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What Are Point Spreads? Betting Point Spreads Explained

When that didn’t have the desired effect, they moved it -4.5, and then -5 and then -5.5. The same thing happened on the total, as too much money was coming in on the OVER. Typically, the odds given on the spread are -110 unless otherwise noted.

If you are a natural risk taker, then you may decide to ignore the line move and roll the dice. Sure, you have a worse line, but if our team wins big, it won’t matter. So in this case, you could just play it at your normal level and hope for the best. Logic dictates that the more a line moves, the higher a chance it will affect the outcome. If a line moves half-a-point, that’s a small move and is quite unlikely to affect the outcome of the bet. If it moves 2.5 points, it’s more likely to affect the outcome.

Let’s say that the Jacksonville Jaguars and playing against the Miami Dolphins. Now, the first thing that the sportsbook is going to do is decide who they think is going to win the game and by how many points they think they will win by. Let’s say they decide that they think the Dolphins are going to win the game by 5 or 6 points. If you’re brand new to sports betting or it’s been a really long time, we recommend reading the guide from top to bottom, as the sections will build on information from prior sections. A push wouldn’t happen in the example above because a team can’t win by half a point.

Once the sportsbooks receive more units on the Bills the line will be shifted down to deter additional bets on the Bills. Likewise, if more money is being placed on the Steelers the spread will increase to 5 or 5.5. The shift is because the sportsbooks need to balance out the money wagered between the two sides. There are no limits or restrictions on how often a line can move. Lines can also move in both directions as sportsbooks might change the Bills, +5.5, and Steelers, -5.5. That movement could entice Bills bettors and with enough money bet on the Bills the line could return to +4.5 and -4.5 respectably.

It brings together the basics of straight bets and the more complex analytics that advanced bettors seek. There aren’t any certainties involved in point spread betting. You study your teams as well as you can, do research, and make your best guess as to which team will win. If you’d like to enjoy a wagering challenge, try point spread betting on baseball.

Enter the point spread, known in some places and in some sports as the handicap. Let’s say that the sportsbook has an unbalanced number of bets with too much action on the Dolphins. Normally, they’d shift the line to -3, and the problem would fix itself. However, in football, a shift to +-3 usually causes a huge shift in action. So, here’s what you might see instead to encourage action on the Jaguars. You may also start seeing that winning 50% of your bets will not break you even.

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