# How Does a Betting Spread Work?

A betting spread works by taking two opposing positions – usually in the form of a wager – on two or more sporting events. You place a wager on the outcome of one of the sporting events, and simultaneously place a matched wager on the opposite outcome. For example, you might wager \$100 on the NCAA basketball tournament and \$100 on the NHL hockey season. If you’re right about both outcomes, you’ll win \$200.

In the above example, both the hockey and basketball games represent separate positions – each one a separate ‘bet’. For the purposes of this article, we’ll assume the two games are played on the same day. So, let’s say you selected the Green Bay Packers over the Chicago Bears in the first game, then it was played out to a 3-3 tie. In the second game, you selected the Chicago Bulls to win the game and the series, and the bet was placed at 1.00 (\$100 on the Bulls to win). If the Bulls indeed won, you’d win \$200 from the wager, but if the Packers won you’d lose the \$200 you’d wagered on them.

So, how does a betting spread work? Let’s take a closer look. If you’re curious, you can find the answers to many commonly asked questions about betting spreads here. You may also want to check out our guide to sports betting, which includes information on how to read and use betting lines.

## How Do You Track The Spread?

To keep track of your betting spread, you need to keep careful records of your wagers and the outcomes of the sporting events you’ve bet on. You can do this using a simple spreadsheet. For instance, you might use Excel to keep track of your wagers and outcomes, which can be found here. (You may also want to make separate sheets for each of your spreads, as you’ll undoubtedly wager on more than one at a time.)

The advantage of using a spreadsheet is that you can input the data from multiple sources. You can enter winnings and losses from the sports you’re betting on, and you can keep a record of your wagers and the outcomes in one place. This makes it much easier to keep track of everything – especially if you bet on multiple sports events at a time. It also makes editing the data much simpler. You can easily edit the numbers to update your spreadsheets as needed. With excel, you can easily copy and paste numbers from one place to another, and it’s very easy to make formulas to automate certain information gathering tasks, like tracking wins and losses or calculating winnings and losses. In addition, you can use excel to format your data however you see fit. The above example uses a table to display the data in a grid-like format, which makes it easy to verify the accuracy of the numbers. However, you can format your data into any desired shape or form using formulas in excel – like conditional formatting, which will change the background color of cells based on the outcome of sporting events (e.g. if the Chicago Bulls win big, they’ll have all their wins and losses in red).

Another advantage of using a spreadsheet to keep track of your betting spread is that you can quickly identify anomalies or errors that might crop up. For example, if you notice that some games don’t add up, you can use the formula SUMIF in Excel to identify and correct errors. (If a game ended in a 3-3 tie, you might want to verify that each team indeed earned the three points they were credited with.)

On the other hand, there are several disadvantages to keeping track of your wagers and outcomes in a spreadsheet. First, it’s not the most efficient way to keep track of a large number of bets over a long period of time. If you bet on multiple sports events on a regular basis, you might want to consider keeping separate records of your bets, which can be found here. (You may also want to examine our guide to creating a sports betting journal, where we discuss the numerous benefits of keeping a detailed record of your wagers.)

Second, if you forget to update or cross out a number in your spreadsheet, the result can be erroneous calculations. For example, if you’ve forgotten to cross out a number in the above example and subsequently make a series of erroneous calculations, your winnings and losses may not match up. You can avoid this issue by being extremely careful when entering new data into your spreadsheet – and by regularly checking for mistakes.

Third, if you bet on multiple sports events at a time, it can be difficult to keep track of which bet you’re supposed to be keeping score on. You can easily get lost among the different tabs on your spreadsheet if you’re not careful. It’s also easy to make an error in which you accidentally track a score from an incorrect game.

Fourth, if you’re entering data into a spreadsheet on a regular basis, it can become cumbersome. Not only do you have to enter the data for each individual game, but you have to enter the data for each individual sport as well. If you track a lot of data – like the above example does – it can soon become cumbersome to keep up with all the numbers and calculations.

Fifth, spreadsheets aren’t the best tool for discovering statistical trends. If you want to examine historical data or discover how certain outcomes affect future performance, you’ll have to look elsewhere for the answers. However, this isn’t to say that spreadsheets aren’t useful… they can be. It just means that they aren’t the best tool for discovering trends, which is why many people prefer to use statistical software packages instead.

## Keeping A Record Of Your Wins And Losses

The above example uses wagers to represent the spread of bets you could make. However, if you prefer to keep track of your wins and losses, you can use the data here for the same purpose. (The data here is for illustrative purposes only. Always consult with a professional accountant if you’re looking to set up an actual business.)

Wins and losses should be recorded on a single spreadsheet to keep track of your betting activity. Just make sure that you’ve recorded the wins and losses from the appropriate team. If a game is tied after the allotted amount of time, the result should be awarded to the team with the most points at the end of the game. In the above example, the Green Bay Packers would have had 48 points at the end of the game because they won the toss and elected to play defense first. They would then have been credited with 3 points for a touchdown, 2 points for a two-point conversion and 1 point for a safety – resulting in a total of 15 points.

You may also want to use this spreadsheet to track the amount you’ve won or lost on each individual game, depending on which one you’re keeping score on. This can be done by adding up the wins and losses for each individual game.