorite so you bet that they will win by a 2-point margin. In this scenario the final score is 15 to 10 in favor of the Lakers, so they won by 5 points but you still have the 4 point spread and in the case of the favorite it is deducted from the score. So you take the score of 15 and minus 4, 15-4=11 so now LA has only won by 1 point so you lost the bet. This may still be hard to understand but really all you need to remember is that gambling is always designed to benefit the house not the gambler.