Spread betting is one of the most popular ways to bet on sports, especially in the age of online sports gambling.
Since moneyline wagers can come with short odds that require a substantially higher stake to earn a significant payout, sportsbooks create spreads that teams must cover in exchange for more lucrative odds.
FOX Bet, the online sportsbook that was born out of the FOX Sports media empire and Stars Group online-betting team, is a great option for bettors interested in wagering on spreads.
If you have any trepidation about wagering on spreads with FOX Bet, fear not. We’re here to help. Here’s a crash course in betting spreads.
How to Bet Spreads on FOX Bet
Step 1: Create an Account or Sign In
If you have a FOX Bet account, sign in. If you don’t, be sure to create an account through our Fox Bet review page special custom link and include any promo code if necessary.
Remember any sensitive information is secure and used only to affirm your identity.
Step 2: Deposit Funds
Add money to your online account. Remember that the method with which you deposit is often the one required to withdraw, and credit-card withdrawals are generally not allowed. Also, credit-card deposits typically include a cash-advance fee.
Step 3: Find Your Spread Bet
Determine which spread bet you wish to make. Consult FOX Bet’s full collection of spreads for any sport where spreads are standard.
Step 4: Place Your Bet
Tap the wager you wish to make, enter the stake you wish to wager, press place bet and root for your bet to hit!
What Is Spread Betting on FOX Bet?
Since games can appear lopsided on paper, sportsbooks create spreads for favorites and underdog to either cover or beat, and typically gives those odds like -110 or -115. There is inherent risk to betting spreads since coaches and teams generally play to win and not cover the spread.
The sportsbook’s goal is to create a spread that competitive enough to entice bettors to take both sides. Sportsbooks lose money when they have to pay out profit, meaning they win when a favorite wins but does not cover the spread, since the bulk of most games’ handles comes from favorites to cover.
FOX Bet produces competitive spread numbers and odds for every sport with games and matches that feature spreads, including NFL, MLB, NHL and NBA, as well as college team sports too.
How Do FOX Bet Spreads Work?
FOX Bet creates spreads designed at being correct and also enticing bettors to bet on either side of the number. Since games can appear lopsided on paper but parity exists, especially in the NFL, spreads can be either wildly wrong or right on the nose.
If all things are equal in an NFL game, the home team will be a three-point favorite. Sometimes the lingo dictates the favorite is “giving" or “laying" points, depending on who you’re listening to, and the underdog is “getting" three.
Obviously, more lopsided-appearing games can have larger spreads, with some college football games possessing five-touchdown spreads or longer. Most NFL spreads are within two touchdowns, though on some rare occasions an NFL team at home might be 17-point favorite or higher.
Generally, in MLB and NHL, spreads sit at 1.5 runs/goals, since one-run/goal games are common in those sports. The odds can swing drastically, from +200 for a -1.5 bet to -275 for a +1.5 wager and all numbers in between.
In the NBA spreads can vary from 1 to 17, again typically with -110 or -115 odds.
FOX Bet Spread Rules
There aren’t many rules for spread betting, but here they are.
- Pushes: Sometimes spreads are a whole number, like -3 or -5, and in the event of a push those wagers are voided and the bettor’s initial stake is returned.
Spread vs Moneyline
Moneyline bets are more straight forward: The winning team is the bet that wins. However, in spread betting, a team must cover a certain number of points in order for the bet to pay out.
Because a team might seem like a huge favorite then only win by a single point, the odds can swing drastically when betting spreads vs. moneylines. A 17-point favorite might have moneyline odds of -1000 or shorter, meaning a bettor would need to wager $1,000 to win $100 in profit. A seven-point favorite may have moneyline odds of -260 or so.
If the spread is seven points, an underdog might have moneyline odds of +210, which makes it highly unlikely to win outright. Still, if the game is close and you bet the underdog to cover, you’ll win even if the underdog doesn’t surprise the favorite.
Periodically, in games that appear close on paper, sportsbooks will put the spread at “pick ’em," meaning there is no spread and the bettor simply chooses which team will win the game outright.
Underdog vs Favorite
Determining which team is the underdog and which is the favorite is easy. The favorite always has minus moneyline odds and usually has a minus number under the section that says “spread." For instance, if a team is favored by one point, the sportsbook will list it as -1. If a team is a three-point underdog, the sportsbook will list it as +3.
In spread betting in football and basketball, the favorite and underdog will usually have similar odds, typically -110 or -115. If both teams have minus-money odds, generally -105, -110 or -115, then the favorite is the team with the odds farther from 100 or the team with the -1 in its spread line.
What is an Alternate Spread on FOX Bet?
An alternate spread, or teaser in common betting lingo, is when a sportsbook offers a bettor a different number of points to cover at varying odds. The odds can vary drastically on alternate spreads, for instance if a team is a 10-point favorite at -110 then betting it to cover 2.5 points might come with -500 odds, but they are useful as parlay legs since it is very hard to execute a three-or-more leg parlay that all have -110 odds.
