Everyone has heard of fixed odds betting, where punters place bets on a selection and the bookmaker offers the odds based on the possibility of the result. In the past few years, a complex but highly profitable betting strategy has evolved – known as spread betting. Widely popular in Europe especially in the UK, spread betting works in the same manner as the stock market, wherein a Buy and Sell price is cited that display the price that the stockbroker is willing to sell or buy shares from you. In this case it is the bookmaker who is setting the price for an outcome, which if you believe is too high or low, you can buy or sell as per your choice.
To explain spread betting more clearly, it can be said that the bet allows the punter to guess the result of a sport event and then back the prediction against the odds offered by the bookmaker. So what the punters are basically doing is placing a bet and deciding whether the bet will be more or less than the point spread offered by the bookie. For instance, the punter can either bet that the weaker team or the underdogs along with the Spreads will score more than the stronger team or favourites or bet that the score of the favourites after deducting the Spreads will be more than that of the underdogs.
For example: The spreads for a match between Manchester United and Bolton are set at 0.7 – 1.0. As Manchester United is the favourites, Bolton has been given a head start of 0.7 goals. In case you believe that Bolton will be a winner, you could sell your supremacy bet at 0.7 for £20. To calculate the winnings, the stake is multiplied by the point variance derived from the spread. Let us take a look at the calculations. If Manchester United wins by 5-1, they would have supremacy of +4 goals over Bolton. However, as you had decided to sell it for 0.7, you would lose 4 – 0.7 = 3.3 Hence, the calculation would be 3.3 x £20 = £66
If Bolton wins the match by 3-1, they will have supremacy of +2 over Man Utd, however you had sold the favourite at 0.7, so your winning would be calculated as 2 + 0.7 = 2.7 x £20 = £54
In case the match turns out to be a draw, you would win 0.7 x £20 = £14.
Let us consider another style of spread betting. If you were to place a bet for fixed odds, the bookmaker would offer you, say, 4/3 odds for a Man Utd win. Again, your winning would remain unchanged no matter how many goals the team scores to win. However, if Man Utd does not win, you will also lose your money. With spread betting, the betting is different. Here you can back your chosen team depending on a whole range of markets and what you believe will give you the best value. You could choose Total Goals, Performance Index, Goal Superiority, Multi-Corners, Bookings, Shirt Numbers and other bets on specific teams.
Apart from this, you can also bet in real time or what is known as live betting or in-play. Here you can place your bet on a selection and as you watch the game, you may change your bet and choose the markets that have a better chance of higher payouts. Also spreads are continuously changing during live bets. For example you choose to bet on Multi-Corners. In this type of bet the number of corners from the first half of a live game is multiplied by the number of corners in the second half. Supposing the spreads are set at 32 – 36 before the game between Man Utd and Bolton begins, you think that there will be several corners and decide to buy 36 at £5 per point.
Now if there were really as many corners as you had thought there would be, say 8 in the first half and 12 in the second half, it would calculate to 8 x 12 = 96. Your winnings here would be 96 – 36 = 60 x £5 = £300
In case there were no corners in the first or the second half, you would lose 36 x £5 = £180
These are some of the types of spread betting offered in football. Also available are long term football bets that punters generally bet on before the start of the season. An advantage of long-term football spread bets over fixed odds bet is that one does not have to pay in advance like the latter. Bets are finalized only at the end of the season or when you decide to end your bet during the season. On the other hand when you bet for fixed odds with a bookmaker, you have to pay the bet upfront regardless of how early you place your bet. You might even have to wait for several months before you can get your winnings if your selection happens to win.
Just like these football spread bets, one can also find spread betting in a number of other sports such as cricket, golf, horse racing, rugby, motor racing and many other events. All these betting options also work in more or less the same way as football spread betting. However, it would be advisable to see how each one works if you intend to bet on more than one sporting event using the spread betting strategy. Unless you understand how to calculate the spreads, it is better to stick to one or two events and eventually you will be able to learn the other techniques and indulge in more spread betting events.
As a beginner, it is also advisable to place small bets and watch closely how the spreads change because this is not a guessing game, you must understand what you are doing. One wrong move can make you lose money and so to be on the safer side, keep your bets low. You cannot win all your bets in one day, but if you are patient and willing to learn, you can become a successful punter where spread betting is concerned.
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