What Does the Spread Mean in Bets?

In sports betting, the ‘spread’ is the amount of money wagered on a particular sporting event. When you place a bet on a sports game, usually the bookie will offer you a variety of possible outcomes and their probabilities. One of these is the ‘spread’, which is the amount of money that you are actually betting on the game. For example, if you place a $100 bet on the Kansas City Chiefs and they win the game 21-7, you will win $210 because the point spread was +7. If you are not sure what the spread means, this page explains it all.

Most Commonly Used

The spread is one of the most common types of wagers made on sports games. Basically, it is a bet on the outcome of the game with the understanding that the amount of money wagered is fixed. This means that, although the spread can change from game to game, once you have placed your bet you will not be affected by the movement of the lines. The spread is also known as a ‘parlay’ if wagered on multiple games. For example, a parlay on the New England Patriots and San Francisco 49ers can be made where you will lay $100 on the Patriots winning the game and laying $110 on the 49ers winning.

The spread is also a popular choice with American Football betting fans as many of the leagues in the United States follow the ‘point-spread’ rule where anything above or below a certain amount of points must be settled in favor of the home team. This makes sense as it is usually their stadium that you are betting on, but allows for some entertaining betting strategies. For example, if you are betting on the New England Patriots and they are playing the Buffalo Bills, you may want to bet $120 on the game so you can take the points. The home team will probably be happy to take your money as they are most likely to win anyway.


Although the spread is a secure way to bet, it is important to understand the risks involved. The biggest risk with the spread is that the bookie may decide to cancel your bet if they suspect you are intending on taking advantage of their mistake. This is why it is generally best to stick with more reputable bookies when placing a bet with the spread. Although this may seem like a risk, it is worth remembering that the spread is one of the most popular options for bettors because it is such a low-risk way to bet.

There are also a few situations where it is not advisable to make a spread bet. The biggest drawback to the spread is that there is no way for the bettor to control the amount of money they are risking. For instance, if you go over the betting limit set by your bookie it’s game over. This means your credit card company will probably charge you an over-limit fee, which you will have to pay. Another disadvantage of the spread is that, if the bookie offers a variety of odds for a game, it can be difficult to keep track of which outcome you are actually betting on. This makes keeping track of your bet a bit more challenging. When you place a parlay bet, this is less of a concern as you can track the results of each individual game separately.

Line Movement

Like all other types of sports wagering, the line on which a sports team is listed also moves in relation to the point spread. For example, if the spread is +7 and the team is listed at -3, then you would have to wager $7 to win $3 if you chose the latter. If the line moves in your favor, you win the amount you bet and the point spread regardless of the final score of the game. If the line moves against you, then you lose the amount you bet on the game. It is also important to note that the less you wager on a game, the less likely you are to lose. This is why it is generally best to bet the full odds on a team you are more familiar with because the chances of your money being lost are lower.

Sometimes it’s not easy to determine the line movement. For instance, if you are wagering on a game and it is close to the half-time interval, it may be difficult to know whether the line has moved in your favor or against you. In these situations, it is usually best to re-evaluate the score at the end of the 3rd quarter or at the end of the game to determine the winner. Another thing to keep in mind is that the line may move in relation to the point spread even if the game appears to be close to even. For example, if the spread is +7 and the game is tied 7-7 at the end of the 3rd quarter, the line may still move in the bookie’s favor because of the nature of a tied game. As you can see, there are many different variables that can affect the outcome of a sport bet, making it difficult to know what the final score will be like.

Examples of Spread Bets

Here are some examples of how the spread betting works: