Point spread wagering is one of the most common and straightforward types of basketball wagers. Despite its apparent simplicity, this is one of the most popular wagers even among professionals. Remember that the complexity of a wager is not correlated with higher odds or larger rewards.
Some professionals or seasoned gamblers rely solely on point spread wagers and enjoy tremendous success. Their success stems from making the right decisions, not from complicating matters. We will guide you through the fundamentals and mechanics of a basketball point spread gamble, discuss its popularity and benefits, and provide you with tips and strategies for maximizing your profits with these wager types.
How They Operate
In athletics and basketball, it is inevitable that in each contest one team will be superior to the other. It would be somewhat futile to speculate if you could place the same wager on each team. Everyone would simply wager on the superior team, and the sportsbook would soon run out of money and be forced to close. What point spread wagers attempt to do is even the playing field and offer bets with the same risk level on both sides of the coin. They intend to effectively establish a 50/50 playing field.
The sportsbook does this by establishing a wagering line based on how many points they believe the superior team will win by. This is similar to how our elder siblings would “spot us” a few points when we played basketball as children. For instance, suppose the Florida Gators are competing against the Arkansas Razorbacks. Let’s also assume that Florida is the superior team and that the sportsbook expects them to win by seven points. They cannot simply allow everyone to wager equally, or everyone would wager on Florida and wipe them out. Enter the spread in points. The sportsbook would set the point spread at -7 for Florida to win this contest. The minus sign preceding the number indicates that this team is the favored to win. This means that if you wagered on Florida, they must win by more than 7 points for your wager to be successful.
Here are the outcomes that are possible if you wager on Florida at -7:
If Florida wins by less than seven points, you will forfeit your wager.
If Florida prevails by 8 points or more, you win the wager.
If Florida wins by 7 points, your wager is a tie (a push).
If Florida loses, your wager is lost.
Frequently, the point differential is set at a half point (-6.5 or -7.5 in this example) to eliminate surges.
As you may already be aware, wagering on the Razorbacks requires adjustments. The Razorbacks’ point spread would be set at +7. It will be the polar antithesis of the opposing team. The plus sign represents the challenger, as the negative sign represents the darling. If you wagered on the Razorbacks, they could still lose and you would win your wager.
Here are the outcomes that are possible if you wager on Arkansas at +7:
If Arkansas loses by six points or fewer, you win your wager.
If Arkansas loses by eight points or more, you win your wager.
If Arkansas loses by seven points, your wager will result in a shove (tie).
If Arkansas prevails, you collect your payout.