How to Bet the Spread on FanDuel | Complete Guide

ByFrank Ammirante

Jul 26, 2022

FanDuel is a terrific sportsbook that has exploded in popularity due to its user-friendly interface, useful promotions, and expansive betting markets.

They offer a number of bet types, one of which is point spreads, which work perfectly during the NFL season. Not only will you find the traditional spreads for each game, but there are also options for alternate spreads for a chance at higher payouts.

In this article, you’ll find a breakdown of everything related to point spreads at FanDuel.

How to Bet Spreads on FanDuel

Betting spreads on FanDuel sportsbook is an easy process. We’ve got you covered with the steps below.

Step 1: Create an Account or Sign In

If you already have an account at FanDuel, simply input your username and password to log in. If you’re creating a new account, click one of our links to access the FanDuel landing page. From there, you’ll need to provide your personal information, such as name, address, and more. Once this is confirmed, you’ll be ready to move on to the next step.

Step 2: Deposit Money

You can deposit money into your account by clicking “Add Funds” on the top-right corner of your screen. Next, you’ll want to choose your preferred payment method, such as credit card. You can type in how much money you want to put into your account and then select “Deposit.” Your funds will immediately appear in your balance.

Step 3: Choose Your Bet

Choose your preferred sport by clicking on the icons at the top of the screen or by selecting “All Sports” at the bottom. From there, you can choose your point spread, which is neatly labeled on the main page of the sport. If you want more options, click “More Wagers” to see the alternate spreads.

Step 4: Add to Bet Slip

Now you’re ready to add the game to your bet slip just with a click of a button. From here, you can type in your stake to determine your potential payout. This is based on the odds attached to the point spread. When you’re ready to place your wager, click “Place Bet.”

Step 5: Straight Bet or Parlay?

The final step would be to determine if you’d like your spread bet to be placed as a single wager or in a combination with a parlay. If you want to make straight bet, just click “Place Bet.” Creating a parlay would require you to navigate back to the sport’s page and select another point spread. It will appear as a parlay as well as two separate sections on your Bet Slip.

What Is Spread Betting on FanDuel?

Each game is assigned a projected winning margin, known as the point spread. The underdog has plus the points, while the favorite is minus. This means that if you wager on the underdog, your team can either win outright or lose by fewer than the spread. On the other hand, if you take the favorite, they need to win by more than the winning margin.

There are different types of point spreads across sports, but the most popular are NFL and NBA. This is because we see more scoring in basketball and football, making it more suitable for this bet type. FanDuel has numerous choices available for spread bettors.

How Do FanDuel Spreads Work?

Understanding spreads on FanDuel is simple. Below you’ll find an example of point spreads in different sports.

NFL: Point Spread

Example: Eagles -4.5 -110 vs. Giants +4.5 -110

If I take the Eagles, they need to win by five or more points. Choosing the Giants would hit if they won outright or lost by four or fewer. Point spreads in the NFL are usually at -110 odds, but they can sometimes vary to -115/-105 and -120/+100.

NBA: Point Spread

Example: Clippers -3.5 -110 vs Lakers +3.5 -110

The Clippers would have to win by four or more, while the Lakers can win or lose by three or fewer. Like the NFL, the odds are mostly -110 on both sides in the NBA.

MLB: Run Line

Example: Rays -1.5 +116 vs Red Sox +1.5 -140

Standard run lines in MLB are -1.5, but you can choose -2.5 or greater as an alternative. The odds for the favorite depend on their moneyline odds. For example, in this case, the Rays are -196 favorites, so the payout isn’t as high on the -1.5. Usually, the +1.5 underdog has lower odds, meaning you’ll risk more than your potential payout. The -1.5 means that the favorite needs to win by two or more, while the underdog can win or lose by 1.

NHL: Puck Line

Example: Panthers -1.5 -115 vs Canadiens +1.5 -105

This is similar to run line in MLB – the favorite needs to win by two or more, while the underdog can either win outright or lose by one goal. You’ll also sometimes see -2.5 puck lines as the standard now, as goal scoring as increased dramatically in recent years. Like MLB, the underdog has lower odds than the favorite on the puck line.

Soccer: Asian Handicap

Example: Manchester United -1.5 -140 vs West Ham +1.5 +110

This is similar to run line and puck lines, except the spread can vary depending on what is projected to happen in the game. You may see some -2.5 and -3.5 spreads in soccer. There is also the Asian Handicap, where you can bet quarter spreads, like -0.25. In this case, you would get half your stake back if the game ends in a draw.

