22 Jul

How to Win Point Spread Bets for Easy Money

Spread Betting System - How to Win Point Spread Bets for Easy MoneyPoint spreads are among the most popular win bets on the market, especially in the United States, but also here in Canada. They are almost as easy to understand as they are to win, with the right knowledge under your cap. Our aim is to equip punters with an effective spread betting system for live and online sportsbooks.

5 Tips: Winning Spread Betting System

Using statistical and historical data to set the points, spread bets all have two things in common. One – they create a logically even playing ground for both teams to win. Two – they always give the house, or bookmaker, about a 10% edge over punters. These strategies will help drive the edge back into the ground, where it belongs.
  • Spread Betting Basics: If you’re not already familiar with the concept of spread betting, you’ll want to start here, where you’ll learn the basics of how point spreads work.
  • Expand Your Horizons: Don’t stay committed to a single bookie. Joining multiple, reputable online sportsbooks will diversify your betting options.
  • Key Numbers & Half Points: In certain sports, the points scored per action are key numbers. The point should hit the key, plus half (e.g. +7.5 is far more appealing than +5.5 in football.)
  • Home Advantage: Be very cautious about betting a favorite on the road. Home team advantage is no joke, propelling underdogs to victory far more often than you may think.
  • Explore Handicaps: If you don’t agree with the spread on offer, you can exchanging points for line shifts.
  • Bet with Bonuses: The Online sportsbook market is so competitive, they constantly hand out free bonuses to boost your betting bankroll.
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The Basics – How to Bet the Spread

Point spreads are not difficult to learn. The idea is to give the underdog enough points to bring them onto even ground with the favorite. By doing so, they can offer the same lines, or odds, on each side. Those lines will most often be set at 1.90 (bet $100 to win $90).

Example 1

Let’s say the NBA’s Timberwolves are projected to beat the Raptors by 5. The bookmaker gives the Raptors +5 points to balance the odds. Now it’s anybody’s game. If you bet on the Timberwolves, they’ll have to win by 6 or more. Picking the Raptors means they can lose by 4, and you still win the bet. If the Timberwolves do win by 5 (which is the most probable outcome), no one wins. It’s a push, or tie, with all bets returned.

Example 2

Sometimes, to avoid ties, a sportsbook will set a spread with a half-point differential. Instead of giving the Raptors 5 points, they might give them +5.5 points. This throws a slight advantage to the Raptors, so the odds might shift to something like Timberwolves 1.95 – Raptors 1.85. Now, the Timberwolves still need to win by 6, but if the Raptors lose by 5 or less, a bet on them wins.

If this spread betting concept makes sense to you, proceed to the next section. If not, please see our more detailed description here.

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1. The Power of Multiplicity – Join More Sportsbooks

If you’re a member of a single sportsbook, you’re never going to see any variety in your lines. You might be getting good odds, but you won’t know if you’re getting the best odds. The only way to do that is to diversify your portfolio of sports betting accounts. Signing up with a multitude of sportsbooks will allow you to play the field, so to speak.

Referencing the same example as above, maybe you really want to take the 5-point underdog Raptors against the Timberwolves. Your usual bookie is offering +5 to the Raptors, but another site is giving them +5.5. Even if the lines drop from 1.90 to 1.85, you’re more likely to win this bet, making it the better deal.

A Word of Caution: Don’t go joining every online sportsbook under the sun. For more information, please see the “Safety First!” section of our Arbitrage Betting Guide.

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2. Value of Key Numbers & Whole vs. Half Points

This particular tip won’t apply to the majority of sporting events, but where it does, it’s critical to your spread betting strategy. Key numbers refer to number of points scored for a particular achievement. In sports like hockey and soccer, teams only score 1 point at a time. In basketball, it’s 1, 2, or at most, 3 points per shot, with 2 being the most common. These do not qualify as key numbers.

The most common market for key numbers is football. There is no such thing as a 1-point play, and a 2-point play – a safety – is incredibly rare. Most teams score in increments of 3 for a field goal, or 7 for a touchdown + extra point.

Point spreads of 3 and 7 are far more appealing in football than giving the underdog 2 or 5 points. The spread needs to be enough that the favorite has to win by two scores, or the underdog can come back to win with a single score.

Half points are also critical to a good spread betting system. Getting 3 points is nice, but getting 3.5 is much better. That’s if you’re planning on betting the underdog. If you want to bet the favorite, you would be better off giving up just 3. The lines play a strong role in this as well. You have to learn to balance the equity between the two.

