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What is Spread Betting?

Spread betting is an interesting type of sport wager that both beginners and experienced punters can benefit from. In contrast to fixed odds betting, which has a set potential profit depending on the ‘win or lose’ outcome of the match, spread betting relies on the accuracy of your wager.

 

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Below we will discuss what spread betting is, and why it is worth considering. Furthermore, we will delve into how to spread bet, using examples.

What Is Spread Betting?

Essentially, spread betting is where you predict whether the market will be higher or lower than the range. There are two key terms you need to know:

  • Buying: at the top of the spread
  • Selling: at the bottom of the spread

So, what do we mean by buying and selling?

Let’s say a bookmaker calculated the spread as 0.9-1.1 for the total goals market, and you staked €10. The match between Manchester United and Liverpool ended up 2-1. This means that a total of 3 goals were scored.

  • If you were buying, you would earn €19 (€10 x 1.9)
  • If you were selling, you would lose €21 (€10 x2.1)

The most common sports for spread betting include American football, cricket, and basketball. Betting sites like to advertise these sports, especially the total goals market, because they are high scorers. On the other hand, sports like football don’t result in many goals, so the profits margins aren’t as large unless you stake a lot more money. However, football is still a popular sport to bet on. This is especially true for punters who are football fanatics and have great judgement and accuracy as a result of it.

Benefits Of Spread Betting

Now that we understand what spread betting is, we can discuss its various advantages.

High Profits

The main purpose of sports betting is, of course, to make as large profit margin as possible. As a result, spread betting is often more profitable than fixed odds, because higher scoring markets can see you earn astronomical amounts compared to your modest stake.

For example, say you were betting on the NFL total points market, with the spread 25-35. The end result between Los Angeles Rams and Miami Dolphins was 22-30, so 52 points were scored overall. If you decided to buy with a stake of €10, you would make a €170 profit, which is ten times your stake!

Huge Variety Of Markets

Another advantage of spread betting is that there is a vast range of sports and markets to choose from. This includes:

  • Football
  • Cricket
  • Basketball
  • Tennis
  • Horse Racing
  • American Football
  • Boxing
  • Many other popular and niche sports

Overall, you can see that there are a good variety of sports to choose from, and hundreds of markets. Most commonly you will see the total points market, where you must predict whether the spread will be above or below the final score. Similarly, the total minutes market is popular in races, where you predict how long the competition will last.

Live Betting

Live betting is an innovative way to bet, otherwise known as in-play betting. Instead of having to hurry and place a wager before the game starts, you can use the betting site to place wagers until seconds before the end.

Points spread betting can be used in in-play betting, helping you to benefit from the extra advantage of watching the game live. This way, you can make more informed decisions, and it also adds to the excitement.

No Favourites

Lastly, spread betting eliminates the need to back a specific team or athlete. Instead of picking the favourite who is likely to win, or the underdog who everyone is secretly rooting for, you can focus on the accuracy of the bet. By getting rid of this bias, you can create wagers with a much clearer mind. After all, who hasn’t placed an unlikely bet on their favourite football team and lost? This happens to even the most experienced punters.

It is worth discussing some of the drawbacks of spread betting. The main one is that you should always begin by staking low amounts. This is because when betting on high-scoring sports, you can easily lose catastrophic amounts of money. Furthermore, some markets are riskier than others, so it is worth being safe and gaining experience cumulatively.

How To Spread Bet

Spread betting is easy. The difficult part is understanding what spread betting actually is, and afterwards, you can enjoy the process.

  • Register with your favourite betting site after you have conducted thorough research and found the one most suited to your preferences and needs.
  • Choose a sport and a market in the ‘spread bet’ tab
  • Decide how much you wish to stake
  • You can opt to sell (bottom of the spread) or buy (top of the spread)
  • Wait for the results to come in and hopefully enjoy your profit!

You can spread bet on many different markets. Below is what to expect in the most popular types of markets:

  • Total Points

Cricket is a popular sport for total points, which are termed ‘runs’. Say the point spread was 445-455. If you believed that more than 455 runs will be scored, you should buy. On the other hand, if you think less than 445 runs will be scored, you should sell.

  • Total Goal Minutes

Some sports, like football, have a total goal minutes market. This is the sum of the time when each goal is scored. For example, the spread may be 120-130. If you think the goals will be scored towards the beginning of the game, you should sell, whilst if you think they will be skewed towards the end, you should buy.

  • Winning Distance

In horse racing and greyhound racing, the winning distance is paramount. This is the distance between the winning competition and the 2nd place competitor. In a flat race like the Epsom Derby, the maximum winning distance is 12 lengths.

Spread Betting Vs Fixed Odds

Spread betting is considered to be the alternative to fixed odds betting. The two are both great betting methods, but they have stark differences. For one, fixed odds betting is more predictable, as you know how much you stand to lose or gain before you wager. On the other hand, spread betting is riskier, but the rewards can be much greater.

For example, say you are betting on cricket. You may choose the under/over market for total runs, where a bookmaker has the following odds:

 BETTING ODDS
UNDER 300 RUNS5/1
OVER 300 RUNS3/1

The same bookmaker also has a spread of 290-300.  

If you decide there will be more than 300 runs, you will pick the 3/1 odds and buy the spread, staking €5. Let’s say the match ends with a total of 345 runs. With the fixed odds you would get a €20 return, whereas with the points spread you would get €225. As you can see, in this case, spread betting would be beneficial.

However, in the same scenario, let’s say there were 275 runs. If you picked the over odds, you would simply lose your €5 stake. However, buying spread betting would cost you €125.

In conclusion, spread betting is a great way to wager. It is simple once you understand the basics, but remember to place small stakes and research the markets thoroughly.