Point Spread Betting
Point spreads have been put on every Super Bowl, from the Packers (-14) vs. the Chiefs in Super Bowl I to the Chiefs (-1) vs. the 49ers. The Eagles (+4) were the last underdog to cover a Super Bowl, vs. the Patriots in Super Bowl 52. Nobody wins them all, but remember, if you hit on 55% of your picks, you’re making a profit.
The favorite is assigned a puck line of (-1.5) and the underdog of (+1.5). In this case, if you bet the favorite, they have to win by two or more goals. You will likely have a payout ranging from (-130) to (+200) for a favorite on the puck line.
When the San Francisco 49ers are expected to blow out the Arizona Cardinals, it’s not enticing to lay $300 to win $100 on a moneyline. But when the 49ers are 11-point favorites and each side is -110 odds? The examples above were from basketball and football, which are high-scoring sports. Basketball and football have a wider range of score outcomes, so spreads will also be more varied.
Let’s take a look at some examples of how point spread betting works across various sports. For example, if Wisconsin gets a lot of action at -1.5 (-110), that line could shift to -1.5 (-120) or beyond. Though sportsbooks often use half points, some will use whole numbers for their point spreads. Since there are no half points, you may be wondering why to include half points in the odds at all.
The plus sign before the 76ers’ spread number indicates they are the underdogs. If the final score is Milwaukee 117, Philadelphia 108, you win the bet because is 109, which is still more than the 108 points the 76ers scored, hypothetically. A bet on the 76ers means adding eight points to the 76ers score and comparing it to the Bucks score. In this example, the Suns are a 2.5-point favorite over the Lakers in Los Angeles. And as you see in football both at the NFL and college level, the payout for both sides is the standard -110. But keep in mind that payout can change depending on the number of bets on each side and the operator.
Sometimes it’s a 24.5-point spread, and other times it’s a -500 moneyline. Either way, you have an understanding of how sportsbooks believe the game will play out. You should be able to see the connection between the point spread and a straight-up moneyline.