NFL

Spread

How to Spread Bet on PointsBet | Complete Guide

ByPat Pickens

Oct 25, 2022

PointsBet is one of the best up-and-coming sportsbooks in the United States and is changing the sports-betting game with its innovation.

PointsBetting is sweeping the nation as one of the most wild and unique ways of gambling, but PointsBet still offers fixed-odds betting as well, and it is a great option with great odds, an easy-to-digest interface and great promotions for sports bettors in eight states.

Some people may not know that PointsBet features great spread-betting options for wagerers who are interested in laying or taking points in games and matches in team sports. If you’re one of them, or are aware of PointsBet but haven’t yet jumped in with both feet, don’t feel ashamed.

Here’s a helpful guide on how to wager on spreads with PointsBet.

How to Bet Spreads on PointsBet

Here is a look at the steps required to betting on spreads with the PointsBet Online Sportsbook.

Step 1: Create an Account or Sign In

Click through our custom link on our PointsBet review page and sign up to unlock the best possible new-user offer. Remember to enter all of your real information since it is used to affirm your age and identity.

Step 2: Deposit

Insert your playable funds. Remember credit card transactions carry a cash-advance fee, and withdrawing via a credit card isn’t allowed. It’s better to use an e-wallet like PayPal or make an ACH transfer since you can withdraw funds as you wish and won’t have wait for a check.

Step 3: Consult Betting Markets

Peruse available spread bets available on PointsBet’s app or website. They are readily available by clicking on the sport you wish to bet.

Step 4: Place Your Bet

Pick the spread bet you wish to make. Enter the amount you wish to bet. Press “place bet" and hope it hits!

What Is Spread Betting on PointsBet?

Spread betting is one of the most traditional way of betting on sports. Sportsbooks, like PointsBet, create odds and spreads for a team to win by a certain amount of points in order for that wager to hit.

Bettors may either wager on the favorite to “cover," or win by at least the spread, or the underdog to “beat" the spread by either winning outright or losing by fewer points than the number listed.

Traditionally, a favorite “gives" or “lays" points, and the underdog “gets" or “takes" points.

If all things are equal in a football game, the home team will lay three points, meaning it will need to win by at least a field goal to cover.

Baseball and hockey spreads are almost always 1.5 runs/goals, since those sports feature an inordinate number of close games.

Soccer spreads might be 0.5 given the array of draws.

Basketball spreads can vary drastically depending on the perception of the game ahead. Some basketball spreads will be “pick ’em," meaning there is no spread and the bettor simply picks which team will win, or could be 20 points or more, especially in college games.

Spread odds are typically -110, though in baseball and hockey the odds could vary more drastically, which makes it a more lucrative option than betting moneylines that could be -200 or shorter.

Plus, betting on an underdog to cover the spread makes the game more interesting, especially since lopsided matchups rarely feature upsets but underdogs could finish the game closer than the three-touchdown spread listed.

How Do PointsBet Spreads Work?

PointsBet, like most sportsbooks, will create a competitive spread that inspires betting on both sides of the line, meaning gamblers will want to bet both the favorite and underdog. PointsBet’s odds are generally more lucrative than competition, ensuring bettors will get more bang for their buck.

PointsBet will also alter spreads as the game goes on, opening the door for live betting, which is a practice online sportsbooks offer that enables bettors to get more favorable spreads and odds based on the game’s trajectory.

PointsBet Spread Rules

PointsBet’s house rules feature some guidance on spread betting. For instance:

  • Pushes: If the margin of victory is the same as the listed spread then that wager is a push, and the bettor receives his/her stake back.
  • Voids: If a spread bet is placed, and the game is suspended or canceled due to any factor including weather, the bet will be voided and the wagerer will receive his/her stake back.
  • Overtime: Spread bets include overtime, and in the event of a two-way wager, such as in football or soccer, a tie will result in the underdog beating the spread and the favorite failing to cover.

Spread vs Moneyline

Betting the spread varies from placing moneyline wagers in various ways. The odds can vary quite substantially given that a team may need to win by a large number of points to cover a spread but won’t necessarily sweat the final outcome.

