The most exciting event in the sports calendar is just around the corner. The 2019 college football season is about to begin, which means that fans have only a few short weeks left to make some serious cash by placing bets on their favorite teams.
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The NCAA college football championship game, commonly referred to as the game, is widely viewed as the biggest sporting event of the year. It pits the top teams in the country against one another to determine which school is considered the best in the nation.
The most recent installment of the prestigious college football game was played on January 8th, and marked the beginning of the new year for sports fans across the globe. While many people will be happy to get the opportunity to bet on one of the most exciting games of the year, others may wonder what exactly it means when the point spread for the game is 9.0.
The Point Spread
The point spread is the amount of points that will be scored by the team that is currently leading after the first quarter, half, or full-time of play. In other words, it is the difference between the actual score and the point total that was agreed upon by the two teams before the game started. For example, if a game is being played between LSU and Alabama, with LSU scoring a 14-point lead early in the 4th quarter, the point spread would be +4 (14-10).
Most people think of a point spread simply as the “over/under” on the game. However, this is far from true as the point spread can have different meanings depending on the context. Here are some of the more common situations where the point spread comes into play.
Against The Spread
When betting on horse racing, sports odds are generally presented in a form that favors one team or punts on the wagering, so that the edge is returned to the players. However, in college football, lines are often presented in a format where the favorites are given an advantage, thus creating an “against the spread” betting option. In an “against the spread” bet, the bettor is placing an “against the spread” wager on the game. For instance, if one person were to place a $100 bet on LSU, and another person were to place a $100 bet on Alabama, their horse Racing counterparts would say that they are placing an “against the spread” bet because they are going against the point spread in the game. In this instance, since the point spread is +9, the bettor on LSU would win their $100 because there is a winner take all aspect to the bet. On the other hand, the bettor on Alabama would lose their $100 because they are not covering the point spread in the game. Therefore, it is important to note that “against the spread” bets do not always mean that the bettor is against the point spread in the game, it just means that they are betting on the game as a whole rather than focusing on the point spread individually.
When betting on horse racing, a double bet is one where a person places two bets on one horse race, meaning that they are risking two amounts of money on the outcome of a single horse race. In college football, a double bet is often used to refer to two teams that are putting their reputations on the line against one another. For example, the Auburn Tigers faced the Alabama Crimson Tide in the all-star game, and fans hoping for an upset had their money on the table with the “double bet.” In the double bet, each quarterback will bet on their respective team, with the winner determined by which signal caller can throw a spiral and touch the ground with a football.
If Auburn’s star quarterback, Boomer, throws a perfect spiral, they will win the bet. If Alabama’s star quarterback, Jalen, can put together a similar performance, they will win the bet. In the event of a tie, the two teams will settle the matter with a flip of a coin. However, if neither quarterback can throw a touchdown pass, the fans who wagered on the “double bet” will lose their money because there is no possibility of a perfect game in college football. In the event of a tie, the two teams will split the proceeds with a coin flip as previously mentioned.
Based on the above examples, it should be fairly easy to understand why the point spread for the Alabama vs. LSU college football game is +9. Since both teams are undefeated and seeking a clear road to the championship, oddsmakers are giving the game a wide berth and are taking the chance and the potential for an upset into consideration when set the line.
An over/under is one where the bettor is placing their money on the total number of points scored in the game. Many sportsbooks offer over/under lines for college football, and this is often the simplest way to bet on games. For example, if a fan were to place a $100 on the Over 9.5 point spread in the LSU vs. Alabama game, they would win their $100 if the game ends up being a low scoring affair. If the game ends up being a blowout, they will lose their $100. In addition to the above, some sportsbooks also offer teasers, extended betting, and half time betting where particular situations or events during the game attract more attention and create more interest.
As a general rule, the more bets that are placed on one side of the bet, the more that will be paid out when that side wins, as there is more money to be made by taking more bets. For instance, a person betting $100 on LSU will win $500 if they are right, and a person betting $100 on Alabama will win $400 if they are right. These are exactly the same amount of money, but there is more money to be made by taking the second bet since more people are interested in betting on Alabama than on LSU. In the above example, the bookie takes roughly $100 in juice (or commission) from the second bettor since there were more people interested in betting on Alabama than on LSU when the bet was placed. It should also be noted that if a game is listed on the Under 9.5 point spread, a bettor is taking a huge risk since an upset can significantly alter the line. This is why most people prefer to avoid playing in these areas since a loss does more than likely mean that they will not be able to recover their losses for some time, if at all.
Since the point spread is set to be a closely contested game between two undefeated teams looking to defend their title, many people are looking for ways to profit from the low odds of a close game. One way is to bet on the under, meaning that they are putting their money on the least likely outcome. For example, if one person were to place a $100 bet on LSU, and another person were to place a $100 bet on Alabama, the first person would win their $100 because they are getting outpaid by the bookie. The second person will lose their money because they are underwagering the point spread in the game. In this particular situation, the person placing the second bet is getting their money back double, along with some serious interest since they are essentially winning a free game.
While in the above example, the two college football teams were used to quantify and qualify the point spread, this is not always the case. Sometimes, a single game will have bets placed on individual players by the two teams, or groups of players depending on the amount that is wagered. If, for example, somebody were to put $100 on quarterback Tua Tagavailoa to win the Alabama vs. LSU game, this would be considered a player bet. If the game was played and Alabama’s star quarterback Tua was to throw for two touchdowns and no interceptions, he would win the bet. If he did not meet this minimum standard, the person who wagered on him would lose their money because there is no way that the undervalued quarterback can cover the point spread in a losing cause.