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Sports Spread Betting Explained

November 12, 2020, 8:27
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Sports Spread Betting Explained

In this article, we explain sports spread betting, educate readers about the risks inherent in sports spread betting and advise how to minimise them. We teach how to place a spread bet on sports and give useful tips to beginners. We also show you how spread betting differs from fixed-odds betting, listing the relative benefits as well as the downsides.

Sports spread betting is an earning option for punters that can result in much higher profits than fixed-odds betting. While the higher profit potential is accompanied by higher risks, there are ways a punter can minimise those risks by following a game plan. As in any other field, knowledge is the key to earning higher profits through sports spread betting.

What Is Sports Spread Betting?

To understand what a spread is, consider the market we are betting on. Assuming, for instance, that the market is the number of goals likely to be scored in a football match. Supposing at the start of the game we think that four goals are likely to be scored in the game, then the spread for the market can be defined as 3.9-4.1. During the game, we may make a buying or selling decision based on the state of the game. Let’s assume that 75 minutes of the game have already passed with the scoreboard reading 2-2. With 15 minutes to go, we may consider that at least one more goal will be scored. Then we decide to ‘buy’ as the result of the match is likely to be higher than the buy price. If on the other hand, the scoreboard reads 1-1, we would decide to ‘sell’ as the result of the game is likely to be lower than the sell price. Thus, the spread for the game can be defined as the range between the buy and sell price.

Is Sports Spread Betting Risky?

Sports spread betting is only as risky as a punter allows it to be. In other words, you can do several things to reduce the risk involved:

1. Limit your stake

Don’t bet your house on your selected market. You can bet as little as 100. Though the small stake might not help you win a large return, it will ensure that any potential loss is unlikely to be so large as to eat up your whole stake and you will have enough left to allow you to experiment with a greater variety of bets.

2. Avoid very volatile markets

Different markets have different degrees of volatility. For instance, if you are deciding between betting on “how many minutes will elapse before the next goal?” and “how many goals will be scored?”, the latter market is a better option. In the former case, the final result could be too far away from the spread. In other words, the market for the ‘number of minutes until the first goal’ is too volatile and you should avoid it.

3. Cash out in time

Very often, punters fail to protect their betting bank by failing to cash out even though the bet they have placed is clearly going against them. Don’t wait until the situation gets even worse before you cash out. You can always try and earn from other markets.

How to Place a Spread Bet on Sport

A punter could be daunted by the prospect of placing his first spread bet. However, it can be an enjoyable experience if you do it the right way. We have already explained why you should bet a smaller amount on a market that is not too volatile, the one in which the final result is not too distant from the buy and sell prices. Also, make sure you choose a market in which you are easily able to figure out what is the worst thing that can happen.

For instance, if the market spread for the number of goals in a football match is 3.9-4.1, the worst thing that can happen is a settled price of 0 goals. In other words, no goals are scored at all. Assuming that you placed a buy bet with a stake of 100 rupees per point, the worst loss you could endure would be 400, calculated as 100 x (0 – 4) = -400, where 0 is the settled price for no goals scored and 4 is the buy price.

Sports Spread Betting Explained

Profit when the settled price is higher than the buy price

Supposing the match score turned out to be 3-2 in favour of one of the teams, the settled price would be 5 and the buy price 4. You would end up making a profit as the settled price would be higher than the buy price. You could calculate the profit as 100 x (5-4) = +100.

Assuming that the market for Team Total Wickets in a T20 match is priced at 5-6, the worst-case scenario, if you placed a buy bet, would be a loss of six times your stake of 100, as the lowest settled price would be 0, assuming that no wickets are lost during the innings. You can calculate your loss in the worst-case scenario as 100 x (0 – 6) = -600.

If the team ended up losing nine wickets, then the settled price would be nine and you can calculate your profit as 100 x (9-6) = +300.

Thus, in each case, it is possible for you to know the worst-case scenario in terms of money lost. But you would also be comforted by the prospect of multiplying your profit by the amount staked (₹100) for every additional goal scored or wicket lost over the buy price.

