If you’re into sports betting, you’ll know that point spread betting is a popular method in the United States and is unlikely to change. Spread betting is any of the different types of sports betting where the pay-off depends on the veracity of the wager instead of the traditional win or lose as you can find in fixed-odds or parimutuel betting.
In this article, we’ll explain what spread betting is and some of the interesting complexities that come with it. We’ll also discuss some of the most frequently asked questions about this betting approach.
Point Spread Betting Explained
In sports betting, a point spread is a number assigned by oddsmakers to each team in a contest. It represents the number of points the favorite is expected to win over the underdog. In perspective, the point spread is used to even the playing field so bettors can wager on either team, regardless of their perceived strength.
Point spread betting has three major components: the actual point spread, the favorite, and the underdog.
If you bet on Team A, they must win the game by more than 7 points for your bet to be a winner. If you bet on Team B, they must either win the game or lose because of less than 7 points for your bet to be a winner.
The point spread is an important factor to consider when placing bets on sporting events. It can significantly impact the odds of your bet and the potential payout. Therefore, it is important to understand how the point spread works and how it can affect your betting strategy.
The Three Components Of Point Spread Betting
Point spread betting has three major components: the actual point spread, the favorite, and the underdog. Let’s discuss these three terms in more detail.
First, the point spread represents the projected scoring unit or margin for victory by the favorite versus the underdog. The amount of the spread may vary depending on the sport and the event. Likewise, home-court advantage is also being considered within the arrangement. However, this often depends on the team’s track record with their game performance at home.
In sports betting, the favorite is the team or competitor that is expected to win a particular event. The favorite is typically assigned a negative point spread, meaning they must win by a certain number of points for a bet on them to be a winner. For example, if Team A is the favorite in a game with a point spread of -7, they must win the game by more than 7 points for a bet on them to be a winner. On the other hand, if Team B is the underdog in the same game, they could either win the game or lose by 7 points, and a bet on them would be a winner.
The underdog is the team or competitor not expected to win a particular event. The underdog is typically assigned a positive point spread, meaning they can either win the event outright or lose by a certain number of points, and a bet on them will still be a winner. For example, if Team B is the underdog in a game with a point spread of +7, they could either win the game outright or lose by less than 7 points, and a bet on them would be a winner. On the other hand, if Team A is the favorite in the same game, they must win the game by more than 7 points for a bet on them to be a winner.
The "Juice," aka the "vig"
In sports betting, the “juice,” also known as the “vig,” is the percentage of each wager taken by the bookmaker as profit. It’s expressed as a percentage of the total wagered amount and added to the spread or odds on each bet. For example, if the juice on a chance is 10%, and you place a $100 bet at -110 odds, the bookmaker will keep $10 of your wager as profit, and you will receive a total payout of $190 if your bet wins (your original $100 chance plus $90 in winnings).
In sports betting, the “hook” is an additional half point added to the point spread. It is used to eliminate the possibility of a push, which is a tie between the two teams and results in a refund of the original wager.
For example, let’s say that Team A is playing Team B, and the oddsmakers have determined that Team A is the favorite to win the game. They might assign a point spread of -7 to Team A, which means that Team A is expected to win the game by 7 points.
However, if the oddsmakers want to eliminate the possibility of a push, they might add a hook to the point spread, making it -7.5. This means that Team A must win the game by more than 7.5 points for a bet on them to be a winner. If the final score is a 7-point victory for Team A, it will result in a push and a refund of the original wager.
The hook can be added to point spreads to make betting on games more attractive and reduce the number of pushes. It’s important to understand how the hook works and how it can affect the outcome of your bets.
The juice is how sportsbooks make money in sports betting, as they do not always have a 50/50 balance of bets on each side of a contest. By taking a percentage of each wager as profit, sportsbooks can ensure that they make money regardless of the event’s outcome. The juice can vary from one book to another, and bettors need to shop around and find the best odds and lowest juice available.
The Bottom Line
The point spread betting method is designed to level the playing field between the favorite and the underdog. This is an interesting method as it is extremely popular in sports betting. However, to get the most profit, it’s vitally important to understand what is a point spread in sports betting and how it works in your favor.
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