Betting on an underdog to beat the spread can be a great way to win even if the team has no possible way of winning. Betting on a favorite to cover a certain number of points can be a great way to get better odds.

For example, if the Green Bay Packers are a -275 moneyline favorite to beat the Chicago Bears, they might be a seven-point favorite at -110 odds.

Wagering on the Packers to win by at least seven points would pay out $0.91 per $1 wagered, whereas betting on Green Bay to win outright would pay out $0.36 profit for every dollar bet.

If you don’t think the Packers will win by at least seven, you can bet on the Bears to cover seven points, again at -110 odds, which again would pay out at $0.91 per dollar.

Since the moneyline odds of the Bears winning would be about +200, betting them to cover the seven is a more likely wager to hit.

Underdog vs Favorite

Underdogs are the team less likely to win a particular game. Typically the underdog will have plus-money moneyline odds and will have the plus number in the spread category.

Favorites, or the team perceived to be more likely to win, will always have minus-money lines and a minus in front of their spread number.

If there is no defined favorite, the spread might say “pick ’em," which means the winning spread bettor is the team that wins outright.

Sometimes both teams will have minus-money odds, and the spread might -1 or +1. The underdog is the team with the plus-spread team, and the one with the moneyline odds that are closer to 100.

What Is an Alternate Spread?

Sportsbooks will usually empower bettors to choose alternate spreads with corresponding odds.

This practice is sometimes also known as teasing, since it is similar to teaser parlays that sportsbooks offer where bettors can buy a certain number of points either for spread or over/under betting.

Alternate spreads make terrific parlay legs, since expecting multiple -110 wagers to hit is impractical, especially in sports like football where spreads are extremely scientific.

For example, if the Denver Broncos are a 3-point underdog against the Las Vegas Raiders, but you aren’t sure Denver can stay within a field goal, you could tease up the spread to 6.5 points at odds like -200.

Broncos +6.5 would cover you if the game went to overtime, or if it were decided in regulation by six points or fewer, and although the odds are not super-profitable, in a parlay bet it would keep that wager a plus-money bet and also would make it more likely to win.

PointsBet creates alternate spreads for every game, not just the NFL, which means if you feel a team is more likely to cover a different spread aside from the one listed you can do so at even better odds.

For instance, I wagered on the New York Yankees to cover -2.5 against the Kansas City Royals and cashed in at -110 when they won by more than three runs. The spread listed, -1.5, had odds of -175 or so.

PointsBet NFL Point Spreads

PointsBet is one of the best sports-betting options for NFL wagers since the sportsbook has a partnership with the league.

Plus, with Drew Brees as one of its spokespeople, PointsBet shows a clear commitment to football and NFL bets specifically.

As such, betting on the NFL with the PointsBet Online Sportsbook is a great option, especially for spread wagers during the regular season and playoffs.

With PointsBet, bettors can feel empowered to create their own spread wagers, or try their hands at the fixed-odds spread bets listed.

Super Bowl

The Super Bowl is, well, the Super Bowl of sports betting, and PointsBet is an elite option for big-game bets.

Of course, PointsBet invites bettors to take advantage of the competitive odds in betting on the spread, but it also gives football gamblers a plethora of betting markets, including props, alternate spreads and totals and much more.

Plus, PointsBet gives bettors odds to wager on futures, like which team will represent its respective conference in the Super Bowl or which will bet the club that will hoist the Lombardi Trophy in February, all year-round.

If you think your team has what it takes to win it all, and no one else is seeing it, head to PointsBet and place a wager on it to win it all and cash in — and earn bragging rights — if they do.

Spread Bet Strategies

Tease spreads, especially when betting the spread in a multi-leg parlay. It’s hard enough to win a parlay bet as it is, let alone when the odds for each wager are -110, or essentially a coin flip.

Do your homework too. Do you know a team is a historically slow starter or has a tendency to play down to its competition? If that’s the case, you best not trust it to cover a double-digit point spread.

Is there any edge you can glean either from historical knowledge or from our insights? Take advantage and find the intel that affirms what your gut says.

