What is Spread Betting and How Can You Spread Bet on Sports?

Spread betting is an exciting form of wagering that gives you the opportunity to win big by pitting your wits against the odds compilers. It differs from traditional, fixed-odds betting, because most wagers involve a large number of potential outcomes that determine your potential profit or loss.

The odds compilers will make a number of predictions about a sporting event. You then simply have to decide whether they have been too ambitious or gone too low with their prediction.

For example, a spread betting site might predict that Joe Root will score 200-210 runs in a three-match Test series. You have two options: sell at 200 if you think he will struggle, or buy at 210 if you think he will have a great series.

Let’s say you decide to buy at 210. If Root goes on to hit score of 48, 73, 21, 84, 12 and 105, you would in line for a large profit. His total runs for the series would amount to 343. That is 133 higher than the price of 210 that you bought at. That figure is then multiplied by your stake in order to calculate your return. In this instance, a £1 bet would generate a £133 profit.

However, you have to be careful. If Root has a poor series and only ends up scoring 180 runs in total, you would lose 30 times your stake, as 180 is 30 below the price of 210 you bought at. On the flipside, if you sold at 200, you would hope that he has a terrible series, and you would be left to rue your decision if he went on to rack up a number of high scores.

A Wealth of Possibilities

That example illustrates the key differences between fixed-odds betting and spread betting. If you went to a fixed-odds site, you might be able to bet on Root scoring over 205 runs in the series or under 205 runs in the series. You would probably expect to find odds of 10/11 (1.91) on each outcome.

If you were to bet £10 on over 205 runs, you would be pleased when he hit his 206th run of the series. It would result in a £9.10 profit. However, your interest might then start to wane. If you had placed a £10 spread bet and bought at 210, you would be gripped until the end of his final innings, as every additional run he scores would earn you a higher profit.

It shows that spread betting is a lot riskier than fixed-odds betting. If you place a fixed-odds wager, you know exactly how much you stand to win or lose. If you place a spread bet on a market like total runs in cricket, total points in tennis, total corners in football and so on, your potential profit and loss is undetermined.

Spread betting allows you to earn huge profits off a relatively small stake. However, there is also the potential to incur significant losses, so you need to be careful. That is why spread betting appeals to sporting experts, but it can be equally exciting for casual fans. You can read more about spread betting basics by visiting the site of a leading operator like Sporting Index.

Spread Betting Strategies

There are several ways to mitigate the potential losses you might incur if your prediction is unsuccessful. The easiest method is to be sensible with your stake. The example of total batsman runs in a cricket match is a pretty extreme spread betting market. In that instance, it might be sensible to keep your stake reasonably low.

If you are betting on total goals in a football match, you will never see such a large variance. The odds compilers might pitch the total goals market at 2.4-2.6. If you buy at 2.6 for £10, the most you can possible lose is £26 in the event of a 0-0 draw. If it turns out to be a seven-goal thriller, you would make a £44 profit. In this instance, you might consider increasing the size of your stake.

Betting on totals is just one of many options that spread bettors can take advantage of. Many of the spread betting markets give you more control over the amount you stand to win or lose. Let’s say Real Madrid are playing Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League. You might find a Win Index of 14.25-15.75 on Real Madrid winning the game at Sporting Index.

You then have the option to sell at 14.25 if you think Los Blancos will struggle, or buy at 15.75 if you think they will win. In this market, Real Madrid would receive 25 points for winning the game, 10 for drawing it and zero for losing. If you buy at 15.75 and they win, you earn 9.25 times your stake, as 25 is 9.25 higher than the price of 15.75 you bought at. If they draw, you lose 5.75 times your stake, and if they lose, you lose 15.75 times your stake.

In that instance, there are only three outcomes. If you bet on standard winner markets on sports like tennis and darts, there can only be two outcomes – win or lose. However, once you get into spread betting you will find all manner of unique, innovative and exciting options to choose from. Many of them involve a huge range of potential outcomes, which appeals to several sports fans.

You can enjoy spread betting on a wide range of sports, including football, tennis, cricket, golf, horse racing, greyhounds, American football, basketball, baseball, ice hockey, boxing, MMA, darts and table tennis, along with politics and entertainment. It is an extremely exciting pursuit, and it is well worth delving into now that you have a basic command of what it entails.

Marcelo Villa

About Marcelo Villa

Marcelo is an associate editor at The Sports Daily, and has covered the San Diego Chargers for Bleacher Report. He also writes for Sportsdirect Inc.