If I like the Miami Dolphins to defeat the Houston Texans but am not sure Miami can cover 6.5 points, I can wager on the Dolphins to win by 3.5 points. A -6.5 bet is likely to come with -110 odds, whereas a -3.5 bet would be -200 or shorter, but if the Dolphins win by four, I’d be a winner when bettors who took them to cover 6.5 would not.
A -200 bet requires a $200 bet to win $100 in profit, or $0.50 in profit for every $1 wagered, which is why these make great parlay legs. We generally don’t advocate placing straight bets with odds shorter than -150, except as parlay legs, since the risk doesn’t match the potential payout.
FOX Bet NFL Point Spreads
FOX Bet creates point spreads for every NFL game, from the Hall of Fame Game that opens the preseason to the Super Bowl each February. Since FOX Sports is an official rightsholder of the NFL, wagering on pro football with FOX Bet is a breeze, with personality-backed wagers and boosted odds on props, parlays and spread bets for games every week.
The Super Bowl is like Christmas morning for sports bettors, with tons of new betting options and Super Bowl bonuses. FOX Bet delivers with more than 100 betting markets for the big game, including spreads and alternate spreads with varying odds. Bettors can also place futures bets on the Super Bowl year-round, including choosing which teams will play in the big game and which will be the one that wins the Lombardi Trophy at the end of the year.
Spread Bet Strategies
Avoid betting favorites to cover huge spreads. Double-digit spreads can be a huge roll of the dice, since all it takes is a slow start or a rough quarter to turn those numbers into smoke. They also open the door to backdoor covers, or an underdog getting inside the spread with some late points during garbage time.
If you think an underdog can keep the game close but aren’t sure it can win, then you can bet a dog to cover 10 points or more. But generally if you think an underdog will cover a spread of fewer than 10 points it is wise to think it can win the game.
Do research, especially if there’s a spread that doesn’t make sense to you. If, after doing your homework, the spread still seems too low or high, mash the favorite or underdog to cover. Also, while doing your homework do not forget to check other sportsbook options - you’ll only find a better spread if you search for one.
Have fun and be responsible. Remember, we bet to make the games more interesting. There’s no sense in losing your house over betting a team to cover 8.5 points, especially given the potential for a back-door cover.
Spread Betting for Beginners
Tread lightly. Dip your toe and learn the ropes with moneyline wagers before you leap into spread betting. It isn’t that spread bets are complicated to make, it’s that sometimes they are hard to win, especially since teams play to win and not cover and sportsbooks make a living by creating spreads that are super-close.
If you read all of this and decided to want to give it a shot, go for it. Trial and error, in all sports betting, is your friend. You may make boneheaded mistakes or get stuck with a bad beat, but don’t be mad. It happens to all of us, and you’ll learn from it.
Have fun, and soon enough you’ll be placing multi-leg parlays with spread wagers with the rest of us.
How to Calculate Spread Odds?
Spread odds are fairly standard, again usually falling in the -110 or -115 range, outside of baseball and hockey which can vary more drastically. A -110 bet, which pays out $0.91 in profit for every $1 wagered, is essentially a coin flip, which means you have about a 50-50 shot of covering in the sportsbook’s eyes.
Fortunately, FOX Bet will give you, the bettor, the full payout on the wager you place before you place the bet. That way you’ll know exactly what odds and profit you’ll gain if and when your bet hits.
Why Are Spreads a Good Bet?
Because they are a great way to get a better payout. If you think a team will win its game, you might as well wager it to cover 2.5 points, especially in a sport like basketball where one-possession games are ultra-rare. In football, classic games have been decided by 3-6 points, which means a more lucrative payout if your covers less than one score over betting a -150 or -170 moneyline.
Can Spreads Be a Bad Bet?
Sometimes. Because coaches play to win, and not cover the spread, you can get hosed by a coach’s decision to eschew or allow a late score that might lead to your team not covering. Garbage-time points can be your enemy, especially in football where winning by one point or one score is just as valuable as winning by 10 points.
What Sports Are Available for Spreads?
Any sport that has a game, and even some postseason series. Bettors may be interested in wagering on an MLB, NHL or NBA team to cover 1.5 games in the best-of-7 series or even 2.5 games if they think the series will be a blowout. Tennis matches may also feature spreads like 2.5 games or 1.5 sets.
But point spreads are standard for games and matches where points, runs or goals can be won by, which means most every team sport every day.
Is There Bet Insurance on Spreads?
Rarely. If you place a wager for a team to cover a spread in your initial risk-free bet, and it does not hit, then your bet will be reimbursed. If you place a spread bet as part of a parlay wager with parlay insurance, you might get a reimbursed wager if exactly one leg falls short. Otherwise, it’s not likely to get insurance with spread betting.