Hearing about the sports-betting fervor in the United States right now might have you wanting to make a wager.
But if you’re new to sports betting, have no fear. Let’s begin with the basics — in the form of learning what a spread means.
Let’s use the New York Jets home game against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday (1 p.m. ET) as an example. Oddsmakers have the Jets, who are coming off a 34-16 drubbing of the Denver Broncos last week, as a -2.5 favorite.
You’ll see it listed like this on any online sportsbook:
New York Jets -2.5 (-110)
Indianapolis Colts +2.5 (-110)
Now, what this means is simple: The Jets, as the 2.5-point favorite, would need to win the game by three points or more to cover the spread and win the bet. On the other hand, the underdog Cots would need to win or not lose the game by more than two points to win the bet.
Here’s where the explanation could get hairy, though. Say the Jets win, 24-22. Their two-point victory margin doesn’t cover the 2.5-point spread because it’s not three points or higher. So, if you picked the Colts and they lose the game, you could still win the bet because they lost the game by two points or less.
Does that help you understand what a spread is in sports betting? Pretty simple and to the point … pun intended.
You can bet on sports right now online at SugarHouse if you are in the state of New Jersey. And for more on how to bet on sports read out MetroBet guide.
Bet with your head, not over it. If you or someone you know may have a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER.