What is Spread Betting? – Beginners Guide

January 10, 2022
spread betting

The vast majority of sporting events have favorites and outsiders. There are much fewer games where two teams of equal quality play. Except for football betting and the Asian Handicap market, betting sites UK use spread betting in almost all other sports. The most famous sports in which this market is used are, without a doubt, basketball, then the NFL, but also tennis and eSports.

When you bet against a handicap (ATS), it is not enough for the favorite to win the match, but it is necessary to win with a certain number of points difference. Although at first glance this may sound quite complicated, we are pretty sure that if you read this article of ours to the end, you will be ready to bet on this type of handicap and make a profit long-term.

Therefore, without too long introductions, let’s look at what handicap betting is.

What is Spread Betting?

Spread betting equalizes the chances of two unequal teams when they play against each other. Instead of choosing a favorite at extremely low odds, with this type of handicap, the bookmaker gives you higher odds but also conditions you with the victory of the favored team with a certain difference in points. So, betting with a handicap is how an online bookmaker reduces every match to a 50-50 chance. What is extremely important to note is that winning a favored team with a spread betting market does not mean winning a bet in every situation.

While in ordinary money line betting, it is enough for your team to win the match, in betting with a handicap, it is necessary to do it with a certain difference (if you bet on the favorite) or not to lose with a certain difference (if you bet on an outsider). Online betting sites UK offer this type of handicap in basketball betting, American sports betting, and some other sports.


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Example of Spread Betting

spread betting

To make it easier to explain how this type of handicap works, we will make an example with one Euroleague basketball match between Barcelona and Olimpia Milano. Before the start of the game, the favorite was the home team, and the bookmakers gave a handicap of -5 with 1.92 odds. Of course, these odds may be different (decimal, fractional, or American), as there are several types of odds in bookmakers. You can read more about types of odds in our article here.

This handicap means that Barcelona must beat Olimpia by more than five points if you decide to bet on the favorite. If you win by exactly five points difference, your bet will count as VOID (the bet is refunded), and if you win by four points or less or lose the match, your bet is lost. Also, if you bet on an outsider, in this case, if Barcelona wins by four points or less, your bet wins.

So, Olimpia Milano can lose the game. However, you still win the bet, which is the beauty of this type of handicap and one of the reasons why spread betting is such a popular betting market among players who practice betting online.

What Can Change the Point Spread?

The moment any betting site comes out with its initial betting lines in any market, it is not something that is unchangeable. Namely, until the very beginning of the match, bookmakers can move their odds, but also the handicap lines, to adapt to the situation. If a player is injured or some other crucial information is obtained regarding the teams that need to compete, the bookmakers react and move the handicaps in a certain direction.

Another reason why online bookmakers are moving the odds and handicap lines is when a large number of players start betting on one outcome. Online bookmakers then move the handicap lines to maintain solvency and have a favorable margin in that match. We talked about the importance of margins earlier, and if you are not familiar with this topic, we suggest you read our article here.


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Conclusion – Spread Betting UK

It is imperative to follow all the trends in sports betting, as well as the offers that the best sports bookmakers give to their players. For example, if you want to know which sports bookmakers give a no-deposit welcome bonus or which are generally the best with welcome bonuses, you can find it all on the Bet Experts page. Also, if you like to play the best online casino games, we suggest you visit the Top Rated Casino page, where you can play a large number of slot games completely free.


  • What is spread betting?

    Spread Betting is a betting market where the bookmaker predicts how much difference one team will win or how much difference the other team will lose. This way of betting is extremely popular, especially in American sports, such as the NBA and NFL.

  • What is the best spread betting platform UK?

    Players from the UK have a number of quality options when it comes to spread betting, as all quality sports bookmakers offer this handicap to their players. We suggest you take a look at the list of the best UK bookmakers and decide for yourself your favorite operator.

  • How do betting odds work?

    It is extremely important to know how the odds work because, in that way, you can recognize the value in your bets. Decimal odds show how much you get when you multiply the bet by the odds and then subtract the stake amount.

  • Is spread betting worth it?

    Of course, it is. In sports betting, it is extremely important to know that you make an advantage over bookmakers, and spread betting gives you just that opportunity. Therefore, we believe that spread betting is one of the most innovative ways to bet on sports.

  • Which online betting site is the best?

    Depending on what you are looking for from your sports bookmaker, there are several operators that can be called the best. If you are looking for a safe place with good odds, our recommendation goes to the bookmakers Bet365, Unibet, and Bet at Home.

Author MilosNS

MilosNS is our senior content writer, SEO guru, and first ever tipster who started working with us, and he is still here. He is a well-known name in the sports betting industry, and his knowledge about anything betting related is vast. If you have any questions, or doubts, MilosNS has the answer for you.

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