Tips for Beginners: Sports Spread Betting

  1. As a beginner, you must aim at increasing your betting bank. You can do this by controlling your losses. As we have mentioned earlier, the best way to do this is to limit your bets to smaller amounts.
  2. Make sure that the worst-case scenario is not too distant from the settled price. You will be able to know this if you restrict yourself to markets that you understand well. For instance, virtually everyone in India understands cricket. So, a punter in India betting on Team Total Sixes would be able to calculate the worst-case scenario quite easily. For instance, in a T20I innings, the market spread for a number of sixes scored might be 4-5. Assuming that no sixes are scored, the loss can be restricted to five times your stake.
  3. As we have indicated above, knowledge of the market as well as of the method of calculating the result can help a beginner bettor to operate from within his comfort zone. Betting sites offer information on how a market works; please read up any such information before you bet if you don’t fully understand the market you have chosen to bet on.
  4. Never venture into a betting adventure if you are not 100% sure of everything. Take help from the customer services team available on the betting site for answers to any queries you may have regarding the market you wish to bet on.
  5. Take advantage of any promotions a betting site may offer. 4rabet, for instance, offers to send texts as well as emails to subscribers and you can learn about any promotions offered on this site.

Spread Betting Vs Fixed-Odds Betting

Sports Spread Betting ExplainedAn Indian bettor with excellent knowledge of cricket can use his knowledge to greater benefit in spread betting than in betting with fixed odds. A fixed-odds bet may be restricted to a win or loss scenario and beyond knowing how much he is likely to win or lose at the time of placing the bet, a punter will not be able to use his cricketing knowledge to gain any other advantage. In spread betting, the extent of a punter’s profit or loss will depend on his accuracy based on his knowledge of the game. Spread betting can result in more than two possible outcomes and the greater a punter’s accuracy, the higher his potential earnings. Conversely, in spread betting, a punter stands to lose more in case of an adverse result.

For example, in a cricket match, a punter may choose to make a fixed-odds bet on whether a batsman will score a half-century. If the decimal odds offered are 1.4, on a 100 bet, the punter can get a return of 40 if the batsman scores a fifty. In case the batsman fails to score a half-century, the bettor would stand to lose his stake of 100.

If in the same match, a batsman’s total runs spread is set at 30-35, a punter betting that the batsman would score a fifty would be best advised to buy at the buy price of 35. If he staked 100 per point, he would profit by 100 for every run above 35 scored by the batsman. Were the batsman to score 75, then the punter would earn a profit of 4000, calculated as 100 x (75-35). If the batsman happened to play the innings of his life and made 150 runs, then the punter’s earnings would grow proportionately.

Assume that a punter (let’s call him A) bets with fixed odds. His earnings are fixed and are determined by whether the batsman scores a half-century. If the batsman does reach 50, Punter A receives a fixed earning based on his stake and the odds offered. The earnings would not increase if the batsman went on to make a century or more. Consider the case of Punter B who makes a spread bet. He would have an additional incentive for every run over 50 scored by the batsman. Punter B’s earnings would rise higher and higher with every additional minute the batsman spends at the crease. Again, if the batsman got out for 49, Punter A would lose his entire stake, whereas Punter B would stand to make 1400 as the market would settle at 14 points above the original spread buy price of 35 that the punter took. We calculate Punter B’s gains as 100 x (49-35) = 1400.

That said, Punter B could end up losing more than Punter A if the batsman got out for a zero. In such an eventuality, Punter B would lose 3500 (100 x (0 – 35)). If Punter A bet less than 3500, his loss on the fixed-odds bet would be lower than that of Punter B.

But Punter B’s loss would fluctuate according to how much short of 35 the batsman ended up scoring. If, for instance, he got out for 20, Punter B’s loss would be limited to 1500.

Punter B would have known at the time of staking 100 on a buy price of 35 that his worst-case scenario would be a loss of 3500, buying at ₹100 a point. But Punter B would be comforted by the fact that with the first run scored, he would have avoided his worst-case scenario and with every run scored by the batsman, he would get closer to being in profit and going beyond. However, given the high volatility of the market, we would advise Punter B to reduce his stake to a much lower amount, say, for instance, 10.

In Conclusion

Sports spread betting is an exciting betting option for Indian punters, especially for those who bet on cricket. The concept of sports spread betting is simple, however, lack of knowledge of the market in which a punter decides to wager is fraught with risk. Fortunately, Indian punters, most of whom bet on cricket, have excellent knowledge of the game. Unlike fixed-odds betting, sports spread betting affords punters the opportunity to use such knowledge to earn higher profits. Provided they take certain minimal precautions, Indian punters can hope to create a continual stream of earnings from sports spread betting.

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