Basketball point spread explained: This is a type of bet that’s used on sports where teams score points like Basketball betting, American football, baseball, etc. Keep reading to find out how point spread betting works.
What is a Basketball Point Spread?
A point spread is the amount of points, set by a sportsbook, that a team must win by, or stay within, for the bet on that team to pay out.The team generally believed to be more likely to win in this game, the favorite, is assigned a number of points, written with a “-“ in front of it. If they win the game in question by more than that many points, they have covered the spread, and bets on that team’s point spread win.
The underdog—the team considered less likely to win—‘s point spread is expressed with a “+” in front of it. If the underdog can either win or lose by less than their point spread number, bets on that team’s point spread win. To learn more about basketball betting, check our article on how to bet on basketball.
How does Point Spread betting work?
The best way to explain point spread betting is to give an example. Since we are talking about basketball here, lets give an example that involves a basketball fixture. For instance, if the Knicks are struggling (as they tend to) and they play the Miami Heat, the point spread might look like this:
- New York Knicks (+8) at Miami Heat (-8)
In this case, the Heat would have to win by at least 9 for bettors on the Miami Heat at -8 to be paid out. This situation is commonly referred to as covering the spread. For the New York Knicks to cover the spread at +8, the team would have to either win the game outright, or lose by 7 or less.
However, covering the spread is not the only outcome that can happen in these games. It’s possible that the teams play to a score that separates them by the exact number of the spread. In that case, the bet would be graded as a push. When that happens, wagers on both sides of that point spread would be refunded. To avoid the push, try to pick a spread that’s set at half points like – 8.5. Some bookmakers only offer spread like that to avoid getting a push outcome.
Keep in mind that the NBA is not the only place where spread betting can be used. It works on any basketball game including college NCAAF games and FIBA tournaments. However, spread betting can be used on other sports as well. You can learn more about basketball right HERE.
How to bet on MLB Baseball?
In baseball, betting on the point spread is often referred to as betting on the run line. The point spread is a betting line that balances the line between two uneven teams. Bettors can then can wager on either side while enjoying reasonable value on their bets. For example, lets imagine that the Tigers are playing against the Mets. In this case the Detroit Tigers are the favorites. The New York Mets, on the other hand, are the underdogs. If we imagine all of that, the run line might look like this:
- New York Mets +1.5 (-190) at Detroit Tigers -1.5 (+160)
Because the Tigers are the better team and tend to crush teams like the New York Mets, they are favored to win the game. When a point spread is written out, “-“ is used in front of the favorite. For a bet on the favorite, in this case the Tigers, to win, the team must win by at least the number after the hyphen. In this case, bettors on the Tigers would win their point spread bets if the Tigers win by at least two, for example 8-5.
The underdog is indicated with a “+”. To get a winning bet, the Mets have to win the game. Additionally, if they lose by less than the spread, the bet is also won. In this case, the Mets would have to win or lose by no more than one run.