How to Spread Bet on DraftKings

ByFrank Ammirante

Mar 28, 2023

DraftKings is one of the best sportsbooks available in the iGaming industry, renowned for its user-friendly interface and expansive betting markets. Players will enjoy placing a wager on moneylines, totals, props, futures, point spreads, and more.

Betting on spreads is popular because it adds more strategy to wagering, as you’re not only taking a team to win, but you’re also considering the margin of victory. It aligns perfectly with sports like football and basketball, while you can also try it out in others like hockey, baseball, soccer, and tennis.

In this article, you’ll learn the ins and outs of betting on spreads on DraftKings Sportsbook, including strategy, instructions, and rules involved with this wager type. After reading, you’ll have a good sense of how to approach this market, which will send you en route to a profitable sports betting venture.

How to Bet Spreads on DraftKings

Placing a wager on spreads involves a few steps, but they’re easy to follow. We’ve got you covered here:

Step 1: Create an Account or Sign In

The first thing you have to do is create an account. Click one of our “Get Bonus" links to gain access to the best welcome offer available at DraftKings. Next, you’ll want to include personal information, such as your name and address. Wait for a confirmation e-mail to acknowledge that your account is ready. You’re ready to move on to the next step. If you already have an account, type in your username and password to sign in.

Step 2: Deposit Funds

You can put money into your account by clicking “Deposit," which is located at the top-right corner of your screen. You’ll have access to several banking methods, including credit card and PayPal. The minimum deposit is $5. The best part is that your money is instantly reflected in your balance following your deposit.

New signups can also take advantage of the DraftKings promo. This promotion instantly provides $150 in bonus bets once you deposit and place a $5 bet on any game.

Step 3: Navigate the Betting Markets

It’s time to decide which market you’d like to target for your spread wager. Click “A-Z Sports" to access a list of different options, arranged in alphabetical order. Alternatively, if your sport sees a lot of action, you’ll find it in the “Popular" section. From here, you’ll see the day’s or week’s slate of games. The point spreads will be on the main page because it’s among the most popular bet types.

Step 4: Add to Your Bet Slip

Once you’ve figured out where you’re laying your money, click on that point spread to add it to your bet slip. You can type in your stake to automatically see the potential payout, which is based on the odds attached to your spread wager. If there are odds changes while you’re betting, DraftKings will prompt you to ask if you still want to proceed with the pick.

Step 5: Straight or Parlay?

The last step is for you to determine if you want this pick as a straight bet or in a parlay of two or more wagers. If the former is your preference, simply click “Place Bet" and you’re ready to go. On the other hand, if you want a parlay, go back to your preferred sports page and select another spread. This will add it to the bet slip and update the odds with your two or more bets in a parlay.

What Is Spread Betting on DraftKings?

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 DraftKings Spreads Work?

In order to get a good sense of how spreads work, let’s take a look at an example:

Dallas Cowboys +3.5 (-110) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers -3.5 (-110)

In this game, the Cowboys are 3.5-point underdogs, as evidenced by the plus (+) sign in front of the number. If you bet on Dallas, they’ll need to win outright or lose by three or fewer. The Bucs are -3.5-point favorites — you can tell by the minus (-) sign. If you take Tampa Bay, they need to win by four or more.

Therefore, taking the favorite means that you need them to win by the assigned spread. Even if they’re victorious but don’t cover the spread, you still lose your wager.

Point spreads vary across sports. Let’s take a look at the differences:

NFL/NBA: Ranges between 1 to 17.5 points, can be +100 to -120 odds on either side
NHL/MLB: Standard is 1.5 goals/runs, odds vary considerably, from +200 to -150
Soccer: 0.5 to 3 goals, odds can vary like in NHL and MLB
Tennis: About 1 to 6 games, usually between +100 to -140 odds

The point spread is also referred to as the run line (MLB) and puck line (NHL).

You’ll also notice Asian Handicap listed as an option for soccer. This is similar to point spread, but it has quarters along with halves. Here’s an outline to explain what we mean:

-1: Needs to win by more than one goal. If they win by one, your bet is a push.
-0.75: If your team wins by 2 or more, you win. Win by 1, you win half. Any other result is a loss.
-0.5: Just needs to win the game. If they tie, you lose.
-0.25: If your team wins, you get your full payout. If they tie, you lose half, while you lose full in a loss.

DraftKings Spread Rules

There are some rules to keep in mind with DraftKings spread betting, such as:

  • If the spread is a whole number and the winning margin lands there, it’s a push
  • MLB games must go 9 full innings (8.5 if the home team is leading)
  • Cashout opportunities are available if specified on your bet slip

Spread vs. Moneyline

The spread is the winning margin in a given event, while the moneyline just requires your selection to win.

Let’s take a look at an example:

Spread: Raptors +2.5 (-110) vs. Nets -2.5 (-110)

Taking the Raptors requires them to win the game or lose by two or less, while choosing the Nets will need them to win by three or more.

