Soccer point spread betting is when you are betting on whether a team will win or lose by a certain number of goals. It is an increasingly popular form of betting and is gaining ground in the soccer betting market. It allows to equalize uneven teams and to get more people to bet on underdogs. Similarly, it helps to create a market for both sides of the wager: the underdogs and the favorites. In a way, it combines both money lines and over/under bets. The best way is to demonstrate with a few examples.
Point Spread Examples
* Please see illustration below to help understand point spread bets, text explanation follows.
Let us say Brazil is playing against USA in the World Cup. Brazil, as one of the most successful teams in the history of World Cup tournaments will likely be a favorite against USA, which has not done as notoriously well in international competitions. In this case most of the people will likely vote for Brazil. Even with an adjusted money line that will give a big payoff to people who bet the underdog, a sportsbook might see little action on an underdog, USA. A point spread could solve that problem. Using a 2-goal spread, the odds might look like this:
- USA +2.5 (2.0)
- Brazil -2.5 (1.5)
If you are betting on Brazil, then Brazil has to win by more than 2 goals for you to win. Thus, if the score is 3-0 for Brazil, then you would win since it is higher than the point spread of 2.5. This way, if you bet $100 on Brazil, you will win $150 total (see Online Soccer Money Line Betting for more details on how to calculate the lines).
If you are betting on USA, then USA has to lose by 2 or less goals, or win. Hence, if the final score is 1-0 for Brazil, then USA would have lost by less than 2 goals and your bet wins. If you bet $100 on USA, then you will get $200 in total.
As we have explained in several other occasions, the 0.5 is used to eliminate a possibility of a draw and a “no-action”. If the 0.5 was not included and if the spread is exactly 2 goals, then there is a change that no side of the sportsbook or bettor would win, and the book would have to return the bets. A lot of bettors and sportsbooks do not like that so the 0.5 is normally utilized.
Soccer Point Spread Betting Strategies and Tips
One good tip we can give you is that it might be better to bet on a point spread as late as possible. You might actually get better spreads this way. This is because a sportsbook might originally post a spread based upon what the experts say, but over time that spread will actually be adjusted to even out the betting money.
Another reason to get in late on a point spread is because you will have a better idea on the lineup of the players of the teams. For example, you might get some updated news on who is injured, how the coach gets along with his team and what to expect (a good example is the French team on the 2010 World Cup, where the coach and team was not getting along, and you could see the results on their matches, unfortunately).
Avoid Big Decisive Matches
Another soccer point spread betting strategy and tip to consider is to avoid big competitive decisive matches. For example, it is a FIFA World Cup Final; the two teams are very strong and should do their best to win. If one of the teams is losing, the players will likely keep on fighting, even risking injuries and exhaustion. On the other hand, if it is just a qualifier first round game and one of the teams is losing 2-0, then the players on a losing team might save their energy for the next match.
We can give examples as much as possible, but there is nothing better than learning first hand, than experiencing the thrill of the game with a few bets on the side, so if you are up for it, you should definitely make your soccer point spread bet now!