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Football Point Spread

One way of looking at the football point spread is to understand it as the predicted scoring difference between the two playing sides. Point spreads often come in handy when there is a huge skew in betting sentiments in favor of or against any one playing side. Point spreads evens out the betting populace and helps in delivering better payouts in the long run.

As far as the bookmaker is concerned a football point spread is an effective way to ensure that the total money riding on any one football match is evenly split between the two eventualities. In football matches whenever there is a clear favorite and an obvious underdog, most astute gamblers would like to place their money on the favorite side, irrespective of how well the odds have been designed. This will put the bookmakers in a quandary because the betting community will all be concentrated on the winning side and the bookmaker himself will have to bear the risk for the underdog. The payouts in the case of the favorite coming through will be hardly encouraging and bookmakers’ Vigorish (Vig) or commission will suffer. With the point spread the bookmaker aspires to arrive at a point where both predicted outcomes seem like having a more or less equal probability of happening. At this point, the betting community will be evenly split on both sides. This is the point at which the point spread is fixed. In common practice, a football point spread is often the difference between the scores of the two playing teams.

For the gambler, point spread betting gets him better payouts and improves his winning percentage. It’s a win-win situation for all. What would otherwise have been an otherwise boring straight bet gets rejuvenated with the introduction of an interesting point spread. The catch is that when gamblers have decided to bet on the football point spread, he could still lose the bet even if his team wins the match but does so outside the predicted point spread. By choose to undertake in online spread betting the gambler does expose himself to more risk but because the payouts are significantly better than in regular straight bets many gamblers go ahead and purchase them anyway. For example, in a Pittsburgh Steelers vs Cleveland Browns football match, most gamblers would bet in favor of the Steelers in the absence of a suitable football point spread. If the point spread fixed is +7 for the Browns and the Browns lose the game by less than 7 points, all bets placed on the team will be deemed as winning bets. The Steelers will have to beat the Browns by more than 7 points to secure winnings for the gamblers. Point spreads are often devised in decimals or fractions.

Devising a point spread is both an art and a skill. Often bookmakers spend hours, looking through years and seasons of historical data and other statistics before they are able to conclusively decide on the point spread for the match. Football betting sites look at the points scored by teams, the points they have conceded and the level of play of their opposing teams in previous matches. They also take into consideration the current playing form of the team’s players and the state of injuries while fixing upon a fair point spread for the match. From the bookmakers’ perspective the point spread must be both fair and attractive enough for the gamblers to feel that they have a real chance of getting a positive payout.