What You Need to Know About Point Spreads

The most basic of sports bets is the point spread. If you’re new to betting on the Super Bowl, much less regular season games or even other sports, then this is where you need to begin.

So let’s get started.

Take this following line, for example:

  • New England -6.5 (-112)
  • Denver +6.5 (+110)

The “spread” is the difference in points between the favorite to win and the underdogs. To clarify, the favorites are the teams with a negative symbol (-) next to the spread/line and the underdogs are the teams with the plus symbol (+) in front of their spread/line.

Now, if you were to bet on the favorite, New England, to win, they would need to win by 7 or more points for you to win your bet. This is very easy to figure out – just take the final scores, subtract the losing team from the winning team and if it’s 7 points or more, then it’s a winning bet.

For example, 28-21 (New England) would be a winning bet, but 25-21 would not be. If Denver won the game, the bet would also lose.

Note – Technically the favorite could be 6.5 points up and the bet would push, but in the case of half points, they aren’t possible to score in football, thus aren’t possible to push/tie.

You could also bet on Denver, and so long as they lost by no more than 6 points, the bet would be a winning one. Here’s a fun infographic on how point spread betting works – enjoy!

Point Spreads

Other Bets Besides the Point Spread

Let’s look at the other numbers.

The other numbers are also referred to as the moneyline. This tells you how much you have to spend in order to win the amount listed.

For example, the moneyline for New England is -112. When it comes to the teams favored to win, the amount listed is how much you have to spend to win $100. So in this case, you’d spend $112 to win $100.

However, it’s the complete opposite for the underdogs. In this of the underdog, you spend $100 to win the amount shown ($100 to win $110).

Keep in mind that these amounts can be broken down. Meaning, you can spend $1.12 to win $1 for New England and wager $1 to win $1.10 for Denver. The only limitation is the minimum/maximums set by the sportsbooks.

Pretty simple, right? That’s all there is to point spread betting, and to an extent, the moneyline as well. Now that you know how to read these bets and what will win/lose your bets, you can now go get started at the sportsbook of your choice.