Sports Spread Betting

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

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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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.


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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