Point Spread Betting Explained

Also known as the “handicap”, the point spread is the number of points taken from the favorite, or given to the underdog, in order to spread the chances of each side winning the bet evenly. Think of it this way: if I told you that there’s two sides of a bet between the Miami Heat and the Charlotte Bobcats and both sides were even. Everyone would back the Heat. In order to get a balance of action sportsbooks create a point spread.

Best Point-Spread Betting Sites

Any sportsbook available to Canadian online gaming enthusiasts will have a large selection of point spread bets listed in its sports betting section. That said, some sportsbooks will have better spreads – that favor the player, while some will list their odds earlier than others. Check out our list below, made up of the top sportsbooks for Canadian bettors who are looking to bet the spread.

Point Spread Betting Odds and Payouts

For certain sports, point spread betting is a relatively tame and set-in-stone process as point spreads will almost always be the same, no matter the match-up. For NHL action  sportsbooks use the “puck line”, which is 1.5, meaning that the favored team will need to win by at least 2 goals in order to beat the point spread Their payouts will differ depending on how likely the chances of the favored team beating that puck line though, so make sure you pay attention to the payout line listed next to the point spread. Other sports, such as European soccer (ok, ok football – happy Euros?) have similar set lines as well.

The biggest American sports for betting though – NFL Football, NCAA Football, NBA Basketball, MLB Baseball – all have unique spreads ranging from a “pick’em” (where you simply need to pick the winner, no point spread is given) to “monster” spreads, where one side is heavily favored. For example, a top ranked NCAA Football team taking on a small, mid-major team could have spreads of up to -50 points, if not more! When it comes to betting on point spreads then in the big betting sports, it’s not a matter of thinking who will win, it’s a matter of thinking “how much will they win by?”