If you love a favorite to win a game, and it is a small favorite, like three points or less, take the team to cover the spread.

The moneyline odds usually will be about -130 in a game with a spread that is three-or-less, and you will periodically get hosed by games decided by fewer than three points, but generally if a favorite is going to win it’ll be able to cover three points, and -110 is a more profitable payout than -130.

If you believe a spread is too high, but a favorite is likely to win, don’t be afraid to bet the game live, or while it’s going on.

If you feel a live spread is too high — especially in an event like the NCAA tournament where upsets happen all the time — bet on the underdog to lose by fewer than the number listed.

A great example of this came in 2022, when I live-wagered Baylor to cover 12.5 points in its second-round game against UNC. The Bears came back and lost in overtime, but I cashed in at -110 odds, since that was the spread at the time.

Have fun. Do your homework. Trust your gut. Be responsible. You’ll have a ball.

Spread Betting for Beginners

Trial and error! But start with a bet you love. For instance, if you feel a road favorite’s spread is too low, based on the fact it is playing a road game, mash it and see what happens.

If you believe a home favorite is laying too many points, try mashing the underdog to beat the spread and keep it close.

Again, do some research and account for factors like weather, injuries, and suspensions.

You’re not going to want to bet a favorite to cover two touchdowns if there’s a driving snowstorm. You won’t want to bet on a basketball favorite to cover double digits in a rivalry game, or if its star player is injured.

Take advantage of those lucrative new-user bonuses, especially the ones that reimburse in-site credit.

The best ones let you lengthen your ability to play on the sportsbook’s platform without needing to constantly re-deposit.

And have fun. The whole point of sports betting is to add a personal stake to the games we’re already going to watch or attend.

You might win big, but the likelihood is slim. But if you don’t lose all your money, you’re bound to win a bit and have fun in the process.

How to Calculate Spread Odds

Spread odds for football, basketball, and baseball are typically within +100 and -120, and usually -110 or -115.

Some lopsided-appearing baseball games might have spread odds of -140 or shorter. Hockey odds can vary drastically, again given the likelihood of the game being close or a rout.

Some favorites will be -130 to cover a 1.5-goal spread. Some favorites will be -1.5 at +200, especially in playoff games that are usually low-scoring and extremely close.

Football and basketball point spreads vary drastically, but the odds are almost universally -110, or $0.91 per $1 bet. With -110 odds, the spread is essentially considered a coin flip.

Fortunately, PointsBet, like every other online sportsbook, will give bettors the exact odds and payout to expect before they place their wager so there are no surprises.

Why Are Spreads a Good Bet?

Because spread betting on favorites is far more lucrative than moneyline bets.

As stated above, some college sports teams might be -1000 or shorter on a moneyline. Some lopsided-appearing NBA or NFL games might be -700 in a moneyline wager.

But if you trust the game to be a blowout, or if you don’t, you can wager on either the favorite or underdog to cover with the same -110 odds.

Plus, given the potential for empty-net goals in hockey, a puck-line bet might double your initial stake in profit — as my Los Angeles Kings -1.5 wager did in Game 1 of the 2012 Western Conference Final against the then-Phoenix Coyotes.

Can Spreads Be a Bad Bet?

Coaches coach their players to win period, not cover the spread, which means there are times where losing a spread bet can feel personal. These instances are made worse by the dreaded backdoor cover, where an underdog gets inside the spread line by scoring late in garbage time.

There is inherent risk when it comes to all betting, and that goes especially for betting on spreads. Tread carefully.

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?

Sometimes. For example, if your initial risk-free bet is a spread bet, you will get your full stake reimbursed if it fails. Otherwise spread betting is usually not one of the most widely available wagers that reimburses.

Author

Pat Pickens

Pat Pickens is a seasoned sportswriter who has covered the NHL since 2013 for various websites, including The New York Times, NHL.com, Sportsnet.ca, USA Today, the Associated Press and many others. His debut book, titled "The Whalers" about the history of the NHL's Hartford Whalers, was released in October 2021. His greatest successful wager was an LA Kings puck-line bet (+200) in Game 1 of the 2012 Western Conference Final.

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