Sports Betting Q&A
Frequently asked questions about sports betting

How do sports betting spreads work?

Last Updated: Jun 7, 2024
|
Fact Checked By: Hunter Hewitt

Sports betting spreads, also referred to as lines, are used to even the odds between two unevenly matched teams.

Bookmakers set a spread with the hopes of getting equal action on both sides of a game. For example, if the Colts are a "-3" point home favorite against the visiting Texans on a sports betting app, site or retail sportsbook, the 3 points is the spread

If you want to bet the Colts on the spread, it would mean the Colts need to win by at least four points for you to win the bet. If the Colts win by two points, you would lose. If they win by exactly three, that is referred to as a "push" and the amount that you wagered is refunded. 

The spread at -3 suggests the teams are fairly equal and maybe in this case, the Colts are only -3 because they are playing at home. Bookmakers see these teams as equal and expect to receive fairly even money from bettors. If these teams were widely considered equal and bookmakers put the spread at -10, they wouldn't get equal money as Texans +10 would likely be pounded by bettors.

In a spread bet, the odds are usually set at -110 on both sides, depending on the sportsbook and state. That means whether you bet the Colts -3 or Texans +3, you'll win the same amount of money if you win the bet. At -110, you would have to wager $110 to win $100.

If you like the Colts to win but think three points is a tricky number, a moneyline bet could be made on the winning team with no points in the equation. In the above example, a Colts moneyline bet doesn't have any other requirements other than they win the game. The difference is that their odds may be set at -140 to win. On the other end, the Texans could be +120 to win. At -140, you would have to wager $140 to win $100. At +120, you could win $120 by risking $100, making the moneyline bet the better, more profitable bet if you are confident that the Texans are going to win the game outright.

Sportsbook Promos

If you're ready to start betting on sports, be sure to claim the following offers:

Read More Sports Betting Q&As

More Questions To Read
The plus (+) and minus (-) in sports betting can refer to either the point spread or betting odds.
FanDuel Sportsbook is legal in 22 states. These states are AZ, CO, CT, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, MI, NC, NJ, NY, OH, PA, TN, VA, VT, WV, WY.
Sports betting payouts depend on which type of odds are being used.
If you've never bet before, there are surely a lot of words and phrases you've never heard before and even if you have bet before, you may not know...
A hedge is a method to reduce risk and secure winnings for a specified bet.
Odds can refer to moneyline, spread or total bets, and they can be displayed as American, British (fractional) or European (decimal).
Bonus bets in sports betting are often connected to deposits and are also referred to as bonuses.
Yes. Legal online sports betting is legal in the state of Ohio.
The BetMGM bonus code is ROTOBONUS giving new customers a $1500 first bet offer. Copy and paste the code upon registration to redeem.
While 21 is the more common age limit, there are states in which you can bet on sports if you are at least 18 years old.
A unit in sports betting is a measurement of the size of a given bet.
The FanDuel promo code link gives new users a terrific welcome offer. Sign up with the link on this page to get your bonus, now.
DraftKings is legal for sports betting via the DraftKings Sportsbook mobile app, website or retail location in close to 20 U.S. states and 44 for DFS.
PWBA bowling betting is available with BetRivers Sportsbook , however, the number of states where it is approved is limited. Only bettors in...
Yes. BetRivers Sportsbook is the only known regulated online sportsbook with an option to place PBA bets.
As of this writing, BetRivers Sporstbook is the only known regulated online sportsbook with an option to place PBA bets...
The NCAAB BetMGM bonus code is ROTOBONUS and it was a very attractive $1,500 first bet offer for new customers. Anyone could sign up for...
Yes. Sports betting is legal in North Carolina, but it will be fully operational on March 11, 2024, with pre-registration beginning on March 1, 2024.
You can get bonus money on DraftKings by signing up for a new DraftKings Sportsbook account. Use the DraftKings promo code link for your bonus offer.
The DraftKings promo code gives new users $150 in bonus bets when they bet $5. Use the DraftKings promo code link on this page to redeem.
Yes. Sports betting launched in Kentucky in September 2023.
There are 30+ states (and Washington D.C.) that have legalized sports betting.
There are several different sports bet tracking tool options on the market. They support many leading sportsbooks, allowing you to track and...
You can track all of your sports bets and fantasy sports entries in one convenient location with RotoWire's MyBets tool...
There are several different sports bet tracking apps on the market. They support many leading sportsbooks, allowing you to track and analyze all...