Sports Betting 101: Guide to the point spread

Sports Betting 101: Guide to the point spread

Guide to the what, now? If point spread is an alien term to you, we recommend heading over to our guide to spread betting first, then coming back here. This guide is a more in-depth look at point spreads, how they work, and what they mean for sports betting.

A casino is a casino is a casino, right? How different can one casino be from another? All they do is exchange money for chips, offer games, and then exchange chips for money.

Well, no. No story goes, “Once upon a time, everything was simple, everything was the same, and everyone was happy. The end.”

Every casino – both brick and mortar and online – is unique. Yes, there are similarities, both legislative and game based, but there’s no way to summarise all casinos with just a few simple sentences.

Luckily for you, we have taken the time and effort to really get into the foundations of online gambling: what makes it tick, how it works, what players can expect, and so much more. Here, we offer you all the in-depth guides to online casinos and gambling you’ll need. And we take that promise seriously, which is why we are constantly working to add more guides that cover every aspect of the online casino experience.

In this series of guides, you will find information about jackpots, variance and volatility, online casinos, casino bonuses, withdrawals and deposits, and more.

Why should you use guides?

Casino guides like these can really help enhance your online casino experience. For example, jackpot guides don’t just tell you what a jackpot is; they explain the various types of jackpot, how they work, how to play to win, where to find games with different jackpots, and even who the game developers are.

Casino bonus guides are another super useful way to figure out which online casinos will work best for you. We don’t only look at the types of bonus offered, but explain how they work, the hidden pitfalls to look out for, and ways to make the most of your wagering requirements.

You’ll find enough information here to keep you busy longer than a great game of poker, so dig in, and come out the other side a little more knowledgeable. And if there’s anything you’d like to learn more about that you don’t find here on CasinoPlay, let us know. Happy reading!

To recap, spread betting provides bettors with an option to bet on a more detailed outcome of a game than a simple win, lose or tie. In spread betting, bookmakers don’t only calculate who is likely to win the match-up, but also what the difference in their scores will be.

Spread betting, or the points spread, is commonly known as the ‘great equaliser’ when it comes to sports betting. That’s because, regardless of which team you bet on, both outcomes are equally likely. As a result, games that offer spread betting tend to attract a more even distribution of bettors, rather than one team standing out as a bettors’ favourite.

But how does this benefit players? As far as winnings go, the outcomes for gamblers are pretty similar to moneyline betting. From a betting perspective, it’s a matter of choosing what types of betting you prefer. Spread betting can be great for gamblers who enjoy delving into the statistics of games, figuring out whether they believe the odds are favourable, and selecting games where they believe the desired outcome is likely. It adds an edge of excitement, interest and control to betting.

From the bookmaker’s perspective, it’s more financially viable to ensure betting is more evenly spread across bettors. Bookmakers, much like casinos, need to remain profitable to stay in business, so they developed spread betting as a way to kill two birds with one stone, creating a more exciting betting experience, and keeping themselves in business.

For sports betting fans, absolutely. It’s a way to really think about the bets you place, rather than simply betting on your favourite. It’s another story for bookmakers, however, because, well, people.

The thing about creating a level playing field is, you need everybody to cooperate. However, not every person who bets on sports is spending time reading statistics, comparing odds, and placing bets based on rational, logical choices. Plenty of gamblers will absolutely bet on their favourite team because they simply can’t believe they will lose this time or that they won’t be able to smash the point spread. There are several high-profile teams across all kinds of sports that attract this kind of attention, usually accompanied by a fanatic supporter base who don’t believe their team can do any wrong, regardless of actual performance statistics. Come on, you know what kind of team we’re talking about – you’ve got one in mind already!

These teams, referred to as ‘public teams’ in the bookmaking industry, tend to throw off equal betting. If one team attracts a disproportionate percentage of bets, it can result in potential losses for the bookmakers. Don’t worry too much about them, however, because their odds calculations are designed to make sure they always make a percentage of wins, aka the ‘vig’. They will also take the popularity of such public teams into account when calculating odds and payouts.


To sports bettors, points spreads can be useful indicators of how teams are performing, where the smart bets lie, and what the general zeitgeist of the betting industry is. It’s a way to separate sports betting from the emotional pursuit of betting on your favourite team and hoping, against all odds, that they might not let you down this time, and into the realm of bettors who play with their heads. Points spreads are a tool that you can use to compare your own conclusions about teams and their chances.

Sports betting is a fascinating and exciting pursuit, but there’s a lot to learn. That’s why we created Sports Betting 101, a crash course in sports betting, to help you get to grips with this wild world.