What is a Point Spread and What Does ATS And Against The Spread mean? | How to Bet
How does a point spread work? (Or What Is a Point Spread in Sports Gambling?)
Betting with a point spread is by far the most popular of all bets when it comes to wagering on sports. In its simplest form, betting with a point spread is looking at the two teams who are playing a particular game and the team who is favored to win must win by at least a certain amount of points, this amount of points is referred to as the point spread. Conversely, you can also bet (all wagers are often referred to as action) on the team who is not favored or the underdog in which case the point spread will be added to your team’s total number of points when determining if you won or lost the wager.
Now before I get involved in some confusing language why don’t we just walk through a fictional example of a game that is going to be played between Alaska State and Wyoming Tech. Let’s just say in this fictional game that Alaska State is favored by 6 points over Wyoming Tech. In this scenario, Alaska State would be considered minus 6 points (-6). This can also be referred to as Alaska State giving points. At the same time, Wyoming Tech would be plus 6 points (+6). This can also be referred to as Wyoming tech getting points.
It is important to note at this time that point spreads can be different at different sports books and getting the best odds can make the difference between winning or losing as many wagers can come down to just one point deciding if you won or lost. I use this betting odds comparison page to monitor all of the odds at the various online sportsbooks that are available. If I don’t have an account already opened, this makes it easy for me to open one as well as usually offering me a nice Free Bet bonus just for depositing. Most successful sports bettors have more than one online sportsbook account so they can always get the best odds.
How do you determine if you won or lost your point spread sports wager?
Using our same example of Alaska State being favored over Wyoming Tech by 6 points, if Alaska State wins by more than six points they have covered the spread, meaning they won the game by more points than the point spread called for. If Alaska State wins by less than six points the people who bet on the Wyoming Tech would win their wager and those who bet Alaska State would lose. In this scenario, Wyoming Tech would have lost the game but covered the spread and Alaska State would have won the game but would not have covered the spread. Of course, if Wyoming Tech wins the game outright and Alaska State loses, the same applies as Alaska State did not win by the required six points and wagers on them would be graded as losers. When a wager is said to be “graded”, it is merely just a reference that the winner and loser of the wager has been determined and the results are final.
What happens if the point spread wager is a tie?
Using our same example of Alaska State favored by 6 points over Wyoming Tech, if by chance Alaska State wins by exactly 6 points, then it is considered a tie or what is referred to as a push. When two teams push it is considered a no wager/no action meaning the wager has been canceled and both sides are refunded the entire amount of their original wager.