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Point spread betting soccer is one of the things players like to get into. It is a technique used bookmakers to be able to spread bets. Unlike an outright bet on who will win or not, there are certain conditions to be met in this type of sports spread betting. Particularly, they have to cover the points delineated by a bet, or a spread in sports betting. To do that, a handicap is placed on the favoured team, allowing the underdog to level with the favourite.

How Point Spread Betting Works

What does spread mean in betting? It simply means a point spread to be covered when a team is given a handicap. Adding spread cover odds adds more excitement to the usual betting, because an outright team does not guarantee a win, and a loss by a team could even get you a win.

Here is how point spread betting works:

  • Establishment of point spread
  • Adding points/goals to the finals score of underdog
  • Deduct points/goals from the favourite.

What does covering the spread mean? If the team you picked is still the winner after the point modification due to the cover spread (adding or subtracting the handicap points), your bet will win.

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Money line vs Spread

Now lets look at moneyline and spread betting explained. Points spread and moneylines give unique takes on betting on a game. You can also make a bet on who will win or not. Meanwhile, point spread covers more value, making it more exciting to bet on.

  • Moneyline

As a tip, we would recommend beginners to bet on football and other sports moneyline if the team they are betting on is a big favourite. Let’s look at the example below for a match between Spain and Costa Rica:

Spain = -218

Costa Rica = +140

Here you can see that Spain is the clear favourite to win the match. And while points betting on Costa Rica would promise you $140 for a $100 bet, you will also lose that amount when you lose.

  • Points Spread

Meanwhile, if a weaker team could upset the favoured team, you can choose the Points Spread bet. Your bet will need more thought, since you are picking a team to win against the spread, meaning, The underdog bet is easier to root for and making it more challenging to win. For example, let’s look at this match half time and full time bets between Portugal (home) and Ghana (away):







Since the 1 is next to Portugal, the bet type assigned to it is -1. Meanwhile Ghana is given the handicap +1, adding 1 goal to its total score in the cover spread.

The game ends in full time with Portugal winning 3-2. If you bet on Portugal, does that mean you win? No, because since 1 goal is subtracted, the score becomes 2-2. This means there is a bet push (draw) and your bet will be returned to you. However, if you bet on Ghana (+1), the scoreline becomes 2-3; therefore, you win the bet. If you wagered $100, you win $150, and you bring home a total of $250.

It is more exciting, isn’t it? However, if you do undertake this type of point spread bet, you have to decide for yourself if that team is capable of making an upset. What’s more, it’s profitable for you!

How are Spreads Set?

A sports betting spread are set up by bookies in advance of matches. Algorithms are mixed in together with home advantage, recent performance, lineup changes and also the weather.

You may also notice that a point spread can change over time. Here is the lifespan of a typical point spread bet:

  • The competitors copy and post the market.
  • The limits are low and the exact size is dependent on the book.
  • With the game coming nearer, more information goes into the market. These then sharpen the line, drawing the line closer to the true cover odds.
  • As the books become confident in the numbers, the limits are expanded. More often, the books will follow leads of the market setters with a little variation due to the house risk.
  • The line closes with the beginning of the game.

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Point Spread Betting Moves

What is the meaning of point spread betting moving? Following the point spread in a game will tell you how the public bets. So that exposure is lessened, sportsbooks balance action between sides of a sports spread bet. For example, if the public bets predominantly on a team, the point spread shifts to get more action to another team. Here’s an example of a 4-point spread move:

  • A 4 point spread goes up to 4.5 if money is placed into the favourite. The half point will give the underdog a bigger range to lose by.
  • If a lot of money is placed on the underdog, the 4-point spread goes to 3.5. This makes it easier for the favourite to cover.

Betting the Middle in Point Spread Betting

With bets moving into a game, the cover spread will shift to get action on the other side. Here in this spread betting type, you could bet the middle, which means betting on both sides. Each side here has its own spread. If the end result is in the middle of the bets, you win twice.

Betting the middle is a common occurrence with American football, because NFL odds are released a week prior to game day. This gives a chance for point spreads to shift. 

For example, the Dallas Cowboys are -12.5 picks against the Washington Commanders. You pick the bet on football, and as the game comes near, the spread will shift, making the Cowboys -18.5 favourites. This time you pick up the Commanders +18.5 underdogs. If the Cowboys win by 13 to 19 points, you win both your bets for Dallas and Washington.

What is Line Betting in Sports Spread Betting

This is the process of finding the best available line for your spread bets. You have a wide range of sports books, so do not just dependent on one. It is also the reason why it is recommended to go for multiple online sportsbooks for spread sports betting.

Doing this will make a great difference to your bottom line as time passes by. Your losses will become betting push wagers, and the push bets into wins.

Why was my Spread Bet Cancelled?

Sometimes, spread bets doesn’t push through. This is not uncommon for betting in general. Here are the reasons:

  • The sportsbook posted an erroneous line. Also known as “palps”, they are cancelled if the game hasn’t started.
  • The game/match doesn’t take place on the scheduled day of sports spread betting. A new market would then have to be made.
  • The match ends early, due to inclement weather or an injury (tennis).

Techniques for Selecting and Betting Point Spreads

Now you’ve been informed what does a spread mean in betting and given an idea on point spread betting explained.

  1. Learn how point spreads work.
  2. Know how the sports spreads are set.
  3. Study why betting lines move.
  4. See how many points home advantage gives.
  5. How many points is being at home worth.
  6. Look out for sharp movements on the spread bets line.


You cannot do this. For sports betting, things such as over/under betting, moneyline and spread gambling are common. But prop bets are a more complex matter because of the questions used, like will Cristiano Ronaldo score more than one goal?

Yes. You can combine sports spread bets with other parlay bets or group bets. Sport spread betting in parlay makes it a more profitable style for seasoned bettors.