Sports Spread Betting

Do you find that your bets are always coming up just short? Sports spread betting may be ideal for you.

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Sports spread betting is very different to regular fixed betting. With regular fixed betting you place a stake on a set fractional or decimal odd and as a result know what your potential winnings would work out to be. Spread betting however is very different, with winnings or losses being determined how far away the final result is from the spread provided.

With sports spread betting the bookmaker takes a look at what they think the most likely outcome of an event will be and proposes a wager. This normally won’t be an exact number and so will give themselves some leeway called the spread. You bet on whether you think the final outcome will be higher or lower than the given spread, also known as “buying” and “selling”. Once the final result is known, you subtract the actual result from the spread the bookies offered you and multiply this by your stake. If this number is positive then great! you’ve made money, but if this number is negative then commiserations, you’ve lost.

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Name Product Price per trade Frequent trader rate Platform fees Brand description
Fineco
£2.95
£2.95
Zero platform fee
Your first 50 trades are free with Fineco, until 31/12/2020. T&Cs apply.
Fineco Bank is good for share traders and investors looking for a complete platform and wide offer. Capital at risk.
IG
0% commission on US shares, and £3 on UK shares
From £5
£0 - £24 per quarter
IG is good for experienced traders, and offers learning resources for beginners, all with wide access to shares, ETFs and funds. Capital at risk.
eToro Free Stocks
0% commission, no markup, no ticket fee, no management fee
N/A
Withdrawal fee & GDP to USD deposit conversion
Capital at risk. 0% commission but other fees may apply.
Hargreaves Lansdown Fund and Share Account
£11.95
£5.95
No fees
Hargreaves Lansdown is the UK's number one platform for private investors, with the depth of features you'd expect from an established platform. Capital at risk.
Interactive Investor
From £7.99 on the Investor Service Plan
From £7.99 on the Investor Service Plan
No transfer fees or exit fees. £9.99 a month on the Investor Service Plan
Open an ISA, Trading Account or SIPP you will get £100 of free trades to buy or sell any investment (new customers only).
Interactive Investor offers everything most investors need. Its flat fees makes it pricey for small portfolios, but cheap for big ones. Capital at risk.
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Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Minimum deposit Maximum annual fee Price per trade Brand description
Moneyfarm stocks and shares ISA
£1500
0.75%
£0
Hargreaves Lansdown stocks and shares ISA
£100
0.45%
£11.95
Hargreaves Lansdown is the UK's biggest wealth manager. It's got everything you'll need, from beginners to experienced investors. Capital at risk.
Interactive Investor stocks and shares ISA
Any lump sum or £25 a month
£119.88
£7.99
Interactive Investor offers everything most investors need. Its flat fees makes it pricey for small portfolios, but cheap for big ones. Capital at risk.
Saxo Markets stocks and shares ISA
No minimum deposit requirement
0.12%
£8.00
Saxo Markets offers a wide access to a range of stocks, ETFs and funds. Capital at risk.
AJ Bell stocks and shares ISA
£500
0.25%
£9.95
AJ Bell is a good all-rounder for people who to choose between shares, funds, ISAs and pensions. Capital at risk.
Fidelity stocks and shares ISA
£1000 or a regular savings plan from £50
0.35%
£10.00
Fidelity is another good all-rounder, offering a good package at a decent price. Not suited for trading shares. Capital at risk.
Nutmeg stocks and shares ISA
£100
0.75%
£0
Nutmeg offers three types of portfolios. Choose the one that goes with your investment style. Capital at risk.
Legal & General stocks and shares ISA
Legal & General stocks and shares ISA
£100 or £20 a month
0.61%
N/A
Legal & General is a big financial services company which offers insurance, lifetime mortgage, pensions and stocks and shares ISAs. Capital at risk.
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Name Product Minimum investment Choose from Annual fee Brand description
Moneyfarm Pension
£1,500 (initial investment)
7 funds
0.35%-0.75%
Moneyfarm has pensions that are matched against your risk appetite, goals and planned retirement date. Capital at risk.
AJ Bell Pension
£1,000
Over 2,000 funds
0.05-0.25%
AJ Bell has two different pension options, a self managed pension and one that is managed for you. Capital at risk.
PensionBee Pension
No minimum
7 funds
0.5% - 0.95%
Pension Bee is a newbie in the pension market. It helps consolidate your pension plans into one place. Capital at risk.
Hargreaves Lansdown Pension
£100 or £25 a month
2,500 funds
0-0.45%
Hargreaves Lansdown is the UK's biggest wealth manager. It's got three different retirement options. Capital at risk.
Interactive Investor Pension
Any lump sum or £25 a month
Over 3,000 funds
£10/month
interactive investor is a flat-fee platform, which makes it cost effective for larger portfolios. Capital at risk.
Saxo Markets Pension
Saxo Markets Pension
£10
Over 11,000 funds
No annual fee
Saxo Markets gives flexibility and control over your investment strategy. Capital at risk.
Moneybox Pension
£1
3 funds
0.15% - 0.45% charged monthly
Manage your money with an easy-to-use Moneybox app. Capital at risk.
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All investing should be regarded as longer term. The value of your investments can go up and down, and you may get back less than you invest. Capital is at risk.

What is a spread?

The spread is where the bookmaker believes the final result will settle. So, for example, in cricket a bookmaker may wager that a total of 285 – 300 runs will be scored. This is the spread and betters can then choose to “buy” if they believe that the total runs will be higher, or “sell” if they think the team won’t make that number of runs.

Examples

This is the best way to practically see how spread betting works:

  • A common market to bet on in football is Total number of corners taken in a game. The bookmaker may decide that in a game, the total number of corners they believe are going to be taken is 11. If you choose to “buy” this with a stake of £10 and there happens to be 15 corners then your return is (15-11) x 10 = £40. If however, only 6 corners are taken then you lose (6-11) x 10 = £50. The same is true for “selling” but in reverse, if the number is lower than the bookmakers prediction that you make money, whereas if it is above you lose.
  • Shirt number is an example of a bet that is offered on spread betting but not classic fixed betting sites. This is where the bookmaker gives a spread based off the aggregate number on the backs of players shirts when they score. So let’s say Tottenham Hotspur are playing and Harry Kane (No. 10) and Christian Eriksen (No. 23) both score, their points total would be 33 as it is 10 + 23. This is a very unique market to spread betting.
  • Winning distance is a common spread bet for the horse racing. This is the distance between the first placed horse and the second placed horse. If the bookmakers place a spread of 33 – 37 but you believe that to be too generous than you can opt to “sell” at £5 a point, if it turns out your right and the horse only wins by 5 then you make a profit of (33-5) x 5 = £140. However, if the favourite is dominant and beats the rest of the field by 80 then your losses are (37-80) x 5 = £215.

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