Tennis: Match Handicap

Example: Rafael Nadal -3.5 -110 vs Carlos Alcaraz +3.5 -110

There are even spreads in tennis, which depend on the combined score after each set has been completed. For example, if Nadal won this match 6-4, 6-4, that would mean he won 12-8 in total. This would cover the 3.5-point match handicap since he won by four games.

You are also able to place point spread wagers on quarters, halves, and periods in each sport.

FanDuel Spread Rules

There are a few rules to remember regarding point spreads, such as:

  • If a game gets postponed due to rain delay or other circumstances, the bet will be void
  • Not every game has early cashout opportunities. If it’s enabled, you’ll see this option on your Bet Slip under “Active Bets”
  • Overtime and extra innings count for each of these wagers, except for 4th quarter markets.
  • If the point spread is a whole number and the score lands there, the bet will be void. Ex: Patriots win 34-27 as 7-point favorites

Spread vs. Moneyline

Spread and moneyline are similar bets in that you’re taking a favorite or underdog in a specific match. The difference here is that the spread involves a winning margin or match handicap, while a moneyline pick only requires that the team wins the game.

Let’s take a look at an example using NFL:

Broncos -4 -110 vs Raiders +4 -110

If I take the Broncos, I need them to win by more than four points. Choosing the Raiders requires them to win outright by lose by fewer than four.

However, let’s say I opt for the moneyline:

Broncos -200 vs Raiders +170

In this case, I’d need either team to win. If I took the Broncos, I’d risk $200 to win $100, while taking the Raiders would pay $170 on a $100 wager.

Underdog vs. Favorite

With point spread bets, the favorite has minus the points, while the underdog has plus the points. Look for the plus (+) or minus (-) side to determine who is favored.

For example:

Commanders +4.5 -110 at Cardinals -4.5 -110

In this case, I can see that the Commanders are underdogs because they are plus the points, while the Cardinals are favored, since they’re minus.

What is an Alternate Spread on FanDuel?

An alternate spread is when you choose a higher or lower number to change the odds on your selection. You can use this to make a safer choice or to try a longshot for a better payout.

Let’s use an MLB game between the Yankees and Reds as an example:

First, I’ll click “More Wagers” to find the alternate spreads market. I can scroll down to “Alternate Run Lines (spreads)” to see my options:

I can take the Yankees at -2.5 -102 or -3.5 +144 if I want to get a better payout. If you want to go the other route, you can select New York at +1.5 -670, +2.5 -1400, or +3.5 -3000. However, these are exorbitant prices, so it isn’t recommended.

If you really want a larger payout, you can even do an alternate spread with the underdog as the favorite. I can take the Reds at -1.5 +400, -2.5 +630, or -3.5 +880. I can also tease the Reds to a larger number, like +2.5 -130 or +3.5 -194.

FanDuel NFL Point Spreads

Point spreads are the most popular bet type in the NFL. You’ll have a chance to bet on the full game, quarters, or halves.

The best advice would be to stick to the full game. It’s hard enough to project the winning margin over an entire match, it’s even more difficult to do so in a smaller portion of the game, as with a half or quarter.

If you’re feeling really confident about a particular team, go with the alternate spread for a higher payout. You may also take a ladder approach, demonstrated below:

Let’s say that I like the Patriots -3.5, but I think that the number is too low.

I can put $100 on them at -3.5 -110, but add another $25 on -6.5 +300 and $10 on -10.5 +900. This would allow me to maximize my potential earnings if I’m correct.

Super Bowl

Sticking to the full game point spread is a good idea in the Super Bowl. However, utilizing the ladder approach is ideal for this match because you’ll have so many alternate spreads available. The game has been scrutinized to such a degree that you’ve likely built a strong stance either way once it starts.

Choose your team and have at it with the ladder, sprinkling fewer units on larger point spreads to try to hit that nice payout.

I would steer clear of the quarters and halves bets.

