About Spread Betting Systems
Spread betting systems allow you to bet the spread in a deliberate and purposeful way. Many bettors develop their own approaches over time. Those approaches can then be defined in terms of 'rules'. That makes it possible for others to bet in the same way according to the 'system' that has been shared.
There are spread betting systems for all kinds of sports, and there are even spread betting forex trading systems. We won't go into details about those in this brief article. However, we will cover spread betting systems in more general terms. We will also give you an example system to illustrate how they work.
How to Read a Point Spread
The whole purpose of a point spread is to create a betting market which looks equally attractive whether you want to bet on the favorite or the underdog. This is achieved by giving the underdog a theoretical advanted and the favorite a theoretical disadvantage. With the game now looking a lot more evenly matched than previously, similar odds can be offered for both teams.
For example, a sportsbook might assess an NFL match between the Raiders and the Jets. It might then conclude that the Raiders are likely to win by six points. It could then set a spread that looks something like this:
You should notice that the Raiders have a minus sign before their number, and the Jets have a plus. This means that the Raiders are considered the favorite, and the Jets are the underdogs.
If you bet on the Raiders in this market, their score will be deducted by -6.5 points before your bet is settled. You would therefore need them to win by 7 points or more for your bet to win.
Similarly, if you bet on the Jets, their score will be increased by 6.5 points before your bet is settled. You would therefore need them to either win the game or to lose by 6 points or less for your bet to win.
The quotes end in .5 in order to avoid a 'push' scenario. If the sportsbook had quoted -7 and +7 or -6 and +6, it would be possible for the Raiders to win by 7 points or 6 points and effectively leave bettors on both sides without a winner.
NBA Spread Betting System
One of the simplest spread betting systems in the NBA is to bet on the favorites whenever they are playing at home. This doesn't make it an effective system, necessarily, but it is still a system because it gives you a rule of thumb to work to.
Now look at the following market for a game that is expected to be fairly close:
To apply the simple spread betting system mentioned a moment ago, you only need to ask yourself if the Lakers (who are favorites) are playing at home or not. If they are, you bet the Lakers. If they aren't, you don't bet on the game.
Should you bet on the Lakers at -3.5, they would need to win by 4 points or more for your bet to succeed. If you bet on the Rockets they would need to win the game or lose by 3 points or less for that bet to win.
How Much Money To Wager
When betting the spread, you need to keep a close eye on how much money you are winning and losing. Initially, you probably want to know how much to wager in the first place.
You do not have to 'bet big or go home' here. Small wagers can be very worthwhile when you win, so there is no reason to bet more than you are comfortable with.
If you only have $100 to bet, don't use all that money on one bet. Consider betting a percentage of your available bankroll - say no more than 10% on any given game.
Calculating Potential Profits
The odds shown alongside an outcome allow you to calculate exactly how much a win would return. If odds are preceded by a minus sign, you need to stake that number of dollars to win $100. On the other hand, if the odds are preceded by a plus sign, you need to stake $100 to win the that number of dollars in profit.
If you want to bet on Team A, you would need to bet $110 to get a profit of $100. But if you want to bet on Team B you would only need to bet $100 to get a profit of $110. Team B pays slightly more because they are the narrow underdogs in this market, and slightly less likely to win.
Of course, you don't have to bet three figures if you don't want to. You could just as easily bet $11 on Team A for a $10 profit, or $10 on Team B for a profit of $11.
Using Multiple Sportsbooks
If you live in a state which has a number of legal sportsbooks, it can be useful to sign up with two or more. This would give you a greater amount of choice of both betting markets and odds.
Not all sportsbooks are the same. Some are of higher quality or have better incentives for their customers. These also might include sign-up bonuses or free picks.
Join several sportsbooks and you could get several free bets or bonuses. This can be useful, especially at the beginning of your betting career, as it will give you more bang for your buck.