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What Is Point Spread Betting?

Know how to make the point spread work for you


The point spread bet is the most common type of sports betting option mostly due to the popularity of basketball and football that uses this wager format. The point spread is determined by the Vegas sportsbooks and is designed to make the favorite and the underdog teams equally appealing for bettors.


The point spread works by identifying the favored team with the (–) symbol and the underdog in the game with the (+) symbol. If you bet on the favored team and they win by the point spread, you win. If you bet on the underdog team and they win outright or if they lose by an amount that is less than the point spread, you win.


Here’s a look at how the point spread betting works using the first Super Bowl game in 1967 between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Green Bay Packers as an example.


Kansas City Chiefs +14 (–110)

Green Bay Packers –14 (­–110)


The Packers are listed on the bottom because they were the home team. They were also a 14-point favorite going into the game as indicated by the –14 next to the team’s name. The Packers had to win by more than 14 points to cover the spread. The underdog Chiefs (represented by the +14 next to the team’s name) had to either win the game or lose by fewer than 14 points to cover the spread for better payouts. Green Bay won 35-10 and exceeded the point spread. IF Green Bay won by exactly 14 points than all wager monies would be returned.


The other number listed on the point spread in parenthesis is the “vig” or “juice” that applies to the sportsbook commission typically charged in traditional sports betting, meaning you have to bet $110 to win $100. There is a misconception that point spreads are designed to pit you against the oddsmakers. That’s not true. The sportsbooks make money regardless of how you bet. The point spread is designed to make both teams in a game equally attractive for betting.


There is an alternative to the traditional sports wagering that completely cuts out the sportsbook and the Vegas odds giving you more flexibility over your bets and your money. The PostitPlayit app lets you set the point spread and wager on challenges against your friends and other like-minded sports fans. This is unique in the sports betting arena. With PostitPlayit you can disagree with the Vegas oddsmakers and forego the sportsbook commissions. In fact, your wagers are only 3% of your total dollar amount so your money goes further in your wagers.


Test your skills now by signing up for a PostitPlayit account and start wagering on upcoming games.