How to Bet Spreads on BetRivers | Complete Guide

ByFrank Ammirante

Aug 15, 2022

BetRivers is a great sportsbook because of its high functionality, accessible interface, and diverse selection of betting markets. You’ll be able to place a wager on bet types like moneylines, props, totals, futures, and spreads. There is also a comprehensive live-betting section for your in-game wagering needs.

Spread betting is one of the traditional markets, requiring you to consider the winning margin when making your selection. It’s especially popular with football, but you can also target this wager in several other sports, such as basketball, baseball, hockey, soccer, and tennis.

We’re going to provide you with a thorough explanation of how to bet on spreads at BetRivers sportsbook. You’ll learn about best practices to guide you towards success, as well as any rules associated with spread betting. By the end of the article, you’ll have a good idea of how to be profitable when wagering on spreads.

How to Bet Spreads on BetRivers

Here’s what you need to do in order to bet spreads on BetRivers:

Step 1: Create an Account or Sign In

Click on the “Get Bonus" link on this page to access the BetRivers landing page. Create a username and password. Provide your personal information, such as name, address, and more. Be sure to enter promo code ‘GAMEDAY’ to access the best welcome offer. Alternatively, if you’re an existing user, simply sign in to your account.

Step 2: Deposit Funds

Next, you want to deposit funds into your account. Click ‘Deposit,’ which is found on the top-right corner of your page, right beside your account information. You’ll have multiple options to choose from, including PayPal, eChecks, credit cards, and more. Deposits will show up in your account immediately.

Step 3: Navigate the Betting Markets

The third step is to go through the different sports and find your preferred game. By clicking on the league, you’ll see the slate of games available on that given day. Since spreads are a traditional bet type, they will appear on the main page. Find the bet that you like, and you’re ready for the next instruction.

Step 4: Add to Your Bet Slip

Click your preferred wager to add it to your bet slip. Here’s where you type in your stake. Once you’ve done that, you’ll see your potential winnings pop up, depending on the odds of your selection. If there are any changes to the spread as you’re placing your bet, you will be notified and asked if you’d like to proceed with your pick.

Step 5: Straight or Parlay?

If you want to make a straight wager with your spread, you can click ‘Place Bet’ once you’ve figured out your stake. On the other hand, if you prefer to combine it into a parlay, go back to the page with other games available and make click the wager you’d like to add. It will now show up on your bet slip as a parlay with updated odds.

What Is Spread Betting on BetRivers?

Spread betting is a type of wager that focuses on a projected winning margin. You either choose the favorite (minus the points) or underdog (plus the points). If you bet on the favored team, you need them to win by more than the spread. If you go the other route, your team can either win outright or lose by fewer than the spread.

How Do BetRivers Spreads Work?

Each game is given a spread, which is the projected winning margin for the favored team. The spread is based on a number of factors, including team performance, recent play, head-to-head matchup, and home-field advantage. You may see the spread change as we get closer to game-time, which could be from recent news or sharp money backing one side.

The spread is different for each sport, which we’ll outline below.


  • Spread can vary
  • Odds are usually -110 on both sides
  • Example: Chiefs -3 at Cardinals +3 (NFL) or Knicks +4.5 at Nets -4.5 (NBA)


  • Known as the run line, which is -1.5/+1.5
  • Odds depend on the moneyline of the game
  • Example 1: Yankees -1.5 -110 at Athletics — the odds are lower because the Yankees are heavily favored (-200)
  • Example 2: Blue Jays -1.5 +150 at Red Sox — the odds are higher because the game is projected to be close


  • Called the puck line, which is often -1.5/+1.5, but can get to -2.5/+2.5 if it’s projected to be lopsided
  • Like MLB, odds relate to the moneyline
  • Example: Leafs -1.5 +120 vs Canadiens


  • Known as match handicap, the spread depends on the game
  • You can also try out the Asian handicap, which gives you quarter spreads, which is sort of like hedging your wager by recouping some of your losses if the match ends in a draw or if your team only wins by 1 instead of 2, etc.
  • Example: Manchester City -1.5 -140 vs Fulham


  • This is also referred to as the match handicap
  • Your player must defeat their opponent by more than the spread in total games
  • Example: Rafael Nadal -4.5 — if he wins 6-3, 6-3, you win because he won by six games

We’ll dive in to explore more about spread betting in the section below.

BetRivers Spread Rules

There are some rules to consider when betting on spreads, such as the following:

  • Spreads with whole numbers will be settled as a void bet if it lands on that number
    • Example: If the Cowboys are -3 and they win 27-24, your bet will be refunded
  • Baseball games must go at least nine innings (8.5 if the home team is leading). If the game is called at five innings due to rain, your bet will be void.

Spread vs. Moneyline

Spread and moneyline are two similar traditional wagers in that they have to do with the outcome of the game. The difference here is that when you wager on moneyline, you just need your team to win, whereas, with spreads, the winning margin comes into play.

Let’s take a look at an example:

Chargers -200 vs Raiders +170
Chargers -4.5 -110 vs Raiders +4.5 -110

I can take the Chargers -200, where they can win by any score, or I could go with them on the spread at -4.5, requiring them to win by five or more.

Underdog vs. Favorite

The spread has an underdog and favorite. To differentiate the two, look for a plus (+) sign for underdogs and minus (-) sign for favorites. If you take the underdog, you win if your team wins outright or loses by fewer than the spread. Bettors who opt for the favored team need them to win by more than the assigned margin.


Buccaneers -7.5 vs Saints +7.5

Here the Bucs are favored by 7.5 points. If I take them, I need them to win by eight or more. If I go with the Saints +7.5, they can win the game or lose by seven or fewer.

What Is an Alternate Spread?