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3. Never Underestimate an Underdog at Home

Underdogs are notorious to losing to the favorites. That’s why we call them underdogs. According to every statistic and recent performance stat, the underdog should lose. This is why bookies give them free points to even up the lines. It’s also why the majority of recreational punters will pick the favorites to win every contest, down the line.

Here’s a word of caution to all the fav-pickers out there. Road games aren’t easy to win, no matter how outmatched the home team is. In fact, underdogs win far more games than you might think. In the last five years, stats show a 41.6% underdog win rate in MLB, 41.4% in NHL, 34.2% in the NFL, and 32.1% in NBA games.

Those stats cover all games, not just those with home field/court advantage. I don’t have a full stat sheet for that, but I did investigate the propensity of road warrior favorites during the 2019 NFL Season. Throughout the season, 97 underdogs competed at home against projected favorites. On 33 occasions, the underdog won. That’s a 34% win rate for underdogs at home.

That might not sound too terribly impressive, but let’s remember those are outright wins, without any points given. Simply put, never underestimate an underdog at home.

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4. Handicapping Your Way to the Bank

Handicapping is a fantastic way to increase your chances of winning a bet. It won’t increase the odds – those will usually drop – but winning any amount is better than losing, right?

Handicapping is a form of betting offered by a lot of major sportsbooks. The punter is able to shift the spread in either direction, thereby shifting the lines in the opposite direction. When there’s a contest you’re supremely confident it, handicaps are a quick route to securing the easy win.


We’ll use the same Raptors / Timberwolves scenario as before. The Raptors are getting +5 against the favorites, paying 1.90 odds on either side. You, however, have studied these two teams and believe the Raptors, who will be playing at home, are going to put up a much greater fight. So, instead of taking the 1.90 odds with +5, you give up 2 points for a line boost. Now, the Raptors only get +3, and you get odds of 2.25 ($100 bet pays $125). If you’re right, that’s an increase of 35% in winnings.

We can also reverse that scenario. Maybe you think the game really will end in a 5-point differential, leading to a tie. You can exchange an extra +1 on the Raptors for a line reduction in their win odds. Or, you can take a point away from the Raptors to beat the Timberwolves, again accepting the reduced payout for minimized risk.

Handicapping is all about minimizing risk. As I said above, winning a smaller amount of cash is always better than winning nothing at all – or worse, losing.

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5. Boost Your Bankroll with Free Bonus Cash

One of the most prominent features that set online sportsbooks apart from the land-based variety is the range of promotions. You don’t expect to walk into a Vegas sportsbook and get a free $5 or $10 bet just for showing up. At an online sportsbook, new member promotions and reload deposit bonuses are the norm.

Some punters see that bonus cash as little more than an incentive to sign up. They might even make frivolous wagers with it, taking chances they wouldn’t normally take with their own money. That’s fine if that’s the route you want to take, but it’s not the strategic way to do it.

Experienced sports bettors see promotions like this as an extension of their bankroll; an easy return on their overall investments.


This sample scenario will help you understand how a simple $5 bonus can increase your ROI rather dramatically.

  • A new punter receives a $5 bonus for depositing $20.
  • He handicaps a line, taking +2 extra points and dropping the odds from 1.90 to 1.70.
  • He bets the full $25 on it.
  • After winning the bet, he receives a total of $37.50. This includes his original $20 (the $5 bonus is not returned), plus the winnings of $17.50.
  • His ROI is $17.50 profit on a $20 investment, for an 87.5% ROI.

Had he not received the bonus, he would have only made a $14 profit, at 70% ROI.

Had he chosen not to adjust the point spread and line, taking the original 1.90 odds, his return would have increased slightly with an $18 profit, 90% ROI, but the risk would have been substantially greater.

A small new player bonus is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to online sportsbook promotions. The more you deposit and bet, the more promotions you will receive. And for this reason, I strongly encourage you to withdrawal your winnings regularly.

Withdrawal Winnings – Deposit Anew

If you continue to let your bankroll build on what you’ve won, you won’t be getting any equity from deposits. However, if you request a withdrawal each time you win, you’ll gain equity by restocking your bankroll with new deposits more often. Add this to your spread betting system repertoire, and every deposit is another step forward towards another bonus offer.

It is true that withdrawals take a few days to reach your bank, but don’t let that discourage you. Deposits are instant. Do not reverse your withdrawal request just because you found another bet you want to place. Let the cashout process in due time, depositing what you need to move ahead. Do this with each sportsbook you’re a member of. Your spread betting system will bankroll and ROI will thank you for it.

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