With a traditional sports bet (a fixed odds bet) you're taking a fixed price on the likelihood of a given outcome - say team A to beat team B. The bookmaker determines the odds and you agree to part with your money on the agreement that if your prediction comes true, the bookmaker will pay you the pre-agreed amount in winnings. But with a sports spread bet your winnings or losses are not pre-agreed and you're instead betting that Sporting Index's prediction on an outcome is wrong, and that the final result will be higher or lower than the spread quoted.
So, What's a Spread?
Put simply, the spread is the range within which Sporting Index believes a points-based market will settle. So if the market is on the number of points a football team will accumulate over the course of a season, the spread might be 74.5 - 76, meaning Sporting Index predicts the final points tally to be within that range.
How do you Bet on a Spread?
In any given spread as determined by Sporting Index, the spread bettor can decide whether they believe it is a generous prediction and the final market will settle under the spread, or whether they think the spread has underestimated the likelihood of a higher points outcome.Going back to the football team's total points example, if you believed the team would finish with a points total higher than the spread you'd BUY at the price given for the higher end of the spread (e.g. 76) and set your stake. Then once the market settles (i.e. when the season is over) for every point above the buy price the team have finished on, you'll be paid out your stake multiplied by the difference. So, a stake of £5 per point above the 76 point buy price would net you £25 had the team finished on 81 points.
However, should the team's total points market settle under the price at which you bought (e.g 76) you would lose an amount equal to your stake multiplied by the difference. So, if the points total was 72, your loss would be £20.
The principle is the same when betting that a market will settle below the quoted range. In this case you would SELL at the lower value (e.g. 74.5) and hope that the final points tally accumulated is lower than that number. With a stake amount of £5 per point, a final points tally of 70 would result in a net return of £22.50 (your £5 stake multiplied by the 4.5 point difference).
And of course if you've sold the spread but the market settles at a higher price, then your loss will be your stake multiplied by the difference in points between the price you sold at and the final settled price. In this scenario should the final points tally be 78 then at £5 per point your loss would be £17.50 (the 3.5 points difference multiplied by your £5).
How Does Spread Betting Differ from Fixed Odds Betting?
With spread betting you can make better use of your sporting knowledge than with fixed odds. With fixed odds betting you have a simple 'win or lose' scenario and you know exactly how much you will win or lose as soon as you strike a bet. With spread betting, how much you win or lose is determined by how accurate you are. There are a lot more than just two scenarios with spread betting and the more right you are, the more you win. By the same token the more a result goes against you, the more you can lose.
You can find further information in our Training Centre
A great way to learn more about the ins and outs of spread betting on sports would be to watch our informative video above. You can also benefit from reading through our most popular spread betting markets section in the Training Centre which contains detailed information on some of our best loved spreads and how to bet on them
Can I Try Spread Betting Risk Free?
It's a sensible idea to test the water before diving in head first risking your money, and that's why Sporting Index provide a New Account Offer where you can enjoy £100 of our money to bet with, subject to approval. Find out more about our new customer offer or take a look around some of our most popular sports spread betting markets below: