What is Spread Betting?
Spread betting has become one of the most popular forms of betting in the UK and fast becoming very popular in Australia simply because it offers punters the chance to win money far above what they originally wagered. The spread is a range of possibilities offered by the bookmaker on any particular sport. For example they may offer a spread that there will be between 4 and 10 tries in a rugby match. As a punter you have the option to bet that the real tally will be less or more than the spread offered.
Spread betting was created by a mathematician by the name of Charles McNeil. It was designed to encourage more wagering on sporting events that are seen as simple dead certs. For example if Manchester Utd are playing in the FA Cup against Blackpool, Utd will be hot favourites and little or no money would be gambled away on Blackpool. Rather than your straight forward ‘bet on Utd to win’ with spread betting you can bet on how many goals will be scored in the game, how many goals Utd will win by and even how many corner kicks there might be.
The most common form of spread betting in the USA is very simple. The bookmaker will give a spread of 20 points on a basketball game, this means that the bookmaker feels that the favourites in the game will win by 20 points. As a punter you can bet either on the underdog or the favourite. If you bet on the underdog you will win if the underdogs final score plus the spread is greater than the favourites score. For example, if the spread was 20 and the Chicago Bulls beat The Orlando Magic 90 points to 80 and Orland were seen as the underdogs. You would take Orlando’s final score of 80 add the 20 from the spread, which makes 100 and if that is greater than the Chicago score you win. But if Orlando had only scored 60, plus the 20 from the spread that only makes 80, which is ten less than Chicago and you lose. If you bet on the favourite the opposite occurs. So you would take the favourites score then take away the spread and if that score is still greater than that of the underdogs you win.
In the UK spread betting is used predominantly as a side bet. People will bet on an outright winner as well as a using a spread bet to increase their winnings. In a soccer match a bookmaker might say that there will be between 20 and 25 fouls during the game. This bet gives the punter two options to buy or to sell. If you buy at $10 you are betting that the number of fouls will be more than the spread set. Then for every foul over the bookmaker’s prediction you will receive $10. So if the spread was between 20 and 25, you bought at $10 and there were actually 30 fouls you would receive $50. But if the number of fouls was 21, and you had predicted that there would be more than the spread of 25 you will have to cough up $10 for every one below the top end of the spread. So 25 take away the actual number of fouls 21 equals 4 so you will pay the bookmaker $40. Spread betting is a great way to maximise your money as well as keeping you fully involved right to the end of the game.
But as with all gambling you have to be careful, know your limits and stick to them.