The point spread is an important concept to understand when it comes to sports betting. Essentially, the point spread represents the amount of points a sports team must score in order to win a game. If the point spread is 3 points or more, then it’s usually considered a safe bet that the team with the most points at the end of the game will win. However, if the point spread is less than 3 points, then gamblers should generally expect the opposite result.

## The Psychology of Point Spreading

Why do people tend to point spread certain games? It largely comes down to the psychological phenomenon of faith in numbers. When people are presented with two numbers that seem to contradict each other, they will often choose to believe in the one that seems more favorable to them. This behavior can be applied to the context of sports betting. When a team is heavily favored to win, but the line indicates that the game is more difficult than anticipated, gamblers might decide that the point spread is wrong and that their chosen team will actually lose. In a perfect world, people would base their wagers on the actual odds of the game, but in practice this is rarely the case. The point spread is what we have, and it serves as a guideline for how to bet on games.

## The Mathematics of Point Spreading

Point spreading can be mathematically explained. Consider two teams, Team A and Team B. Team A is a 7 point favorite over Team B in a football game. In order to make a profit from this game, a gambler will need to lay down $7 on Team A to win $10. This means that the point spread is +7. If the game was closer than 7 points, then Team B would be the favorite and the gambler would make a $7 profit by laying $10 on Team B to win $7. It’s important to note that if the game was a blowout (by a lot), then the mathematical model doesn’t account for the fact that the point spread will narrow in the second half of the game. This is because in the second half of most games, the spread will have to decrease in order for the game to be able to be considered a draw.

## When Is the Point Spread Expanding and Contracting?

The point spread tends to expand and narrow based on a few key factors. The first key factor is the score of the game. The more goals a team scores, the narrower the point spread will be at the end of the game. The second key factor is time of day. Most games have an early start time, which means that the point spread will be narrow in the early part of the game. As the time of day progresses, the point spread will begin to widen. Finally, the third factor is the temperature. If it’s cold, then the point spread will be narrow. If it’s hot, then the point spread will be wide.

## The History of Point Spreading

The point spread originated in the early 20th century as a means to prevent teams from gaming the system. Before this time, teams would often try to manipulate the odds of a game in their favor by employing various strategies such as throwing rules violations or engaging in off-field shenanigans. In an effort to stop these games, gamblers invented the point spread. This strategy makes the game more objective as it doesn’t rely on subjective factors such as cheating or outside interference. What’s more, it promotes consistency as it prevents teams from going on an upswing then having the spread adjust in their favor. Finally, having a fixed point spread means that people can make quick and easy wagers as the mathematical model is already set in stone.

Some people will choose to believe that the point spread is simply a way to manipulate the masses. This couldn’t be further from the truth. As a guideline, people should consider how much they believe in the point spread and apply it to their wagers accordingly.