Anyone familiar with online sports betting in Canada will probably have heard of spread betting. This should not be confused with the point spread which is a form of fixed odds betting offered on most team sports. With spread betting, a bettor has no idea how much he or she will win or lose once the bet has been placed. This makes spread betting both exciting and risky, depending on your appetite for risk and how much you are willing to stake.
Most sports betting online sites in Canada will offer spread betting of some kind. However, not all sports lend themselves to this particular style of betting. Spread betting is popular with many Canadian team sports such as ice hockey, basketball, baseball, football etc. It generally comes into play when two teams are fairly evenly matched and where reasonably large totals can be set.
To understand spread betting a little better, we can compare it to totals betting. With totals betting, the betting site will set a specific score value for the game or match. Bettors then place a wager on whether the score will be higher or lower than the amount set. Totals betting is also known as over/under betting.
If a local online sports betting site is offering totals betting on an NBA game, the total they may choose could be a point total of 161.5. From here, we can either bet that the total number of points in the game will be over the total or under the total. If we bet under, we are saying the total points will be 161 or less. If we are betting over, we are saying the total number of points will be 162 or over.
With totals betting, we are paid out a fixed amount for a correct bet and will lose our initial bet stake if we are wrong. The payout amount is determined at the time of the bet according to what the online sports betting site posted. Spread betting is slightly different. In this case, the amount won or lost is determined by how “right or wrong” the bet is. There is no set amount that can be won or lost. With spread betting, you can stand to win many times your stake or lose many times your stake.
If we go back to our example of the NBA game, sports betting online websites will set the spread according to historical games and mathematical calculations. Let’s say the spread was set between 160 and 163. At this point, we can either choose to bet under 160 or over 163. The difference between this and totals betting is that our wins and losses are determined by how far away the total is from the actual spread.
With spread betting, the first thing we need to do is choose how much we want to stake per unit. This can be done via the online site or through the online sports betting app. If we were conservative, we could bet $1 per unit or go a bit higher at $10 per unit. If we bought over 163 at $1 and the actual point total for the game was 168, we would win $5. If we bought at $10, we would win $50. The same applies if we bought under 160 at $10 per unit. If the total points score was 152, we would win $80. This may sound great, but the betting sites can also cash in.
If we placed the same bet, which is under 160 at $10 per unit and the result was over, we would lose $10 for every point over the 163 mark. If the total point score was 170 points, we lose 7 points or $70. If for some reason, the point score got incredibly high and went to 185, we would lose $120 off essentially a $10 stake. As you can see, spread betting is incredibly risky but can also be a great way to win far more than what fixed odds betting can offer.