Translating the NFL Point Spread in Sports Betting

Knowing What the Spread Really Mean is Essential

The spread has the home team at -3.5 in one game and the visitors at +10.5 in another. In sports betting, what do these numbers mean when it comes to a club’s actual chances of beating the spread? In order to have the best chance at picking the right team, every sports bettor must understand how to translate these numbers in order to understand the strength or weakness of each club.

Typical Point Spread

Point spreads are calculated by handicappers in an attempt to make the outcome as close as possible. When it comes to the NFL the spreads typically range from 0.5 to 13.5. Occasionally, some spreads are larger. But that’s rare because in the NFL many teams are fairly evenly matched. Sound sports betting is based on understanding exactly what the point spread means in terms of a specific game’s most likely outcome.

What Certain Point Spreads Mean

Usually, a home team is seen as having a 3-point advantage automatically. So if you see a spread where the home team is listed at -3.0 or -3.5, then the handicappers consider the two clubs to be fairly evenly matched. If the home team is around -7, that means they are a favorite and if they are at -10 or greater, then they are seen as being a strong favorite.

If a home team is being given points, that means they are a true underdog. The higher they are on the plus side, the larger their underdog status. Anytime a home team is at +10 or higher and the visiting team at -10 or higher, then the disparity between the clubs is considered to be large.

Is it a Good or Bad Spread?

In sports betting, a good point spread is one with which you feel comfortable. If you find that the spread puts you at a disadvantage, then you can do two things. You can elect to simply not wager on that game or you can try to find a moneyline wager where there are no points given or taken away. With a moneyline, you’re wagering on the actual outcome of the game and the club that wins the game also pays off in the sports betting arena.

Finding the Best Point Spread

In order to get the best spread, you’ll need to shop around. Those who are serious about sports betting always have accounts at two, three or four sites. They review the sites on a daily basis, looking for the most opportunistic spreads. Sometimes a sports bettor can pick up an extra half-point or even a full point by doing some comparison-shopping. Doing so can really give you a big advantage.

Take your time prior to putting any money down, study the spread and the matchups and then make a choice based on solid analysis and sound knowledge.