What is the + in a Betting Spread?

One of the most common questions newbies ask when first entering the world of betting is: “What is a betting spread?”

The acronym “CFDs” (contracts-for-difference) is often used to explain the concept of betting spreads to those who are unfamiliar with the financial markets. CFDs are a type of derivative that allows speculators to “put” or “call” on various assets (commodities, stocks, and indexes).

A CFD represents the difference between the prices of two or more underlying assets. If you think of the S&P 500 as an index of the performance of the largest companies in the United States, for example, a CFD for the S&P 500 allows a person to “buy” or “sell” the performance of the S&P 500 at any given moment.

It is important to understand that there is no guarantee of profit when trading CFDs. You could end up losing more than you would if you simply placed a wager on the winning side of the trade.

The Spread Is Just The Two Midline Numbers

A traditional spread bet is two numbers separated by a plus or minus sign. For example, the two-way betting spread for the NBA playoffs is Toronto (+2) at (-3) over the total point spread. Those who have never traded spreads before will often wonder what are the plus and minus signs mean in terms of the value of the trade. It is important to understand that the spread is simply two numbers that are placed on both sides of the decimal point.

While there are a variety of ways to trade and analyze betting spreads, most CFDs providers offer standard reporting tools that include total returns (the combined profit of all trades in a specific time period), win rate (the percentage of winning trades compared to total trades), and profit/loss percentage (the proportion of winning trades to total trades).

The Simplicity Of Placing A Straight Bet

Placing a straight bet is very simple and requires no additional information. Simply choose the side you believe will win the game and odds will appear in front of you. When placing a straight bet, the entire trading process takes place within the confines of the brokerage account.

This is in stark contrast to most other types of bets where you need to provide a list of the other teams in the league, their records, and the odds for each game. In the example above, the total amount of money you would need to wager in order to make a profit is $600. Once this is done, you would simply watch the game, anxiously awaiting the results.

When placing a straight bet, you need to remember to use the proper terminology. When referring to the game, use the term “undercard” to describe the first game and “maincard” to refer to the second game. When referring to the competing teams, use the following naming convention: