A Detailed Look At Betting Spreads
Betting spreads are immensely popular, yet also widely misunderstood. It’s difficult enough understanding odds formats, but now you have to start thinking about +3’s and -4’s as well? Spreads really aren’t that difficult once you get the hang of them. In fact, most players who bet online in sports, or even esports, would never imagine a world where spreads don’t exist. They add so much more colour to a game.
NFL Futures Betting Odds
The easiest way to think about betting spreads is to compare them to moneylines. Where moneylines are simple bets based on picking the winner, with spreads you’re going one step deeper and putting your bet on the accuracy of your pick.
How betting spreads work
Let’s use a straightforward example by looking at an NFL football game between the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles.
Based on the Moneyline (ML) shown above, New England are favorites in this game, and it would be risky to place a wager on Philadelphia to beat New England.
Maybe you have a hunch about the Eagles this week and you want to bet on them but you aren’t prepared to risk it with a moneyline just in case the market is right and they do lose. So you bet on the spread. What you’re doing here is saying, “Ok, Philly might lose, but I think they won’t lose by more than 4 points.” So you bet on the Eagles to cover the spread at +4. To determine the bet result, simple add 4 points to Philadelphia’s score at the end of the game. If the difference between their score and New England’s score is 4 or less, then you win. Of course, if the Eagles just win outright, then the spread doesn’t matter and you win your bet as well.
Here’s an example:
Final score was Patriots (20) vs. Eagles (7). The different between the scores was 13 points (20-7=13). Philadelphia did not have a great game. By betting on +4 you thought Philadelphia wouldn’t lose by more than 4 points. You were wrong. They lost by 13 points, and you lost your bet.
But here’s another scenario:
The game was super-tight and the final score was Patriots (20) vs. Eagles (17). Philadelphia only lost by 3. You covered the spread! You said they wouldn’t lose by more than 4, and they didn’t. You would have won your bet.
But what happens if the spread is exactly 4?
So the final score ends up Patriots (20) vs. Eagles (16). In this case the spread was 4 points and both sides of the bet covered. In this case it’s a push and your bet is returned. No one wins.
It’s also important to know that the spreads are always evolving, and players at Nitrogen rarely have just one spread to choose from. Simply select the drop-down on your betslip to see a selection of spreads before the start of the game.
You can look at this whole thing from a different angle as well. Maybe the years of dynasty football in New England have rubbed off on you and you’re pretty sure the Patriots are going to win and it won’t be too close. You look at your betslip and choose the Patriots to cover at -5 (+104).
This means the Patriots have to win by 5 or more points for you to win your bet. A modest win by 4 or less won’t do it.
Here’s an example:
The final score of the game is Patriots (30) vs. Eagles (12). The Patriots crushed them by 18 points. You said you thought the Patriots would win by at least 5, and in this case you were definitely right. You covered the spread and won your bet.
But in another world, all doesn’t go as planned:
New England defense had an off day and the Patriots only squeaked by. Final score Patriots (30) vs. Eagles (27). You might want to celebrate because you picked the winner, but not so fast. You made a bet that not only would the Patriots win, but they’d also have to win by 5 or more points. In this game, they only won by 3 points. You lost your bet.
Of course football isn’t the only sport where you can bet using spreads. NBA basketball is another hugely popular option, but run down the list of team sports and you’ll likely find that Nitrogen offers spreads. Anything from NHL hockey to EPL soccer and APT tennis. You can even use spreads to bet on esports like CS:GO.
Place your wagers on Nitrogen betting spreads today! To learn more about the different types of betting lines available, be sure to check out our sports betting guide and esports guide.