Bets relating to sports are an important part of any casual or professional sports bettor’s life. When betting on sports, you’ll often come across the term “spread”. What is the -3 when betting on the spread? Let’s dive into this question a little deeper to find out what this number means and why you’ll often see it on betting slips.
What Is the Spread?
The ‘spread’ or ‘point spread’ is the amount of points that are being betted on one team to win compared to the amount of points that are being betted on the other team. So if you laid $100 on the Kansas City Chiefs to win the Superbowl and the total came in at 40.0 points, your spread would be +20.0 (20 points). The bookmaker will make his money even if the game ends in a draw because the spread is the amount of money wagered on or against a team. It’s similar to insurance in that fashion. Point spreads are usually applied to NFL and college football but can also be used in hockey, basketball, and other sports. In general, the more points that are on the board (total scores at the end of the game), the more points the favorite will cover the spread. If the final score is close but one team has more points than the other, the favorite will lose the bet.
Why Is the Spread Important?
The spread is important because it gives us a clear indication of how much value we should place on the game. If you’re looking to bet on a game, you can use the information about the spread to make your decision. For example, let’s say that you’re planning on backing the Miami Dolphins against the New England Patriots. The Patriots are a 3.5-point favorite but the spread is only at three points. This indicates there’s a lot of value in this game, especially since the final scores may be fairly close. In many cases, you may not be able to find a line where the Dolphins are a 5 point favorite but are slightly underdogs against New England. In those circumstances, you may decide to sit this one out or back the underdog.
The Significance of the ‘-3′
‘-3′, or minus three, indicates a weak or mediocre performance. If you see this number in reference to a horse race, it may mean the horse is nowhere near as good as the price would lead you to believe. On the other hand, if you see this number in reference to a baseball game, it could mean that the team has an excellent chance of winning. In general, you should try to avoid betting on poor-performing teams in the first place. This applies not only to sports betting but to all types of wagering because you never know how good or bad a team will perform until the games have been played. You should also avoid backing teams that are clearly superior to the others. The fewer the better, as far as gambling goes. This may be hard to do but if you want to get the most out of your sports betting, you should always look for value.
To give you an example, let’s say that you’re planning on backing the Cleveland Browns against the Chicago Bears in the NFL playoffs. The Bears are a 12.0-point favorite but the Browns only pay 6.0 points. This would mean that you’re getting a very good price for the game. The Browns are a very mediocre team but they’ll still try their best to win and they’ve got a very good coach so maybe they’ll surprise you and pull off an upset. This is what the ‘-3′ means in this case. It’s not that the Browns are bad — they’re definitely not — but they’re not at all what the price would have you believe. On the other hand, the Bears are clearly superior to the Browns and you’d have to be crazy to back the underdog.
When Do You Use the Spread?
The spread is important primarily when betting on games that have not been played. This is because the outcomes of the games are not yet known. In most cases, we’ll know the outcome of a game before the end of the year, meaning that we can apply existing line prices to the games that have already been played. However, if you’re looking to make a quick wager then the spread is not for you. You’ll either have to wait until after the games to get your money back or you’ll have to risk it on a poor performer. In a nutshell, the spread is important for two reasons: first, to get a sense of how much the game is worth and, second, to avoid bad performances by backing mediocre teams.