Content Navigation

Sports betting has many different types of options to choose from when wagering on teams. Some are easy to understand, and others a bit more complicated. The latter tend to give better odds and opportunities for winning. Point spread betting is one such wagering option, and we’ll take a look at how it works.

point spread betting odds

What is Point Spread Betting Odds?

In sports betting, a point spread is a figure set by the bookmakers. It’s aim is to give a lead to a team. It’s based on the margin of a win or loss for the team. The “favourite” team, labelled with a minus sign, would be at a disadvantage. It would need to win the game by a certain number of points.

The weaker side receives a plus sign label and gets an advantage not to lose the game by a set number of points. It encourages betting interests for both of the teams, as one team is typically better than the other. Bettors can bet on the final margin of a victory, instead of only having to choose an outright winner.

The 11/10 vig offered on a point spread is what ensures a profit for the bookie and an increase in sports betting. For bettors, the 11/10 system gives them something to aim for: 52.38 per cent. A bettor must hit that ratio to break even and best that percentage to make a profit if you factor in the vig.

What is Point Spread and Odds Movement?

Bookies like to have the same amounts of money on both sides of a point spread. When the bookmaker splits the money, they can see the precise vig as the profit margin. It will maximise how much the operator will make over time, provided that all things are equal.

The bookmaker will move the spread to try to get more interest in the team that punters aren’t betting on in order to try and balance the two sides of the wager. The odds could change before the actual point spread. There are specific spread numbers that sportsbook operators would like to avoid moving away from. In betting on football, for example, the numbers 3 and 7 are important for the final score margins.

What is Point Spread and Odds Movement?

The puck lines are a spread betting variant of sports betting, popular in sports such as football. In this point spread, the odds are typically around 1.5. It’s an advantage for the underdog by levelling the playing field between both teams. How this works is that one side will have 1.5 points added to their total, while the other team, usually the favourite, will have 1.5 points taken away.

The puck line is basically the same as the run line in baseball, except it’s not reliant on a particular player starting. With the run line, whoever the starting pitchers are must be the ones to launch the game for the bookmaker to honour the wager.

So when should you bet the puck line? When there’s keen interest in wagering on the favourite and not a lot of value on the underdog. You can see this by studying the odds board. This is when a puck line bet could bring you a better profit. If you bet on the favourite to win by two or more goals, you’re likely to get the winner of the game at reduced prices.

History of Spread Betting

history of spread betting

Before the point spread bet appeared on the gambling scene, bettors didn’t have many choices. If they wanted to bet on a game, then they had to bet against the odds on each team. Their bookie picked the odds. If you wanted to take a favourite, then you would risk heavy odds. Bets on the weaker side would pay off a weighty sum in the case of an upset.

For bookies, this was a big problem. They ran the risk of losing a considerable sum of money if a big underdog hit on a given day, or if all of their customers were on a big winning favourite. If a particular event looked to be lopsided, then the bookie would refrain from taking action on the game to try and minimise their risk. The solution to the bookie’s predicament was the point spread.

It originated in Chicago in the 1940s. Charles McNeil is the one that came up with this betting strategy. He was a maths teacher who turned bookie. There’s some debate as to whether he was the originator, but most people agree that McNeil was the one to streamline the idea. There’s no doubt that he took some concepts from other professional bettors to fine-tune his ‘wholesale odds system’.

Regardless of who the inventor was, one thing is for sure, it changed the face of sports betting forever. The 1950s saw the emergence of television. Along with the arrival of the spread system, this boosted the growth of sports betting in this era. Bookies offered more games, and people could watch the events they bet on at home or the local pub.


What’s the difference between Moneyline and puck line?

The two are quite different even though both have the word ‘line’ in the name. The puck line form of betting relies on goals scored and not on the wins or losses. The money line requires you to pick the team to win overall.

What is a reverse puck line?

It’s a proposition that lets a bettor take the underdog and still give the 1.5 goals.

What is vig?

It’s a fee that sports betting operators charge for accepting a bettors wager. You wager to make money, and those that offer the online betting make money by charging for their services.


Sports betting is a favourite pastime for millions of people around the world. Often certain betting options can get confusing. Point spread betting is one of those that takes some time to understand correctly. However, once you get the basics, it can be a lucrative form of betting. Try it on the next football match or horse race to see the results for yourself.