# What Is the Spread in Sports Betting?

What is the spread in sports betting? The spread is the difference between the two betting lines or odds. The favorite is given a negative spread, while the underdog is given a positive spread. The spread is how the sportsbook determines who wins and who loses.

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## Introduction

Sports betting is the act of wagering on the outcome of a sporting event. The most common types of sports bets include point spreads, moneylines, and totals (over/unders).

The point spread is the most common type of bet in basketball and football. The point spread is the number of points that a team is expected to win or lose by. For example, if the Golden State Warriors are playing the Los Angeles Lakers, and the Warriors are favored to win by 7 points, then the Warriors are said to be “laying 7 points.” This means that if you bet on the Warriors, they must win by more than 7 points for you to win your bet. Likewise, if you bet on the Lakers, they can lose by up to 6 points and you would still win your bet (since they would still be losing by less than 7 points). The point spread is meant to provide a rough estimate of how many points one team is expected to win or lose by.

The moneyline is a straight-up bet on which team will win. Moneylines are used more often in baseball and hockey, but can be found in other sports as well. For example, if the Golden State Warriors are playing the Los Angeles Lakers, and the Warriors are favored to win by 7 points, then the moneyline might look something like this:

Golden State Warriors -350
Los Angeles Lakers +280

This means that if you want to bet on the Warriors to win outright, you would need to risk \$350 to potentially win \$100. On the other hand, if you want to bet on the Lakers to either win outright or lose by less than 7 points, you would only need to risk \$100 to potentiallywin \$280. As you can see, moneylines can offer different value depending on which team you are betting on.

Totals (over/unders) bets are based on how many total points will be scored in a game. For example, let’s say that same hypothetical matchup betweenthe Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers has a total of 215 points. This means that oddsmakers believe that there is a relatively high chance that both teams will score over 100 points each, but not so much that one team is likelyto score over 200 whilethe other team only scores in single digits (which would be very unlikely). If you think that both teams will score more than 100 points each (an “over” bet), then you would needto risk morethan\$100to potentiallywin\$100; conversely,ifyou thinkthat both teamswill score less than 100points each (“under”bet), thenyou would onlyneedto risk\$100 topotentiallywinmorethan \$100(sinceitwouldbe veryunlikely forbothteams toget lessthan 100points each).

The spread is the betting line that a sportsbook sets for an event. It is basically the margin of victory that they think the better team is going to have over the weaker team. The spread is what sports bettors use to determine if a bet is worth making or not. A lot of times, the favorite will have a negative spread, meaning they are expected to win by that many points. For example, if a team is -7, they are expected to win by seven points. If they win by more than seven, then you win your bet.

The point spread is the most common type of bet in American football and basketball. The point spread is the number of points by which the favored team is expected to win. For example, if a football team is favored by 7 points, they are expected to score more than the opposing team by 7 points. If they win by exactly 7 points, the bet is a “push” and the amount wagered is returned to the bettor.

In basketball, the point spread is usually 12 points. In this case, if the favored team wins by more than 12 points, the bettor wins their wager. If they win by exactly 12 points, it is a push and the bettor gets their money back.

### The Moneyline

The moneyline is the most common type of bet used in sports betting. It simply means betting on the outright winner of a game, no matter what the final score is. The favorite will have a minus sign (-) next to their odds, while the underdog will have a plus sign (+). In this example, we will use NFL football as our sport.

For example, let’s say that the New England Patriots are playing the Buffalo Bills and you want to bet on the Patriots to win outright. The moneyline would look like this:

Patriots -300
Bills +200

In this case, you would need to bet \$300 on the Patriots in order to win \$100. If you bet \$100 on the Bills, you would win \$200.

### The Total

The total is the most common type of bet in sports betting. In a total bet, the bettor wagers that the TOTAL points scored in a game will be OVER or UNDER the bookmaker’s posted total. The bookmaker sets a Total (usually between 40.5 and 49.5 in NFL games) and the bettor can choose to wager that the final score will be OVER or UNDER that amount.

For example, if you believe that the New England Patriots will score more than 27 points against the Miami Dolphins, you would bet OVER the posted Total. Alternatively, if you believe that the final score will be Less Than 27 points, you would bet UNDER the posted Total.

## How do Sportsbooks Set the Spread?

The spread is the betting line that a sportsbook sets for a particular event. It is the difference between the two teams’ scores that the bookmaker predicts. For example, if the New York Knicks are playing the Los Angeles Lakers, and the spread is 5.5, that means the bookmaker predicts that the Lakers will win by 5.5 points.

### Public Perception

The vast majority of sports betting takes place against the spread, which means oddsmakers must account for public perception when setting lines. This is especially true in high-profile games involving popular teams.

For instance, let’s say the New England Patriots are playing the New York Jets. The Patriots are a much better team than the Jets, so most bettors will want to bet on them. If the line is set at -10, that means the Patriots must win by 10 or more points to cover the spread. If they only win by nine, then those who bet on the Jets will win their bets.

Oddsmakers must be very careful when setting lines in high-profile games. They don’t want to set a line that is too favorable to one team because they could get overwhelmed with bets on that team. Conversely, they don’t want to set a line that is too unfavorable to one team because they could get hammered with bets on the other team.

In general, oddsmakers will set lines so that they think they’ll see roughly equal betting action on both sides. This ensures that they’ll make a profit no matter who wins the game.

### The House Edge

The house edge is the percentage of each bet that the sportsbook keeps. For example, if a sportsbook keeps 5% of every bet made, then its house edge is 5%. The other 95% goes back to bettors as winnings.

This might not seem like a lot, but it can add up quickly. If you’re betting \$100 per game and losing just 50% of your bets, the sportsbook will keep \$5 of every \$100 you bet. Over the course of a season, that can add up to a lot of money!

The house edge is how sportsbooks make their money. They’re not trying to pick winners or losers, they’re just trying to set the spread so that they can make a little bit of money off of every bet that’s made.

## How to Use the Spread

The spread is the betting line that oddsmakers set for a particular game. It is also referred to as the point spread. The point spread is the number of points that the oddsmakers believe will separate the two teams. When you bet on a game, you can either bet the moneyline or the point spread.

In order to understand how the spread works, you need to know how it’s written. The spread will always be written with the underdog team first followed by the favored team. For example, if the New England Patriots are playing the Miami Dolphins, the Patriots will be listed as the favorites and the Dolphins will be listed as the underdogs. In this case, if you were to bet on the Patriots, they would need to win by more than 7 points in order for you to win your bet. If you were to bet on the Dolphins, they would need to lose by less than 7 points or win the game outright in order for you to win your bet.

### Decimal or American Odds

In the United States, most bookmakers use the American-style odds of -110. This means that a bettor must wager \$110 to win \$100. If the bettor wins, he keeps the original \$110 wager and receives an additional \$100 in winnings. If the bettor loses, he forfeits the entire \$110.

Some bookmakers will use decimal odds, which are very easy to understand. Decimal odds are displayed as 1.91, 2.00, or 2.10, for example. If you bet using decimal odds of 2.00 and you win, you will receive a pay out of double your original stake plus your original stake back. So if you bet \$100 using decimal odds of 2.00 and you win, you will receive a total pay out of \$300 (\$200 in winnings plus your original stake of \$100).

## Conclusion

The spread in sports betting is the difference between the two teams or totals that are being bet on. The favorite will have a negative (-) number next to their name, and the underdog will have a positive (+) sign next to their name. The bettor must choose whether they believe the favorite can win by more than the spread or if the underdog can stay within the spread.