A couple of weeks ago, in preparation for a game that Saturday, I tweeted a question about what the latest spread on a certain basketball game meant.
Some followers responded with spreads from -4.5 to -12.5, which indicated that they think the game will be either a pretty high scoring affair or a defensive struggle.
While there’s certainly plenty of wagering (and maybe some gambling) around this year’s NBA draft, it’s still pretty far off. The majority of sports betting takes place at the professional level, with spread betting occurring largely in NCAAF and NFL football. That being said, occasional props bets pop up here and there on Twitter.
What Is A Spread?
The spread is a betting line that generally represents the overall betting consensus for an event. In the sports world, a spread can be used to predict the final score of a game or the total number of points scored. For instance, the betting odds for the New York Jets at Michigan are currently listed at 9.5 points, with the spread being set at -6.5 points.
The advantage of betting on spreads is that there’s a reasonable expectation of what the betting odds should be, particularly if you follow a specific set of rules. If you don’t know what a spread is or what odds you’re looking at, it can be hard to know how to value a wager or what to make of the information. You might see something like a point spread and think it’s an odds unit, but in actuality, it’s a point margin of victory. For example, if the line is +3 points, you already know that your favorite team is going to beat the opponent by at least three points.
Why Is The Spread Important?
In general, I’d say that it’s important to be familiar with the spread for a variety of reasons. First off, it provides information about the betting odds for a game. If you’re unfamiliar with betting odds, they can seem rather abstract- especially if you’re not used to them. In actuality, odds are simply a way of expressing the likelihood of something happening. In the example above, you have two teams with equal odds of winning. However, if one team is widely favored to win, then their odds will generally be higher than those of the other team. This is why you see most spread odds set to -6.5 or -7.0.
In order to be able to use betting odds effectively, you have to be able to compare them to something. This is where spreads come in. If you’re unfamiliar with the phrase, high-quality spread betting involves following a specific set of rules that help you determine the winning outcome of a game. For instance, you might want to bet on certain basketball games involving the New York Knicks, as they are widely acknowledged as being one of the greatest basketball teams of all time. In that case, you would only want to bet on NYC athletics if you’re comfortable using this type of betting strategy.
Make Sure You Understand The Risks
Although there’s a lot to like about using spreads in sports, you have to understand the risks involved. First off, just because the majority of bets are on the spread does not mean that it’s a safe or secure way of betting. There are numerous examples of where spreads were “upgraded” (in other words, the spread opened up, moved in favor of the favorite, and then closed again) in the NFL and NCAAF, where a lot of money was wagered on the spread and then voided, never to be recovered.
Additionally, if you’re planning on using betting odds for any wagering activity, make sure that you’re aware of the type of betting strategy that you’re using and the risks that are entailed. Just because most people are using a strategy doesn’t mean that it’s suitable for you or that you should necessarily use it yourself. In the example above, since the Knicks are widely considered to be the favorite, it would make sense to use them as a model for your own sports betting strategy. However, if you’re comfortable using other teams, then by all means, use them! Just be sure that you understand the risks involved so that you’re not placing unintentional bets due to a lack of understanding.
How Is The Risk Involved In Using Spreds?
When using spread betting for wagering purposes, there are two primary forms of risk that you’re facing: line movement and a game’s outcome. Let’s take a closer look at each of them.
First off, regarding line movement, if the spread moves in favor of your favorite team against an unfavorable line in the middle of the week, you could find yourself trapped in a losing wager. This is why it’s generally advisable to use spreads only during the week, as they tend to move in favor of the favorite about 70% of the time. For example, the line for the Michigan vs. Jets game on Saturday is -6.5 and currently has 57% of the betting action on it. If you were to bet on that game right now, you would most likely lose your wager.
The other form of risk is that the game might not end up being what you’re expecting. This can occur for a variety of reasons, including injuries to key players, controversies that linger long past game time, and, sadly, crimes that are committed by either team during or after the game. Even with the prevalence of sports betting, it’s probably still safer to assume that your favorite team will lose than to assume that they will win.
As you might guess, I’m a big fan of using betting lines in sports, and I think that they’re pretty indispensable. In my experience, it’s a lot easier to use betting lines than to try to figure out games’ outcomes on your own. In general, if you’re not sure what the spread is or what odds you’re looking at, it can be hard to know how to value a wager or what to make of the information. This is why I think that it’s generally better to just look at the spread and move on.
In the world of sports, I think that you’ll generally be better off using the spread than trying to figure out games’ outcomes on your own. The main reason is that, as I mentioned above, it’s easier to look at the spread and get a general idea of what the betting odds should be. If you don’t know what the spread is, it can be difficult to know how to value a wager or what to make of the information. Just remember: when in doubt, don’t bet. At least not in a serious way. Just remember to use common sense and be aware of your surroundings.