What Is Spread Betting?

man spread betting on futuristic laptopMany people may already know a little about spread betting, although not when it comes to sports spread betting. Standard spread betting allows you to wager on the direction of an asset without owning it. It’s like betting on the price movements of one or more assets, such as a share price, currency or whole index (like the FTSE), like trading but without having the asset(s) yourself.

With sports spread betting, the scenario is somewhat different. A ‘spread’ works by you predicting what will happen in a specified market for a given event. This is expressed as a Sell-Buy range. Let’s say you want to bet on the Total Goals Scored in a specific football match. Where spread betting is concerned, this may be expressed as 2.8 – 3.1.

If you believe the outcome will end up higher than that stated range, you would ‘Buy’. On the other end, if you believe the outcome will be lower, you ‘Sell’, so to speak. With sports spread betting, the more multiples of your stake you can potentially receive back the more correct you are. Of course, on the flip side, if you get it wrong, you can lose more multiples of your stake in the end.

Your stake is, of course, the amount you decide to wager, and this relates to per point movement. If you place a £10 wager on Total Goals, you could gain or lose £10 per goal. That’s why it is important that you choose your stake in an appropriate way for the different spread betting markets.

It is very important to note that with spread betting you can lose more money than you have in your account and end up with debt that you are liable to pay.

Further Details on Sports Spread Betting

data tracking sportsMany bettors consider this form of sports betting as being one of the most exciting options to engage in. Of course, it can be confusing for newcomers with the terms ‘Buying’ and ‘Selling’ involved, because you aren’t actually purchasing or selling anything. Instead, you need to rid your mind of those connections to the words.

The ‘spread’ serves as the range within which we believe the result of a certain market will fall. It is that range which is made up of two numbers – the ‘sell’ price and the ‘buy’ price. That’s why you would ‘buy’ if you believe the final result of that market will be greater than the range, and ‘sell’ if the opposite were to be true in your opinion.

Using the figures from the previous example, the 2.8 – 3.1 spread means that the sportsbook offers the idea that a total of three goals will be scored in a game, on average. If you believe that game will see more goals scored in total, you pick the ‘Buy’ option. Yet if you think less than three goals will be scored, you ‘Sell’.

While all betting involves risk of varying levels, the amount of risk with spread betting is also in your hands. If you utilise smaller stakes, choose the right markets to bet on and cut your losses if bets are going against you, then you minimise your risk level.

Spread Betting vs Fixed Odds Betting

man looking at share prices on a computer screenSpread betting allows you to utilise your sports knowledge in a greater way than fixed odds betting. The latter option comes with a simple ‘win or lose’ outcome. You know how much you stand to receive if you’re successful, and vice versa, how much you can lose from an unsuccessful bet. That much is evident from the moment you place your wager.

Where spread betting is concerned, you need to be as accurate as possible. Many more outcomes are available in spread betting, so you can work your way towards greater results when you are more accurate. Of course, the more you stand to lose if the result goes against you in a heavy way.

Let’s use cricket as an example. The market we bet on is Batsman’s Runs. With a fixed odds bet, you may see a market that allows you to predict whether a batsman will reach 100 runs in a game or not. Spread betting in the same match sees the batsman’s run spread set at 60 – 65. If you were to back this batsman to reach 100 runs, you would ‘Buy’ at the 65 price. Staking £2 per point achieved means that you would receive a positive return for every run he achieves above the 65 mark.

If that batsman reaches 100, then a payout of £70 is possible, because 35 runs over the buy price multiplied by your £2 stake equates to £70. If he continues going with more runs beyond that century, then any return has the potential to grow, too. Every single run achieved means you get an extra return.

A fixed odds bet means that all that matters, in this scenario, is the batsman must reach 100 runs. If he achieves that, a set reward is achieved. With a spread bet, you’re much more invested in his total runs scored. The more he gains, the more you stand to gain in this circumstance. What’s more, if you go for the fixed odds bet and he falls a single run short of the 100, your wager loses. With a spread bet, you stand the chance for a positive return in this example, because he has still achieved more than 65 runs.