How to Use Sports Betting Spreads to Pick the Best Teams

In a world of easy money and instant gratification, the appeal of betting on the outcomes of sporting events seems almost quaint. But there’s also something to be said for the appeal of backing certain players, teams, and outcomes. After all, the latter can often prove more fun in the long run. Not that we’re suggesting a life of crime, but there’s certainly a dark side to sports betting. For instance, there’s always the chance of losing a lot of money, especially if you back the wrong team or, heaven forbid, the right team loses. But sometimes, the thrill of supporting a particular player or team can be just as compelling as the excitement of betting on a game.

Why Spreads?

It’s always nice when a bookmaker gives you a price break on a particular side or event when you place multiple bets during the same round of a sporting event. But where do these discounts come from, and how do they work? The answer lies in the fact that sportsbooks have to make money off all their sports activities, which means they have to sell their tickets, odds, and lines at a profit. What’s more, they have to do this while also providing excellent customer service and having lots of fun with their sportsbooks. For this reason, they will often times give special discounts to active and veteran sports bettors. But how do you know if a given spread is worth taking advantage of? One simple rule of thumb is to check for promotions and special offers in your favorite sportsbook’s terms and conditions before placing a bet. If you’re lucky, you’ll even find a few hundred dollar coupons or discounted gift cards that you can use on future bets. These will sometimes pop up as part of a larger promotion where you can get other forms of reward for betting on a certain team or game. But mostly you’ll just find that the spread itself is discounted, which means you can walk away with more money in your pocket.

The Appeal Of Supporting A Team You Admire

A good example of this are the Cleveland Browns. For years, people have pointed to the Patriots as the greatest American football team of all time. But in the age of advanced statistics and granularity, the Browns are starting to emerge as worthy opponents. Since the 2016 season, the Browns are 14-9 against the spread and 11-10 against the over/under, with both totals indicating an increase in football knowledge and interest. In other words, the betting public seems to agree that the Browns are becoming a better team, meaning they’ve replaced the Pats as America’s Team.

Now, it’s always tempting to root for the home team in any sports contest. But, in reality, there’s very little to no correlation between winning as a home team and winning as a favorite. In 2018, MLB teams went 153-207 against the spread as a home team and were 252-239 against the spread as a favorite. If you’re looking to make some wagers this coming year, consider supporting the Browns, Pats, or any other team you admire. You’ll certainly have a rooting interest, but it might just prove to be worth your while, financially speaking, to support the team that dominates the competition.

The Appeal Of Seeing A Team You Don’t Like Lose

On the other end of the spectrum, we have the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers are one of the most iconic, if not the most iconic, franchises in all of sports. After all, they were the team that won the first 4 Super Bowls back-to-back, a feat that no other team has been able to replicate. But, in recent years, the Niners have struggled mightily, going just 23-37 against the spread and 37-49 against the over-under in 2017 and 2018. What’s more is, the 49ers are now one of the most expensive teams to wager on, with the average cost of a seat being $100+. If you’re looking to make some side bets this year, consider avoiding the Niners, at least for the time being.

Another thing to examine before wagering is the spread. There’s nothing worse than seeing a prime-time game get off to a rough start, with neither team being able to put together any sort of offensive rhythm. When this happens, especially in NFL games that you’ve paid good money to see, it’s frustrating. For this reason, many sportsbooks will open up shorter or slimmer spreads, or even offer different lines on the game, once the score gets past the first few points. Sometimes, the opening line is just wrong and the spread will get adjusted downward as a result. This is better than having the line go unfixed, meaning the bookmaker is banking on the fact that the game will be close. However, sometimes, this strategy can backfire and lead to bigger wins.

Remember: It’s All About The Game, Not The Team You Back

On the subject of betting on sports, it’s important to keep in mind that these are game-dependent prices, which means that no matter who you back, or what team you back, your winnings/losses will vary from game to game. This is important to remember, especially if you’re looking to place a wager during the course of a game. Consider the fact that the Cleveland Browns are currently 7.5-point underdogs against the New York Jets this coming Sunday afternoon. This means that if you bet $100 on the Browns, you’ll win $175. However, if you bet the same amount on the Jets, you’ll incur a $225 loss. Always remember: it’s all about the game, not the team you back. If you get this wrong, you might just find yourself in some very unpleasant financial situations. It’s always best to learn from the pros.