Betting Against The Spread Explained

Now, if you are new to sports betting, you may not know about betting against the spread. This concept is not to be confused with point spread betting, which is the other side of the coin.

So, we will look into all you need to know to be the best at placing these kinds of bets.

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In general, you will find that every sporting event has a perceived favorite to win the match, with few exceptions. A sportsbook, such as bet365, will use a spread with a sporting event in order to even the odds between two unevenly matched competitors. When you bet on the spread of a game, you will be looking more at the points in the match than you do with an outright win bet.

Spread betting can be done with a few sports, but is especially common in football, especially when betting on the NFL. When you are betting against the spread not only does the favored team/competitor have to win the match, they will need to win by more than the spread. The spread is a certain amount of points that have been chosen for the favored team to overcome at the end of the match.

This is known by sportsbooks in spread betting as covering the spread. So, basically the favored team will not just have to win the game, they will have to win by a certain amount. And, that is why this type of spread betting evens the odds on less exciting sporting event match-ups.

If you’re having trouble how to convert different odds formats, our tool can help make it easier. Just enter your fractional, decimal, or American odds and get the other values automatically.

When To Bet Against The Spread

Now, as with any type of bet, an important factor will always be when to place the type of bet. So, we will look into when it is a good move to bet against the spread in this section. It is very important to know which situations are more likely to pay out in your favor when engaging in this type of bet. Of course, there are many ways to place a bet, consider the outright moneyline or the over/under as well.

As mentioned before, betting against the spread typically happens when one team is greatly favored to win over its competitor. So, this is a great place to start when looking to start placing this kind of bet. You will want to look at any unevenly matched sporting event matchups to see what the spread is.

Now, if you believe the favored team can win the match by enough points to beat the spread, this is a great match to bet on. As long as you are confident that the favored team can cover the spread, this is a good situation to engage in this type of spread betting. So, we will look at some examples of what this type of betting can look like.

Bet Against The Spread

How To Identify Opportunities To Bet Against The Spread

Now, you have learned the basics of betting against the spread. But, it is always easier to understand a betting type or principle when you exactly see it in action. So, we will look at some examples of what betting against the spread can look like on sportsbooks.


Now, let us say that the New England Patriots are set to play the New York Giants. And, we will say that the New England Patriots are favored to win this matchup. So, the spread odds would look something like this:

  • New England Patriots -8.5
  • New York Giants +8.5

These odds would mean that the New England Patriots were favored to win the game by at least 8.5 points. The favored team is said to be laying 8.5 points, in this case, the New England Patriots. So, these 8.5 points would be subtracted from the final amount the New England Patriots score at the end of the game.

At the same time that the Patriots would be laying 8.5 points, the opposing team would be getting 8.5 points. So, in this instance, the New York Giants would be getting 8.5 points since they are the underdog team. This means, at the end of the match, the New York Giants would gain 8.5 points to their final score.

Now, we need to look at after we have added the 8.5 points to the New York Giants’ final score and subtracted the 8.5 points from the New England Patriots’ final score. If the New York Giants have more points than the New England Patriots after this has occurred, they are considered covered.

If you bet on the New England Patriots, to win the bet, the team would need to cover the additional 8.5 points in their own score, plus the additional 8.5 points added to the New York Giants’ score.


Now, we will look at another example of betting against the spread, this time in basketball. We will look at two new teams and how this kind of bet would work for them. Two new teams are listed below:

  • Boston Celtics -10
  • Charlotte Hornets +10

So, as we have learned from above this would mean that the Boston Celtics would be favored to win the game by at least 10 points. This means, in order to cover the spread, the Boston Celtics will have to win as well as win by over 10 points. And, the Charlotte Hornets will have 10 points added to their final score at the same time.

It’s important to know the basics of how to bet on basketball before jumping into markets that are too complicated.


Now that we have looked at this type of bet with both football and basketball, we will look at it in terms of baseball. So, we will again have two new teams listed with two new sets of odds. The following teams and odds will be used:

  • Boston Red Sox -12
  • New York Yankees +12

Again, this means that the Boston Red Sox are the team that is favored to win. So, it is not enough for the Boston Red Sox to just win, they will have to win by enough points to cover the spread. In this instance that would be 12 points or more.

Betting Against the Spread Conclusion

So, you should now understand all about this type of bet. And, you should understand when to place this type of bet as well. This means you should know everything you need to go out and place the best bet possible!

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