Spread betting is a popular betting option – just guess which way the game will go. If you're correct, then you win extra. This article explains how it works for beginners.
I don't consider myself a big sports fan, but when a big sports event like the Olympics or the World Cup rolls around, I can happily watch along and root for a team. Now, what if I could also make some money while watching sports?
Beyond simply guessing who will win, you can also make educated bets on things like whether it will be an offensive or a defensive game. These kinds of bets are called spread bets and usually turn out to be more profitable. Spread betting takes a little bit of brain power to understand, but then so do most things that pay. Once you get over this first obstacle, you're on your way to some extra cash.
What Is Spread Betting
Originating in sports, spread betting is most known today in financial trading for leverage on stock movements – that is to gain from a stock's up and downs without having to front all the money to buy the stocks. As Investopedia explains, in spread betting, you are not buying anything, but betting on the assets' movement – which is either up or down.
Spread betting in trading is a lucrative activity, but compared to sports betting, it requires a lot more money to get started, so I'm going to stay with sports betting here.
Examples to Explain Spread Bets
Spread betting begins with the bookmaker making a prediction, and you decide on how far off that prediction may be. Typical spread bets can be how many goals will be scored, or how far will the winning horse lead by – the bookie gives a quote, and you make a bet whether it will be higher or lower.
Let's look at some examples.
There is a football match. The bookmaker gives a spread of 2 – 3 on total goals scored.
You think there will be a lot less goal scoring. So you ‘sell' (that's the term for betting on lower than the bookie's quote) at point 3 at £10 per point.
The final result is 1 – 0.
3 – (1+0) = 2. Multiply that by £10 and you have a profit of £20.
If it's the same football match with the same quote, but you think there will be goals galore, then you ‘buy' (that's betting on higher than the bookie's quote) at a point of 2 at £10. The final score is still 1-0.
(1+0) – 2 = -1. Multiply that by £10, and you've lost £10.
Usually, spreads are quoted with decimals because bookies want to avoid refunding bettors on draws because they lose money on their overhead costs. Some may also specify that ties are wins or losses.
Spread Betting as Multiplier
Now the examples above used some small numbers just to make the idea behind spread betting easier to understand in the beginning. But it should be pretty clear what the potential here is. All you need to do is guess in the right direction from the bookie's quote and then the further away it goes in your direction, the more you win.
With all that being said, while you can win big, you can also lose big if you guess in the wrong direction. So it's rather important that you choose a sport that you enjoy following so you can keep up to date with how sports teams are performing to make educated guesses.
Choosing a sport to bet on is quite easy nowadays. Bookmakers let you practically bet on any sport that is practiced at a competitive level. Whether you're into football, the NFL, golf, tennis, or even netball, you can find a bookmaker that offers spread betting in that market. Online sportsbooks often have bonuses for new bettors, and all sorts of special promos like loss insurance to free bets. One site that is particularly good for finding online bookmakers with bonus offers is bonus.co.uk/sport/.
Sports betting has long been associated with a lower class lads' activity, but we're well into the 21st century and it's time to do away with such stereotypes. Sports betting is a fun way to get some cash and if you're smart about it, spread betting can help you in giant leaps.
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