# What Does a Spread Mean in Sports Betting?

In sports betting, a “spread” is the difference in the point-spread between two teams. For example, the “spread” between the Cleveland Browns and the Pittsburgh Steelers is +3 points. This means that the Browns are 3 points behind the Steelers and will need to win by a margin of 7 points or more to win the game.

## Why Are Spreads Usually Negative?

When you bet on sports, you are essentially placing a wager on which team will win the game. In most cases, the team you dislike the most will win the game. For example, if you bet on the Cleveland Browns instead of the Pittsburgh Steelers, you are effectively backing the underdogs because you have an aversion to the Browns. Therefore, most spreads are negative because the team with the lower odds usually wins the game. However, as a general rule of thumb, you should always expect the opposite.

## What Is The Over/Under On A Spread?

When you bet on a spread, you are essentially placing an under bet on both teams. For example, if the spread is 3 points, you are betting that the total number of points scored will be below that amount. This means that if the game ends up being a low-scoring affair, you win the bet. However, if the game ends up being a blowout, your opponent wins the bet. The “over/under” on a spread refers to how much the total score will be above or below the amount specified in the spread.

## How Do You Calculate The Over/Under On A Spread?

The over/under is easy enough to figure out; you take the spread and add the over to the under. For example, if the spread is -3 and there is no over/under, your total will be either winning or losing based on whether the game ends up being a blowout or a low-scoring affair. In the first example, your total comes out to -6 points and you lose the bet. In the second example, your total comes out to +3 points and you win the bet.

Some bookmakers will also provide you with the average number of points scored per game and the average number of points given up per game when you place a bet on a game. These numbers are often quite useful in determining how likely it is that your team will win the game. For example, if the points per game are 3 and the points given up per game are 27, you can expect a low-scoring affair in which the points will likely be close. However, if the points per game are 21 and the points given up per game are 27, you can expect a blowout in which the points will likely be far apart. Knowing the “average” is important because it gives you a better understanding of how the game will likely play out. However, it should never replace the need to watch the game and make the proper determination based on what you see.

## Using The Over/Under On A Spread To Determine Probability

The over/under on a spread can be quite useful in determining the probability of your team winning the game. To do this, you simply take the over/under on the spread and divide it by 2. So, if the over/under is -3 and your team wins, you win 2 to 1. If your team wins but the over/under is -4, you win 1 to 2. If your team loses but the over/under is -2, you lose 1 to 2. If your team loses and the over/under is -3, you lose 2 to 1. So, in theory, if you played this on a roulette wheel, you would win 2 to 1 every time. However, this would be highly unlikely because there is always the possibility that the over/under could be +2 or +3, which makes the game extremely close and evens the odds in favor of the house. This is why you should never use a roulette wheel for sports betting but should instead use an online calculator or application that simulates the wheel for you.

## What Is “Martingale Betting”?

An excellent strategy for placing successful bets is “martingale betting”. This strategy is based on the natural phenomenon of winning streaks and is used to its fullest extent in sports betting. Essentially, “martingale betting” works like this: You place a bet on a particular team, and if they win, you double your bet. If they lose, you win your bet and continue this strategy indefinitely. Martingale betting is a great strategy in sports for someone who wants to get back at least some of their initial investment. It also makes for interesting conversation when you are discussing the game with friends. You can discuss the strategy and how it will likely play out during the game without revealing your strategy too much.

## Where Do You Bet On Sports?

The easiest way to place a bet on sports is through an online bookmaker. These companies will take care of all the math for you and, in most cases, will give you the ability to place a bet on multiple sports simultaneously. Some of the more prominent online bookmakers include; Bovada, BetOnline, and MyBookie. If you are new to online betting, make sure to read our section on how to bet online safely.

## How Do You Back A Spread?

For sports bettors looking for the best way to back a spread, the best option is to use a credit card that gives you free bets. Some credit cards give you the ability to get cash back when you make a purchase. If you are using this cash to back a spread, it is essentially a free bet.

## When Do You Generally Use A Spread?

Although you can use a spread in all types of sports, you will typically use them in football and basketball because the odds are easier to understand and more people are familiar with these games. Some of the more prominent sports where you will use a spread include; NFL football, NBA basketball, NHL hockey, and MLB baseball. In each of these sports, you will use a spread to determine your wager for the day. Remember: In most cases, the underdogs will win. This is why, as a rule of thumb, you should always try to avoid betting on the favorites in any type of sport.