If you want to move the projected winning margin up or down, this is known as the alternate spread. You can move it to a more favorable number or try to hit a higher payout with better odds.

Let’s look at two examples:

Favorite 1

The Cowboys are 3.5-point road favorites (-110) against the Eagles. This number is risky because I’d lose if Dallas won by a field goal, so I opt to take the alternate spread at 2.5 points for -150 odds. While this is more expensive, it’s a safer wager.

Favorite 2

The Chargers are 7.5-point favorites against the Seahawks, but I think Los Angeles is going to win in a blowout, so I take them at -9.5 for +150 odds instead of -110.

Underdog 1

The Patriots are 9.5 point underdogs (-110) against the Chiefs, but I want to move it past that key number of 10, so I take them at 10.5 points at -150 odds.

Underdog 2

If I think that an underdog can win outright, I may take them on the point spread as a favorite. Let’s say that the Jaguars are +3.5 against the Commanders. I can take Jacksonville at -2.5 for +200 odds or higher. This is a good way to find value.


If you move a favorite’s spread lower, you’ll pay more juice. If you move it higher, you’ll get more value. The opposite is true for underdogs — moving the spread higher is more expensive, while getting a lower number yields a higher payout.

BetRivers NFL Point Spreads

The best plan of attack for NFL point spreads is to target the full game. It’s hard enough to project the winning margin for four quarters — it’s even more challenging to handicap how it will look in one half or quarter.

The only time I’d recommend taking a second-half spread is if a heavy favorite is either losing or tied at halftime. There’s a relatively good chance that they’ll take over at some point in the game. You may also decide to go with live-betting for this approach, which updates the spread in real-time based on what has transpired in the game.

Here are the full selection of choices for NFL point spread betting:

  • Full Game
  • 1st/2nd/3rd/4th Quarter
  • 1st/2nd half
  • Alternate spread

Super Bowl

The Super Bowl features each of the bet types listed above, but the prudent approach would be to focus on the full game spread. However, if you feel like you have a good read on the game and think the spread is too low, you may take the alternate number to get more value.

Spread Bet Strategies

Here are some strategies to help you be successful with spread betting:

  • Take a look at each team’s record against the spread to see if they’ve been mispriced by the market.
  • Monitor live movement as we get closer to game-time, especially if there isn’t an injury to a key player.
  • Shop around multiple sportsbook options to find the best number and odds on your game.
  • Consider the head-to-head matchup between the two teams to see if there are any mismatches.
  • Make sure that there aren’t any impact players missing the game before deciding on your selection.
  • Check to see how a team performs at home versus on the road.
  • Analyze recent trends for each team — how are they playing lately?
  • Examine their point differential — teams who don’t win by large margins may be ill-suited to cover bigger spreads.

Spread Betting for Beginners

Keep these betting tips in mind if you’re new to spread wagering:

  • Focus on straight bets because they have a higher win probability.
  • Practice money management by limiting your risk.
  • Put more units on straight bets than you would on parlays.
  • Limit your parlays because they’re more challenging to win.
  • Take a look at the team’s recent performance, strengths/weaknesses, and home/road splits.

How to Calculate Spread Odds

Spread odds are listed in American style at BetRivers. This is where you see a positive and negative number that is related to $100. Calculating spread odds is simple; just follow the steps outlined below.

Example 1 (NFL): Buccaneers -6.5 (-110) vs Falcons +6.5 (+110)

Let’s say that I took the Bucs at -6.5:

  1. Divide 110 / 100 = 1.1
  2. Multiply 1.1 x 100 = $110
  3. You would be risking $110 to win $100 here.

If you wanted to only risk $100:

  1. Divide 110 / 100 = 1.1
  2. Divide 100 / 1.1 = $90.90
  3. Risk $100 to win $90.90

Example 2 (MLB): Yankees -1.5 (+140) vs Red Sox

  1. Divide 140 / 100 = 1.4
  2. Multiply 1.4 x 100 = $140
  3. You would win $140 on a $100 wager

Why Are Spreads a Good Bet?

Spreads can be a good bet for these reasons:

  • Save money on juice because most odds are -110 (NFL and NBA).
  • You get some insurance with points when taking an underdog, as they don’t need to win.
  • Get more value on favorites by taking them on the run or puck line (MLB and NHL).
  • Take the alternate spread for higher payouts.

Can Spreads Be a Bad Bet?

There are also some negatives to this bet type:

  • You may pick the correct winner, but you’ll lose if they don’t cover the spread.
  • Blowouts can result in the winning team benching their players near the end of the game, resulting in a loss since they stopped covering the spread.
  • It can be difficult to handicap the spread because of unpredictable outcomes like turnovers.

What Sports Are Available for Spreads?

These sports are available for spread betting:

  • NFL
  • MLB
  • NBA
  • NHL
  • Soccer
  • Tennis

Is There Bet Insurance on Spreads?

Some sportsbooks offer First Bet Insurance as a welcome bonus for new users. This is where your first bet is reimbursed if it loses, up to a maximum ranging from $200 to $1,000. You are able to include point spreads with these wagers, as long as they’re -200 odds or less (depending on the site).

There is also Parlay Insurance, where some sportsbooks provide you with $20 in bet credits if your parlay of four or more legs loses by one. This is a nice consolation for a bad beat — spreads can be used here.


Frank Ammirante

Frank Ammirante is a Senior Sports Writer at The Game Day. Previously, he wrote for 4for4 Football and RotoBaller. Frank is a member of the Fantasy Sports Writer's Association while maintaining an active presence within the community. He has competed in industry contests like the Scott Fish Bowl, The Great Fantasy Baseball Invitational, and more. Frank will be making his debut in Tout Wars this year. He's got a diverse sporting background, but specializes in football and baseball.

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