Sports Betting Strategy: Spread Betting
Many betting fans love spread betting as it offers them the opportunity to rack up massive profits by outfoxing a team of odds compilers. It is a lot more volatile than traditional, fixed-odds betting, and you can incur much higher losses if your predictions are incorrect, so you must approach it with caution. However, it provides you with an exciting opportunity to cash in on your sporting expertise and it is a valuable tool for your gambling strategy.
What “The Spread” Means in Sports Betting
The trading team at a spread betting site will make a number of predictions on a sporting event and each one is referred to as a spread. For instance, they might predict that there will be 2.9-3.1 goals in a football match between Arsenal and Liverpool. You then have two options:
- Buy – if you think there will be more than 3.1 goals in the game, you would buy.
- Sell – if you think there will be less than 2.9 goals in the game, you would sell.
Let’s say you buy for £100 and it finishes 2-2. That means there are 4 goals in total, which is 0.9 above the price of 3.1 that you bought at. The difference is multiplied by your stake to calculate your profit (4 – 3.1 = 0.9 and 0.9 x £100 = £90). You would, therefore, make a profit of £90.
If it finished 3-2, you would be 1.9 over the price you bought at, and your profit would be £190. If it finished 3-3 or 4-2, you would be 2.9 over the price you bought at, and you would earn a £290 profit. The more right you are, the greater the profit you earn. However, if you buy at 3.1 for £100 and the game finishes 1-1, the total goals would be 1.1 below the price you bought at and you would incur a loss of £110.
If you were to sell at 2.9 for £100 and it finished 0-0, you would earn a £290 profit, as the total goals would be 2.9 below the price you sold at. If it finished 1-0, your profit would be £190, while a 1-1 draw or a 2-0 win would earn you £90. A 2-1 win would see you lose £10, a 3-1 win would see you lose £110 and so on.
Football Spread Betting
Spread betting sites will make a huge number of predictions on a particular football match. You might see them offer a spread of 2.7-2.9 on total goals and 9.75-10.25 on total corners. In each instance, you either buy or sell, depending on whether you think the traders have pitched it too low or too high.
You will find a Win Index on either team. Liverpool might have a Win Index of 14-15.5 and Arsenal’s might be 9-10.5. In this case, the winner gets 25 points. If you buy at 15.5 on Liverpool for £10 and they win, you would make a profit of £95 (25 – 15.5 = 9.5 and 9.5 x £10 = £95).
Other markets include total goal minutes, the cumulative shirt numbers of the goalscorers, correct score markets, handicaps, bookings and many more. All you need to remember is that in each case there is a price you can sell at and a price you can buy at. The more the market moves in your favour, the more you win.
NFL Spread Betting
You will also find a number of exciting spread betting options on a particular NFL game. You might see the Philadelphia Eagles given a spread of 78-84 in the 100 Win Index when they face the Washington Redskins. In this market, the winner gets 100 points and the loser gets 0.
If you think the Eagles will win, buy at 84, and if you think they will lose, sell at 78. If you buy at 84 for £10 and they win, you earn a £160 profit. If you sell at 78 and they lose, you earn a massive £780 profit off a £10 stake. Yet you run the risk of suffering big losses, so you have to be careful.
You will also find classic spread betting options like total points. The traders might predict that there will be 44-47 points in the game. If you think it will be a high-scoring affair, buy at 47. If you think it will be tight and cagey, sell at 44. The more right you are, the higher your profit.
You sometimes hear NFL commentators talking about a team “covering the spread”. In this instance, they are simply talking about fixed-odds handicap betting. You might see a point spread market that has the Eagles -10 and the Redskins +10, with odds of 10/11 on either outcome.
This is not a spread bet. It is actually a fixed-odds wager, whereby you stand to win or lose a predetermined amount depending on the final score, but in the USA a handicap margin is referred to as the “point spread”. Do not confuse this with spread betting.
Useful Spread Betting Tips
- Remember that spread betting can lead you to incur much greater losses than fixed-odds wagering, so tread cautiously before you master it.
- Choose your stakes wisely. If the spread is 1.9-2.1 on total goals, you can perhaps buy for £100, because the most stand to lose is £210. If a cricketer has a spread of 310-330 runs during a five-Test series, you might not want to buy for £100, as you could lose up to £33,000 if he flops. In this instance, £1 might be a more sensible stake.
- Remember that you can cash out early on many spread bets. This allows you to lock in a profit or mitigate potential losses.
- Spread betting is diverse and you can find a dazzling array of markets on a particular match or tournament. Study the wide range of options to find the one you feel the most comfortable with before taking the plunge.
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