If you are familiar with sports betting, then you are probably familiar with point spreads. They’re sports gambling’s most popular wager, especially with football. It’s an easy statement to make; every gambler has played the point spread.
The reason for their popularity is simple, it’s a simple wager to understand and the simpler the better in gambling. To be a successful gambler, you’ll need to make things as simple as possible and only moneyline wagers are more straightforward than the point spread bets. Follow our guide here for all the tips, pointers, and strategies you’ll need before placing a point spread wager.
Know the Moneyline
The money line is another kind of wager where all you have to do to be successful is pick the winner. There is no handicapping or point spreads, just who wins. The drawback comes from the odds and the payout. If you pick a heavy favorite and they win, you won’t see a large payout compared to what you wagered.
Conversely, if you pick a heavy underdog and they win, your payout will be big. And that’s the rub. This is also what makes wagering on the point spread so appealing, once the game is handicapped, the odds and the payout level out.
Love the Points
When compared to the money line, the point spread is the better wager. From a winning perspective, from a payout perspective, and from an odds perspective, playing the point spread is the smarter wager and they work like this. Every game has a favorite and an underdog.
In order to handicap the game, a certain number of points is assigned in order to even the outcome of the game. Picking the winner here is more difficult than the money line but the odds and the payout more than makeup for it and that’s what we call value. When laying a bet, stick to the point spreads to get more bang for your buck.
Understand the Scores
Because you are wagering with points, it’s important to fully understand how the scoring works in the sport you’re wagering on. Basketball and football are the most popular sports for point spreads and they have completely different scoring systems.
Understanding how a team can score will affect how the point spread is interpreted. A five point favorite in basketball is much different than a 5 point favorite in football. In basketball, five points is two scores, in football, it could be one score. Knowing how a team is able to score is as important as knowing if they will score when playing the point spreads.
Understanding scoring is very important when you start seeing half points in the point spreads. The value will differ from sport to sport but the half point can be a tell-tale number for point spreads. For instance, in football, a -7.5 favorite is much better than the -7 point favorite even though only a half point separates them.
Football teams can score seven points at a time and do so with regularity, therefore that half point may come in handy. Then consider a -6.5 favorite. Nowhere near as good as the -7, even though it’s still just a half point.
Don’t be a Fan
A wise man once said to bet with your head and not with your heart and it’s the best advice you’ll ever hear. In order to be a successful playing point spreads, forget who you are rooting for or who you want to win. All you should be doing is looking, objectively, for the best lines of the day, week after week.
Don’t waste your time betting the point spread on a hometown team just because you are from that town. Your perception is skewed and you’ve been compromised. Get to know every team in the league to get better point spreads. Remember, you aren’t picking teams, you’re picking their numbers.
The most important stat of a team when you are looking to place a point spread wager is the ATS or Against The Spread. A team’s ATS will tell you how they’ve fared against the spread. Are they winning games with the spread or are they losing games with the spread.
This is much more important to a gambler than their overall record. A bad team losing games but winning bets with the points is much better than a good team winning games but failing to cover the spread. Remember, you are only concerned with the point spread and the ATS is a great way to see which teams cover the spread more than others.
Know the Teams in Full
The more you know about the teams, the better. In today’s world of 24/7 sporting news coverage it isn’t very hard to stay in the loop. Be sure you are noting injuries, rivalry games, weather, roster moves, etc. Anything which may affect the outcome of the game should be mentally noted.
Little things can come between a win and a loss. If you lay a bet on a favorite giving 10 points without knowing their starting running back is injured, you’ve probably cost yourself a bet.