How to Read the Betting Spread in Sports Betting

The line separating winning and losing sportsbooks can be very small; the exact same action can lead to vastly different results. But no matter what, it’s never a good idea to bet against the spread. Let’s take a closer look at how to read the betting spread for sports bettors.

The Basics

The basics of reading the betting spread should be familiar to anyone who’s watched a sporting event with betting odds: you’ll want to make sure that the lines are settled before placing your wager. In other words, if you’ve placed a bet on the Philadelphia Eagles to win the Super Bowl, but the line has not yet been set, do not bet money on that game; instead, wait until the lines are set before placing your wagers.

If you’re looking to place a bet, the first thing you’ll want to do is check whether the bookmaker is offering any specials for football fans. Many sportsbooks will use various gimmicks and discounts to attract and retain customers, so be sure to take advantage of those offers. But even if you’re not a fan of football, you might still find a betting line on a game that interests you. For example, one of the largest Canadian bookmakers, online or otherwise, offers a full range of NCAA college basketball games, with no limit on the amount of wagering allowed on each game.

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

The spread is made up of two numbers: the good (the favorite), and the bad (the underdog). Sometimes, as in the NFL, the good and the bad may be the same team, or in the case of the NCAA basketball tournament, both teams may be regarded as fairly evenly matched. In other situations, the spread may be set to represent a significant betting discrepancy, making it a tough call for the average sports bettor to decide whether or not to back a winner. It’s always best to avoid betting on spread games when you can.

In these cases, there’s no clear-cut answer as to whether or not you should back the favorite or the underdog. But as with any other aspect of gambling, there’s a correct way to proceed and a way that’ll probably get you into trouble. The good news is that you can use the knowledge you gain from following the wrong path to ensure that you’ll bet on the right side all of the time. In other words, when you have questions about whether or not you should back a winner, always err on the side of caution. Never bet against the spread when you can avoid it.

How To Place Bets

In the case of a football game, you’ll want to check the current betting lines to see what’s available. Once you have what you believe is the best odds for your chosen team, you can calculate the odds of winning that game with various wagers. For example, if you see the Vikings are a -3.5 favorite, you could lay a $100 bet that they will cover the spread and win the game, or you could lay a $150 bet that they will win but not cover the spread. Of course, you will want to make certain that you have sufficient funds in your account to cover the potential loss should your chosen team lose.

Reading The Football Point Spread

It’s best to read the football point spread as soon as possible after the odds are set, but even then, you might find some discrepancies. If you’re looking at a listed line of 8.5 points, for example, you might discover that the line is actually 8.0. In this case, you would want to back the underdogs since the discrepancy is not significant enough to justify a lay bet. But if the pointspread is actually 7.5, you might want to consider laying a bet on the favorites since the discrepancy is large enough to make a significant betting impact. In other words, be careful when looking at odds that are not posted in direct contradiction to one another.

Reading The NCAA Basketball Tournament

If you’re looking to wade into the world of college basketball betting, you’ll want to keep several things in mind. For one thing, unlike the NFL or the NBA, there is no such thing as a half-time line in college basketball; instead, the lines are set immediately following the conclusion of the game. For another, since there are no set rosters for the NCAA tournaments, you’ll have to keep track of all of the upsets and head-to-head performances throughout the season. And for a third, since the season’s end is practically upon us, many bookmakers will be offering all manner of postseason wagering opportunities should your team qualify. Always keep postseason competition in mind when reading the lines about to be drawn in the NCAA tournament.

If you’re a college basketball fan, it’s probably safe to assume that you’re also interested in betting on the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) tournament. Just like the NFL and the NBA, the NCAA basketball tournament is a yearly event that features a number of high-profile teams from around the country. But one thing that sets apart the NCAA tournament is that it’s entirely up to the competitors themselves to determine the seeding for the tournament. As a result, some coaches and players will end up facing off against each other in the early rounds of the tournament before teams from more distant regions end up facing off in the later rounds. Naturally, these individual games have large betting implications since the betting public’s attention is focused squarely on the competitors themselves rather than the teams they represent. So if you’re looking for an NCAA tournament fix, make sure to check out the betting lines for the opening round games since these are where the real action is!

When To Lay Off

You should always have a plan in place for how you’ll move your wagers around once you’ve placed them. In the case of NFL and NBA games, you might want to lay off after a certain amount of time has elapsed since the last scoring event, or after a certain amount of money has been wagered. In other words, if you’ve wagered $100 on the game and it’s been three hours since the last score was reported, you might want to consider taking a break from betting on that game. It’s never a bad idea to bet on sports you actually know something about, but since you’re new to sports betting, it might be best to take a break until you’ve had a chance to learn the ropes. Just remember, even professionals make mistakes, so don’t be afraid to take a break should you make one.

To get started, click on any of the links on this page to access our convenient list of recommended online sportsbooks. You’ll find the best prices and the best service no matter where you are in the world, so you can place your wagers with confidence.