Sports betting has been around since 1000 B.C at China, where gambling on animal fights was commonplace. In early Rome, one could bet on the Gladiatorial games. The thought of betting on sports is as old as organized game itself. But up until the 1940s, bettors were fairly limited in what sort of bets they could make. The typical system of odds would enable bets on, for example, that the 3-1 odds that the Steelers would beat the Browns.
That was before Charles McNeil, a math teacher from Chicago, devised the concept of the point spread. An enthusiastic gambler, McNeil established what he called»wholesaling odds» and began his own bookmaking operation from the 1940s. He started out supplying this brand new fashion of gambling on soccer, but his business model grew to add basketball. McNeil altered the way sports betting was done, and his legacy lives on now in what we now call the point spread.
What is a Point Spread and How Can It Function?
If you’re new to sports betting, you may find it daunting to wager on anything besides if your group will win or lose the match. That kind of bet is referred to as a moneyline bet or a fixed-odds wager, and it is the very base of the bet, but is only the start in terms of how far you can take your sports gambling game.
The point spread, which is occasionally referred to as the»handicap», is that the amount of points obtained in the chosen, or contributed to the underdog, in order to open up the chances of either team winning the wager evenly. In most games, there is normally a team which is more likely to win, based on a number of statistical factors. If the only kind of bet available was on who’d win between a really powerful team and a bad team, it wouldn’t be all that exciting. The point spread was developed to make betting a whole lot more intriguing, since it helps a bet on the losing team to win you money. How? Let’s break down an example:
Green Bay Packers vs. Seattle Seahawks
In this example, we have a favorite to win, and also an underdog. The Packers are the favorites, and that’s shown by the (–) value in the front of the 6. Underdogs are represented by the (+) value. The 6 point value is how many points either team can win, or lose by. If you think the Packers will win by MORE than just 6 points, then you would bet on the favorite in this situation, meaning that the Packers have to win by 7 or more points in order that you win your bet.
Maybe you’re more convinced that the Seahawks can win the game or lose by less than 6 points. If that’s the case you’ll want to set your wager on the underdog. If the final score is Packers 21, Seahawks 17 — the wager about the +6 point spread is a winning bet if you bet on the Seahawks.
Point Spread Tie Rules (Push)
If the Packers won the game by just 6 points, then it’s called a»push» and you would get your money back.
Oftentimes you’ll see a point spread that has a half-point added to this amount. Obviously, there is no such thing as half a point in a soccer game, so why do we so often see point spreads using a (.5) attached into the score? Sportsbooks do so to make certain that there is not a chance of a drive. Let’s take another look at our game from above together with the half point added.
In this case, if you bet on the Packers to win, and they win by 7, you win. Should they win by 6, you lose. Same goes for a wager on the underdog. When the Seahawks lose by 7 points, then you lose your wager, and if they shed by 6 points, you are going to win. The opportunity of a tie or»push» was eliminated.
What does»Cover the Spread» and»Against the Spread» (ATS) Mean?
You may have heard the expression»covering the spread» or the phrase»betting against the spread» This means that if the favorite team wins an occasion with the purpose spread taken into consideration or that the underdog team wins additional points, they have covered the spread. If the Packers win that game by more than 7 points, then they have covered the spread.
Betting»against the spread» (ATS) just means you’re betting on the point spread in a specific matchup rather than the moneyline, or even some other type of wager. Bettors frequently use a group’s ATS document to gauge its performance against the spread. For example, the New England Patriots were 11-5 ATS in the 2017 regular season, meaning they covered the submitted point spread 11 times, and neglected to pay five occasions.
Point Spread Payout Described Now we understand how the point spread works, let’s figure out just how much money you’ll win (or lose.) If you bet on the spread of a match, you are going to see another number below the numbers representing the point spread.
Packers -6.5 (-110)
Seahawks +6.5 (-110)
This (110) number lets you know how much you need to bet so as to win $100. The vigorish — also known as vig or juice is the cost sportsbooks charge for creating a bet. The most frequently encountered vig used for every side of a bet is -110.
Let’s say you opt to wager $100 on the Packers to win by greater 7 points and the final score is Packers 30, Seahawks 21. The Packers have won by 9 points, meaning they have covered the spread, and you have won the bet. The -110 means that your $100 wager will win you a total of $190. That total includes your initial bet amount, which means that your entire profit is $90.
Point Spread Examples Here’s a closer look at how sportsbooks display the odds they give. From the NFL and the NBA, the point spread is readily found, in addition to the moneyline and the Over/Under gambling options.
NFL Point Spread Explained
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