Spread bets go back to the 1940s, when a math teacher from Connecticut names Charles K. McNeil decided to start a sports book. In the 1980s, spread betting made it to the United Kingdom. Sporting events like football are by far the most popular venue for spread betting. One variant is the teaser, which is a bet that changes the spread in the gambler’s favor by a set number of points. In football bets, the teaser is often six points. If the line is 4.5 points and the bettor wants to put a teaser bet on the underdog, he’ll take 10.5 instead. If he’s betting on the favorite, he takes 1.5 instead of having to give 4.5. To get these points, the gambler either has to take a payout of less than even money or make the teaser bet as part of a parlay, or a pair (or more) of bets that the gambler must win all of in order to get his winnings. A reverse teaser goes the other way, elevating the payout should the gambler win.
Football betting fans use the point spread to win. Let us show you how to profit from it today. The point spread designed to provide more balance to a wager. If the Seattle Seahawks, the 2014 NFC champions (and almost Super Bowl champions), open against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to start the 2015 season, and there isn’t a point spread, the action would be heavily on the side of the Seahawks, because the Buccaneers are likely to be starting a rookie quarterback in Jameis Winston and emerging from a subpar season. So you would see a point spread, something along the lines of this: Seattle (-10.5) at Tampa Bay. The (-10.5) refers to the point spread. If you choose Seattle Seahawks, you’re betting that they will not only win, but that they will win by 11 or more points, as there aren’t half-points in football. The purpose of the half-point is to keep the bet from becoming a push. If the line were 10, and Seattle won 31-21, then a push would result and all bets would be refunded.
Understanding how spread bets work is important to ensure that you don’t end up getting fleeced with your bet. Before you accept a bet with a point spread, look at multiple oddsmakers to see if the line squares with what others are offering. If it doesn’t (and if it skews toward what you think will happen), then jump on it. If not, pass on the bet.
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