Spread betting on sports is much less common than traditional
sports betting, for a variety of reasons. It’s not as widely
available for one thing, because only a small percentage of sports
betting sites offer spread betting. Many people also believe it’s a very complex form of betting, which
makes them not want to get
There are a lot of people that do enjoy spread betting
though, particularly in the United Kingdom and some parts of
Europe. We wouldn’t say it’s easy to understand, but it’s really
not as complicated as people think. It can be very profitable
too, if you know what you’re doing, and it’s a very exciting way
If you’re interested in trying spread betting, then please
take a moment to read through this article. We’ve explained the
basics of how it works and provided some examples to illustrate
how wins and losses are calculated. We’ve also discussed:
This form of betting should not be confused with point spread betting. You can read
more about point spread betting on the following page.
Spread betting is basically betting on whether something will
happen before or after a set time, or whether the amount of
something will be higher or lower than a set number. In this
respect it’s similar to totals betting or over/under betting.
The way it works is that a bookmaker will set a spread for a
market, such as the number of goals scored in a soccer match,
and you bet based on that spread. You place a buy bet if you
think the number of goals will be higher than the spread, and
you place a sell bet if you think the number of goals will be
lower than the spread.
You’ll note from the above that the spread is a range and not
a single number. In this case, the range is 2-3 goals. When
buying, your bet is based on the higher end of the spread. When
selling, your bet is based on the lower end of the spread.
Therefore you need more than three goals to win if buying, and
less than two goals to win when selling.
The fundamental difference between spread betting and totals
betting is that there are no odds involved. Your wins or losses
are based on how right you are, or how wrong you are. If you are
right, then you receive a return of your initial stake
multiplied by the difference between the spread and the actual
outcome. If you’re wrong, you have to pay your initial stake
multiplied by that difference.
This sounds a lot more complicated than it really is in
practice. We’ll now use some examples to show how spread betting
works in practice, which should make things easier to
Spread Betting Examples
First, let’s look at what would happen based on buying or
selling the number of goals scored in a soccer match. We’ll use
the spread mentioned earlier, of 2-3 goals, and work on an
initial stake of $10.
As you can see, it’s relatively easy to calculate your wins
and losses. They will always be in multiples of $10, as that was
your initial stake.
You may have noticed that the potential winnings, or losses,
aren’t particularly big relative to the initial stake. This is
because the number of goals scored in a soccer match is rarely
much different to the spread. There are other markets where
there’s the potential to win, or lose, much more.
Another popular spread betting market is on the time of the
first goal in a soccer match. The bookmaker sets a spread on the
time, and you have to decide whether you think the first goal
will come earlier or later than that spread. You buy if you
think it’s going to be later, and sell if you think it’s going
to be earlier.
Let’s look at some possible results if you were buying or
selling minutes on a spread of 26-28. We’ll again work on an
initial stake of $10. Wins and losses are calculated in exactly
the same way but, as you can see, the amounts can be a lot
Hopefully these examples have highlighted that spread betting
is really not as complex as it may seem at first. It’s actually
quite straightforward once you understand the basics. With that
being said, spread betting isn’t necessarily right for
everyone. You should be familiar with the risks involved, as
well as the benefits, before you decide whether to give it a
Benefits & Risks of Spread Betting
Spread betting offers the potential for winning large sums of
money. In some markets, making the right move can result in
massive profits relative to the initial stake. For a lot of
people this is the main attraction of spread betting, and it’s
certainly a significant benefit.
However, it’s very important to recognize that this potential
for winning doesn’t come without risk. In the same way that the
right move can be very profitable, the wrong move can be
disastrous. You can lose your initial stake many times over if
things don’t turn out as expected.
This is why we advise caution when trying spread betting.
With the right approach it can be very profitable, but you have
to be very careful not to expose yourself to a high level of
risk. You should start out with small stakes, and employ very
strict bankroll management rules.
There are some other benefits of spread betting as well.
There are certain markets you can bet on that are simply not
possible with traditional sports betting, and this can mean
extra opportunities for making money. It’s also possible to
close a position early, halfway through a match for example.
This may allow you to limit your losses if an event isn’t going
as you expected. It may also allow you to lock in some profit if
things are working out well for you.
It’s not for us to tell you whether you should get involved
with spread betting. That’s a decision you’ll have to make for
yourself. There are definitely some benefits, and it can be an
incredibly exciting way to bet, but it can be costly if you make
too many mistakes. You must weigh out the benefits and risks to
determine whether it’s something that appeals to you or not.
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