Moneyline: Raptors (+130) vs. Nets (-150)

In this case, you get lower odds on the Nets and higher on the Raptors because the point spread is removed. You just need either team to win the game.

Underdog vs. Favorite

In order to tell which team is the underdog, just look for the plus (+) sign next to the number found beside the team. If you’re looking for the favorite, find the (-) sign.

Example: Lakers +6.5 vs. Clippers -6.5

The Lakers are 6.5-point underdogs, the Clippers are 6.5-point favorites.

What Is an Alternate Spread?

There are alternate point spreads available, where you can “tease" the spread to a higher or lower number. This will change the odds.

For example, if the Eagles are -3.5 and you take them as -2.5 on the alternate spread, your odds and payout will be lower. On the other hand, if they’re -3.5 and you bring it up to -4.5, you’ll have higher odds.

You have several options for this on DraftKings, just look at this MLB game between the Cardinals and Reds:

You can take the favored Cardinals up to +3.5 (-810) or go the other route at -6 (+575). You’re also able to go with the underdog Reds at +6 (-875) or put them at -3.5 (+540).

What’s great is that DraftKings allows you to parlay alternate spreads. This gives you a chance to combine several favorites and turn them into underdogs. For example, I can go with the Cardinals, Yankees, and Phillies each at +2 for a -110 payout. On the other hand, you can shoot for the moon by taking a favorite to have a greater winning margin or an underdog to win by multiple runs.

It’s nice to have this variety at DraftKings.

DraftKings NFL Point Spreads

Point spread is king in the NFL. It’s a preferred bet than moneyline, especially when you’re taking favorites since the odds are too expensive to wager on them to win outright.

You can roll with the assigned spread or go with the alternate. If you’re confident on a team, you can take them to win by more for better odds. If you want to play it safe, parlay your team with a few others. This is also known as a “teaser."

You can also take the spread in each quarter or half, although it’s better to stick to the full game, since it’s easier to project.

Super Bowl

The Super Bowl is the best day of the year for sports bettors. You’ll find each of the spread bets outlined above, such as full game and first half spread, along with a chance that there is a wider selection of alternate spreads due to the popularity of this event.

Spread Bet Strategies

There are a number of strategies to consider when betting the spread, such as:

  • Monitor line movement to see how the market is reacting to recent news or sharp action.
  • Consider the head-to-head matchup to see if there are mismatches for either side.
  • Check the weather to make sure there aren’t any impactful conditions.
  • Look to see if there are any notable player injuries.
  • Shop around multiple sportsbooks to find the best line.
  • Review each team’s record against the spread to see if they’ve been mispriced by the market.
  • Think about how each team performs on the road or at home.

Spread Betting for Beginners

If you’re new to spread betting, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with these NFL betting tips:

  • Don’t be afraid of high numbers, especially if it’s attached to an elite team in an exploitable matchup.
  • Prioritize straight bets on your spread wagers since parlays are more difficult to win.
  • Practice money management, minimizing your risk on each selection.
  • Consider each team’s recent performance along with any trends.
  • Think about how the two sides match up with each other.

How to Calculate Spread Odds

NFL spread odds are displayed in American format on DraftKings. This is where you see a positive or negative number related to $100. They usually don’t fluctuate too much, particularly in the NFL and NBA, but there are differences in other leagues, like MLB and NHL.

Here’s how to calculate the odds:

Favorite 1: -110 odds, Risk $100

  1. Divide 110 / 100 = 1.1
  2. Divide $100/1.1 = 90.9
  3. Your payout is $90.90 on a $100 wager

Favorite 2: -110 odds, Win $100

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

Underdog: +105 odds

  1. Divide 105 / 100 = 1.05
  2. Multiply 1.05 x 100 = 105
  3. Your payout is $105

Why Are Spreads a Good Bet?

Spreads can be a good bet for the following reasons:

  • You won’t have to risk too much on expensive odds.
  • Sometimes the market will misprice the lines, giving you an edge.
  • Spreads are easy to understand once you’ve recognized how to read them.
  • You can lower your risk by parlaying favorites in alternate spreads.
  • You’re able to follow the line movement to see where the sharps are leaning.

Can Spreads Be a Bad Bet?

Spreads have some drawbacks as well, such as:

  • They often don’t have high odds, so the payout is lower.
  • You can get a bad beat on picking the winning team that doesn’t cover the spread.
  • Blowout games can lead to backdoor covers, where teams bench their starters and blow your lead.
  • It can be challenging to correctly choose a team to cover the winning margin.

What Sports Are Available for Spreads?

As one of the most popular bet types available, spreads can be taken on several sports, such as:

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

Is There Bet Insurance on Spreads?

Bet insurance is commonly offered as a welcome bonus for new users. This is where the first bet is refunded up to a certain amount if it loses.

You’re able to use this promotion on spreads as long as it satisfies the minimum odds requirement, which is usually -200. This means that you’ll have to focus on the actual spread rather than the alternate.


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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