An Introduction to Sports Spread Betting

Introduction to Sports Spread Betting

Financial spread betting was invented by Stuart Wheeler in the UK in 1973. Financial spread betting allows people to wager money by speculating on market movements across a number of underlying financial instruments such as Forex, Indices, Interest Rates and Commodities.

But in the last decade, spread betting has been applied to sports. Companies like Sport Index, Spreadex and Extra Bet allow customers to spread bet on a variety of sports games and variables.

How Does Sports Spread Betting Work?

With sports spread betting, you’re betting on the spread offered by the broker for a specific game or result. Unlike fixed odds or pari-mutuel betting where you are betting a fixed amount on a win-draw-lose result, in spread betting the amount that you win depends on how accurate your wager is.

A sports spread betting firm will offer a spread for every sports game or result. For example, the spread for the total number of goals or points in a football match could be 4-5. The spread will always have a high number and a low number.

If you think that the spread is too high than you can bet a fixed amount per point or sell at the higher quote – in this case five. If the total number of goals scored is lower than five than you will make a profit (depending on how much money you wagered and how accurate the result is). If you wager £20 per point that the result will be less than five goals and the actual result was 2 goals then you will win £20 x 3 = £60.

If you get the wrong end of the spread than you will lose money. For example, if you bet £5 per point that the result will be less than 5 goals and it was actually 7 goals, then you’d lose £5 x 2 = £10.

If you think the spread is set too low than you use the lower number in the quoted spread (4). If you wager £5 per point that the actual result will be higher than four, and the result is ten than you would win £5 x 6 = £30.

Differences between Sports Spread Betting and Fixed Odds Betting

You might be thinking, “This all seems terribly confusing. Why would I not want to bet on sports normally?”

The answer is that sports spread betting can offer multiple advantages over regular fixed-odds betting.

When spread betting on sports, the amount that you can win in a single result can be massive (depending on the accuracy of your wager). This leads to higher payouts from a small deposit. But the chances of higher profits also lead to increased risks from bigger losses.

Also, spread betting on a match gives you more flexibility than regular fixed-odds betting; you can close your bet during any time in the game. This means that you’re not tied into the game for the full 56 or 90 minutes. You can close your bet when you’re in profit and not have to worry about the team conceding goals later in the game.

All spread betting firms in the UK have to be licensed by the FSA (making your deposits more safe) and the markets/odds tend to be more favourable than the ones offered by sportsbooks and bookmakers. This is essentially because the firms don’t have to inflate the odds to earn a commission.