When you place a bet with a bookmaker, you are betting on an outcome to happen (win) at fixed odds. For example, if you think Barcelona will win the Champions League at the start of the season – you place your bet and you know how much you will win should Barcelona win the Champions League and you know how much you will lose if your bet doesn’t win – simple. When spread betting, you do not know how much you can win and lose when you place your bet, it all depends on the accuracy of your bet.
The spread is a ‘points range’ which a spread betting company thinks that a market will fall into when it settles. So, for example, it could be the number of points that Liverpool will get over a football season and the spread is quoted at 74.5-76. You now have 2 choices if you want to bet on this – you can either BUY or SELL.
If you think that Liverpool will get more than 76 points in the season you would BUY the spread. Lets say you BUY for 10 and Liverpool end up on 82 points at the end of the season, you would win 10 x 6 (the difference) = 60. Let’s say that Liverpool were to finish on 71 points for the season and you had bought for 10 @ 76, then you would lose 76-71 = 5 x 10 = a loss of 50.
The principle is exactly the same if you were to SELL the spread – what you are effectively doing is hoping that the total points that Liverpool get is lower than the 74.5 that was quoted by the spread betting company.
The beauty of spread betting is that it adds another dimension to betting as it focuses on the accuracy of a bet rather than the win/lose scenario and it is a great challenge to your sporting knowledge. The more accurate you are, the more you will win and of course the less accurate you are the more you can lose. We are big fan of spread betting and think it’s worth taking the time to read below where you can get some strategy advice.
Spread Betting Tips and Strategy
Always start small – If you are new to spread betting it’s always worth starting with small stakes so that you can feel your way into how it all works.
Research, research, research – The more research you put into your Spread betting, the better chances you will have of doing well. Sometimes the smallest detail can help you to find an edge. It’s always worth following sportspeople on twitter – you’ll be surprised as to what information you can find from there!
Keep an eye on the conditions – In may sports, the weather can significantly affect the spreads. In football, a bad pitch can neutralise two teams at different levels, similar situations can happen in rugby on a heavy ‘wet pitch’.
Limit your Risk – make sure you work out how much you are prepared to lose should your bet go against you and always bet within comfortable limits.
Be the bookmaker – Always ask yourself if you were to be the bookmaker in this situation, how would you be pricing the spread up? Would you be going lower or higher than the spreads offered. Don’t forget to measure your results after the event and keep a diary of how well you are doing over time.
Spreads compilers usually think it’s a buyers market – More often than not punters prefer buying lines rather than selling them and spread betting line makers usually take this into consideration when deciding spread lines.