How to bet on the Spread

Betting on the point spread is the most common way to place a wager on a football or basketball game. Read on to learn what it means and how to bet on the spread.

What is the Point Spread?

The point spread is a handicap given to the team that is deemed to be the strongest in a particular game.

For example, let’s say the Green Bay Packers are on a long winning streak and they are coming up against a struggling Chicago Bears team. In that case, you might find Green Bay as the -630 favorite to win the game, and Chicago as the +450 underdog.

In that case, you would need to bet $630 on the Packers just to win $100, which might not be particularly appealing. You could instead check out the point spread. In this example, you would expect Green Bay to be the 11.5-point favorite, with odds of -110 on either team covering.

How to Bet on the Spread

You simply need to predict which team will cover the spread that your sportsbook has issued on a game.

In the example used above, you have two choices: you can bet on Green Bay -11.5, or you can bet on Chicago +11.5.

If you bet on the Packers, they must win by 12 or more points for your bet to pay off. That makes it harder, but you will enjoy a much better payout if successful. If you bet on the Bears, they can win the game or lose by up to 11 points for the bet to pay out.

You will also find alternative spreads at some sportsbooks, or you can buy or sell points. This involves moving the line. For example, you could bet on the Packers -12.5 or the Packers -10.5. If you make it harder for yourself, you get better odds. If you make it easier for yourself, the potential payout is lower.