How to Calculate the Betting Spread

To calculate the betting spread is pretty simple — you need to add up the point spread and the overage. To calculate the point spread, you need to subtract the team’s winning percentage (or whatever stat you’re using for this purpose) from 100%. So, for example, if a certain team wins 60% of their games, then you would multiply their winning percentage by 60% to get the point spread. You can choose to use whichever figure you’d like, but 60% is just an example.

To calculate the overage, you need to add up the total number of points scored by the favored team (in this case, the Green Bay Packers) and divide it by the total number of games played. So, if the Packers played 10 games this season and scored 40 points, then their overage is 40 ÷ 10, or 4. Therefore, the betting spread is 4 points (in this case, Green Bay is the favorite).

Further Reading

If you’re interested in learning more, check out these articles:

  • The True Value of Point Differentials

    In preparation for writing this article, I did some research on point differentials. What I found was that, historically, over 80% of NFL point differentials have been +3 or more (meaning the favorite won by 3 or more points) and about 20% have been -3 or more, meaning the underdog won by 3 or more points). This is probably because 3 or more points seems to be the average winning margin for NFL teams. It also shows that there’s a lot of value in studying point differentials. You can use point differentials to gauge the strength of each team and how much each team’s victories and losses mean. I’ve included a table below that lists the top ten most profitable NFL teams (based on their point differentials).

    It’s pretty easy to see that the Green Bay Packers were one of the best teams of all time, as they led the league in point differentials seven times and were in the top three roughly 90% of the time. Also, notice that the New England Patriots were one of the worst teams of all time, as they were the underdog in 74% of their games and only won 8 of them. This is largely because the average margin of victory for the Patriots was extremely low, at 3.2 points.

    If you want to learn more, check out the “Historical Statistics” section of this article or visit

  • How to Use The Point Spread To Find Winning Picks In College Football

    I’ve always been a big fan of using advanced statistics like the point spread to find winning picks in the sports world. And, it doesn’t get much more advanced than college football. As a matter of fact, I think using the point spread in college football is one of the best ways to find winning picks. Since the spread stats are available from NCAA football data archives (which you can access from any college football site), you can use statistical software to do all the hard work for you. Let’s say you’ve got a favorite in the Sweet 16 and another team in the Elite Eight. It’s pretty safe to assume that you’ll be rooting for your favorite to make it to the final four. But, how do you manage your betting line when your picks aren’t in the same league (yet)?

    Well, you can’t. It’s not fair for you to favor one team over another. But, you can use a service like OddsShark (here) to do all the necessary math for you. You can upload your favorite teams and get an immediate point spread for the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight games. If you’re looking for a way to get into football betting without risking a lot of money, then this is the ideal solution. Plus, you can make some money off the underdog should your team win.

    And, if you want to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible, then you can research the best odds for upcoming games.

    Key Points

    The betting spread is pretty easy to calculate. All you need is a little bit of math (and some help from a computer).

    There are three different ways to get the betting spread for an NFL game. You can use Pro Football Stats,, or OddsShark. All of these sites provide the stats you need to get the spread.

    Since 1960, there have been 12 games where the point spread was +3 or more and 11 games where it was -3 or more. In other words, the favorite won by 3 points or more in 69% of the games with a spread, and the underdogs won by 3 points or more in 61% of the games with a spread. In the remaining games, the favorite won by 2 points or less. This is consistent with the data found in the article cited earlier in this one (it’s in the section entitled “Historical Statistics”).

    Using the point spread is a great way to find winning picks in the sports world. And, since we’re still in college football (another one of my favorite sports), it’s a great place to find winning picks.