Spread Bet Strategies

There are several strategies to keep in mind with spread betting, such as:

  • Shop around for the best NFL odds. Some sites may have lower numbers than others. For example, you can find a -7 at one site and a -7.5 at another one. That half-point can make a huge difference.
  • Focus on key numbers. An underdog of 3.5 is much more valuable than 3 because that “hook” (half a point) can cover you if your team loses by a field goal. You can “buy points” to get past key numbers and give you a higher win probability.
  • Think about a team’s record against the spread because this shows how they’ve performed in relation to how the market values them. If an underdog consistently covers the points, there’s a good chance that they’ve been mispriced, so you may want to target them as a potential pick.
  • Consider the head-to-head matchup to determine strengths and weaknesses among the two teams. Also, think about a team’s recent performance to see if they’re in top form coming into the game.
  • Check to see a team’s point differential. If you notice that a team usually wins close games, but they’re favored by a large number, it may be a good idea to take the underdog in that scenario.
  • Consider the weather, as tough conditions could affect points, making it more difficult to cover larger spreads.

Spread Betting for Beginners

If you’re new to spread betting, here are a few NFL betting tips:

  • Stick to straight bets because it’ll help you be more profitable in the long run
  • Research your selection by looking at team performance, record against the spread, home-away splits, and recent history
  • Check to make sure that there aren’t any notable players missing this game, as that could impact the result
  • Practice strict money management – never risk too much of your bankroll on a single game
  • Look through multiple sportsbooks to find the best odds

How to Calculate Spread Odds?

Point spreads can be displayed in different ways: American, Decimal, and Fractional. The most common is American, but you’ll find a description below.

American Odds

There is a positive and negative integer related to $100. To calculate your payout, divide the odds by 100 and multiply that number by your stake if it’s plus odds, while dividing if it’s minus.

For instance: -110 odds would require you to divide 110 by 100, which equals 1.1. From there, divide 100 by 1.1 to get $90.90, which is your payout on a $100 bet.

Another example would be if it’s +110 odds. Divide 110 by 100 to get 1.1, then multiply that by 100 to get $110, which is what you’d win on a $100 wager.

Decimal Odds

This is displayed in decimals and related back to $1. To calculate your payout, simply subtract the decimal from 1 and multiply that by your bet.

For example, 1.91 odds show that you’d get back $1.91 on a $1 wager ($1 stake, $0.91 profit). To find my return on a $100 bet, I’d multiply 100 by 0.91, which equals $91.

Fractional Odds

This is shown as a fraction. To calculate, multiply the numerator (top or left number) by your stake if the denominator (bottom or right number) is 1.

For example, 2/1 odds: multiply your stake, let’s say $100, by 2 to get $200, which is your payout.

If the denominator is not 1, you can divide the numerator by it and multiply the result by your stake. For example, 5/2: divide 5 by 2 to get 2.5. Multiply 2.5 by 100 to get $250, which is what you’d win on this bet.

Point spreads generally have -110 odds on both sides, but sometimes you may see -115/-105 or -120/+100.

Why Are Spreads a Good Bet?

Point spreads can be a good bet for the following reasons:

  • Pay less juice on a favorite by taking the spread at -110 odds
  • Choose alternate spreads for higher potential payouts
  • Teams that win the game cover the spread as well more often than not

Can Spreads Be a Bad Bet?

There are also some drawbacks to this bet type, such as:

  • You may suffer a bad beat by choosing the correct winner, but they didn’t cover the spread
  • Alternate spreads can be difficult to hit because the winning margins are high
  • Odds on spreads are usually -110, so the payouts are low

What Sports Are Available for Spreads?

Spreads are among the most popular bet types, so they’re available for several sports, such as:

  • Football
  • Basketball
  • Baseball
  • Hockey
  • Soccer
  • Tennis
  • Rugby

Is There Bet Insurance on Spreads?

FanDuel offers Parlay Insurance, which can be used on spreads. If you place a 5+ team parlay that loses by one, you’ll be refunded up to $25. Simply make sure that each leg has a minimum of -200 odds (can’t have -250, -300, etc.). This is a great way to be reimbursed a bit of money for your bad beat.

Author

Frank Ammirante

Before joining The Game Day, Frank spent three years in the fantasy sports and betting industry, writing for websites like RotoBaller and 4for4football. Frank is an active member of the fantasy baseball and fantasy football community, participating in high-stakes leagues like NFBC/NFFC as well as industry competitions like Scott Fish Bowl, RazzBowl, and TGFBI. Frank is a member of the FSWA and IBWAA. Give him a shout to talk fantasy sports and sports betting.