# How to Interpret Betting Spreads?

You may have seen sportsbooks advertise “Betting spreads.” These are the betting odds given
by a sportsbook for a particular sporting event, like the NFL regular season game between the
Seahawks and the Browns. The sportsbook will lay out the odds for both teams, and if you want
to put money down on the game, you’ll need to decide what to wager. For example, if you wager
\$100 on the Browns and get \$150 back, you’ll need to decide if you want to risk the \$50 on the
Seahawks or if you want to take the \$100 you laid out and try for a push. In this case, betting
spreads can be helpful because they tell you what the house edge is on a push or lay bet. You
can use this as a general rule of thumb to help determine how much you should play or whether
you should try for a push or lay.

## The House Edge → What Is It And Why Is It Important To Gamblers?

To understand betting spreads, you first need to understand what constitutes the house
edge. The house edge is the amount of money the sportsbook loses per transaction, and it
depends on numerous factors. One factor is whether you win or lose. If you win, you may be
entitled to some payout, but the majority of your winnings will be taxed. Conversely, if you
lose, you’ll need to pay the house out of your own pocket, so you’ll lose some of what you
wager, but you won’t need to pay any taxes on that loss. The other factor that influences the
house edge is the spread, or the difference in odds between the two teams involved in a
bettable game.

## The House Edge On A Push

When you push your wager to the maximum allowable amount (typically \$2,500 for NCAA
football and basketball, \$6,000 for the NFL, and \$5,000 for the NBA), you’re essentially
betting the “over” or “under” the spread. For example, if the Browns are -3 against the spread
and you push your wager to the max, you’re risking \$2,500 on a bet that the Browns will win by
3 or more points. If the Browns win by 3 points, you’ll need to pay \$2,500; otherwise, you’ll
need to pay back your \$2,500 and take a \$500 loss. In this case, you’ll need to pay taxes on
\$2,500 of winnings and will owe the house \$500 for the use of their equipment.

returning. You either win or lose \$2,500, and you’ll owe the house either \$2,500 or \$500. Since
we know that you’re not risking more than you’re allowed to, this is a pretty safe bet. The
house edge on a push is limited to 3% per game in most cases, but it can go as high as 5%
(depending on numerous factors, such as whether it’s Week 1 or Week 14 of the NFL season).

## The House Edge On A Lay

When you lay your wager, you’re putting down a smaller amount of money than you’re
wagering on the bet. The difference is that when you lose, you don’t need to pay the house;
instead, you’ll need to pay your buddies at the sportsbook what you lost. For instance, if the
Seahawks are -3 and you lay \$100 on them, you’re risking \$100 (the amount you laid down) on a
bet that the Seahawks will win. If they win, you’ll need to pay them \$103 (your \$100 and the
\$3 you risked) since they want to keep the \$3 they made on the bet. In this case, you’ll need
to pay taxes on your \$100 loss and will owe your buddies at the sportsbook \$103.

The downside to a lay bet is that you don’t know if you’re going to win or lose. When you
win, the payout is usually around 70%-80% of what you bet. The other downside is that, since
you’re not putting down an exact amount, the house edge can be higher than 3% per game in most
cases. It depends on the sportsbook and the amount you’ve wagered on each game (the more you
bet, the higher the house edge). In general, though, a lay bet has a higher house edge than a
push.

## Betting On Multiple Teams

If you’ve ever played the casino game of blackjack, then you know how important it is to
avoid doubling up on your bets. The same concept applies to sports betting. When you put down
multiple bets (wagers), you’re effectively doubling your exposure to risk, because if any one of
your picks loses, you’ll need to pay out twice as much as you wagered. The general rule of
thumb is to avoid putting down more than three bets per sport. Some sportsbooks will allow you
to make as many wagers as you want, as long as they don’t exceed three per sport.

Each time you place a bet on a sporting event, the sportsbook will give you the spread
(also called the “line”). In some cases, the spread will be in the form of “A-B”, where “A” is
the favored team and “B” is the underdog. In others, “C-D”, where “C” is the favorite and “D” is
the underdog, or vice versa. To determine the betting line, the sportsbook will use various
statistics such as team performance in recent games or against the spread (or the reverse, as
the case may be). In cases where there’s no spread, you’ll need to determine whether to bet on
the favorite or the underdog by looking at overall team performance or looking at recent
games. These kinds of bets are commonly known as “individual” or “parlay” bets because they
require you to wager on more than one team (hence the name “betting parlay”). Some casinos
only allow certain types of wagers, such as parlay bets, while others don’t have any limits
whatsoever.

As you can see, interpreting betting spreads is pretty easy when you know how they work.
In general, you’ll either need to win or lose the same amount of money. If you lose, you’ll need
to pay the house out of your own pocket. Conversely, if you win, you’ll need to pay back your
winnings and take a tax-free loss. Keep in mind that the taxes increase as you win more than
you’ve wagered, so if you’re planning on being in the black, then the best thing to do at this
point is to take some profits and get out.

Hopefully, this was helpful in giving you an idea of how to interpret betting spreads. It’s
pretty simple when you know the odds and the rules. Just make sure that you play responsibly
and don’t double up on your bets in cases where you’re not supposed to. Also, make sure that
you’re aware of the house edge on each kind of bet.