Football betting has a load of jargon that can confuse someone first starting out. My friend in Kenya once asked me “Are you betting the spread?” And then told me how he spread bets in every single match in the Premier League but never wins. I have thought a lot about that conversation and a lot about how much there is to learn. Betting sites have so many markets that when you first sign in, you could be forgiven for being confused. I figured now would be a good time to talk about spread betting in football in a comprehensive guide. Imagine knowing that somewhere in that game you are potentially wagering in, you have massive returns. Now, we just have to get you to be able to find it.
What is Betting The Spread in Football?
The spread simply means the number of goals in the game. Most commonly, you will see Over 2.5 as one of the major spread markets at most betting sites. So, betting the spread means betting on the overall number of goals in a game.
Is Betting the Point Spread the same?
No. Betting the point spread is to bet on specific teams’ goals within a game. So, you can bet on a single team to score over or under a certain number of goals within the point spread. An example bet would be Manchester City Over 2.5. This represents a prospective bet of Manchester City scoring 3 or more goals.
Betting the Spread with Handicap Betting is different again!
There are so many markets on betting sites it can get a little confusing at times. Betting the spread with handicaps is another way to use spread betting odds. We can use Manchester City as an example again as they are probably the most free-scoring team in Europe right now. Haaland could literally create betting markets on his own currently! So if you had Manchester City -1 as a prospective bet then you are betting Manchester City will win by 2 or more goals. -2 is Manchester City to win by 3 or more goals. Likewise you can give the opposing side a handicap advantage by giving them a +2 headstart. +2 means that the team opposing Manchester City just needs to not lose the game by 3 or more goals.
The Complexity of Spread Betting in Football
Unlike American Football or Basketball, there are not as many “points” scored in football matches. So, the spread is usually a lot tighter than the NBA, where you may well see -7 or +7 as one of the lower spread bets available. But, as betting sites do, they have found a way to make another market by which players can wager. If you utilize your spread bets in certain leagues you may well be more successful. It is the gap between the markets that people tend not to see. Friends wager in the Over 2.5 markets and so, by default, others will also look for bets in the same market. If you know something about a team or league then focus on your own strengths. I know the Brazilian League pretty well. I know that goals come few and far between in some of the lesser clubs. So, when I wager in the Brazil leagues I look for teams that are defensively astute. When they play each other I bet in the under 1.5 goals market regularly for big returns.
How to Win Point Spread Bets in Football
My brother is one of the best point spread players I have seen. He knows intuitively the firepower at some of the best football clubs in the world. He has given me some betting tips that I could never have thought of myself, and they have won. Point spread betting is always worth checking the correlating handicap bet as you may find gap values. When you are researching for a point spread bet is extremely important to also check the starting lineup. Manchester City again – would you bet Manchester City winning 4-0 right now without Haaland playing? Any teams against in-form scoring sides vs poor defensive form sides are a recipe for success in the point spread market.
Some of the best leagues to find value in the market
Football is on every single day around the world and there is no shortage of good spread bets. If you are looking for high scoring leagues then you should be looking at:
- The United States MLS
- The United States USL
- Australian A League
- Australian NPL League
- The English Premiership
- Germany Bundesilga
There are, of course, some defensive leagues that you could find value:
- South Korea K2
- Bosnia Premier League
- Brazil B League
- Argentina Reserve League
- Mexico MX Expansion League
Knowing which way to bet in specific match-ups requires research. If you are just throwing together an accumulator then, although you should still research, it can be time consuming. I prefer to find value in single games, where I can get as much research as needed and bet a little bigger. Everyone has their own style of betting on the spread and what works for me may not work for you. You should try as many different types of spread bets as you feel to get comfortable with one or two.