Betting on a winning margin in sports means you are wagering on the exact margin that will separate the two teams in the final score. In this type of bet, you are not picking which team will win. Nor are you picking the final score. Rather, you are simply wagering on the margin of points or goals between the two teams at the end of the game.
Using a soccer game as an example, if you gamble on a winning margin in order to win your bet you would need the final score to be something like 1-0, 3-1, 4-1, etc. In other words, the game was decided by one, two, or three goals. Once again, it does not matter which team wins the game or how many goals are scored.
Winning margins are much more popular in sports that have low-scoring games such as soccer, hockey, and baseball. Conversely, in a sport like basketball, where the score could be something in the range of 80 or 90 points for each team, it is much more difficult to accurately predict the final spread.
A big advantage with a winning margin bet is you don't have to correctly get the winning team right. In a sport like soccer, this can really come into play because it's not at all uncommon for an underdog to win 2-1 or 1-0. If you bet the winning margin would be 1 goal, it's time to collect your earnings on a winning bet.
In order to increase your odds of successfully wagering on a winning margin, it’s a good idea to take some helpful information under consideration. For instance, how have the teams fared against each other in the past as well as how well have they been playing lately.
Another big factor to take into account is whether a team tends to play close games, or tends to win or lose by wide margins. You can also run into the situation in soccer cup play where a team only needs to win by one goal. That team can also play for a tie to advance, or even lose by a margin that will not compromise the goal differential it established in the first leg of a two-game series.
Obviously, also consider the sport. In a sport like a soccer one- or two-goal margins are very common. This is also the case for hockey games as well. Many baseball games also end up with a team winning by one or two runs.
In addition to basketball, football games are also more difficult to predict in terms of a winning margin, although there are some betting possibilities here. It's not unusual for football games to be decided by a field goal and a point spread of around 3 points is often set by oddsmakers for NFL games. What's more, if an NFL game goes into overtime, unless there's a rare safety the final margin will be three or six points because the game ends with the first score. Soccer games that go into overtime will often end with a one-goal spread because once a team scores there's not as much time as there would often be in regulation for the other team to catch up.
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