Sports spread betting explained

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Sport spread betting provides you with the ultimate betting thrill and challenges your skill, judgment and knowledge of sport. Sports spread betting offers individuals the unique benefit of being able act like a bookmaker by backing teams or players to perform badly. The sport spread betting company makes a prediction on various aspects of sporting or topical events. You then decide whether you think the event will be above or below the prediction. For example, say Manchester Utd are playing Arsenal. The spread betting bookmaker predicts that there will be 10-11 corners. You believe there will be more corners. For a list of sports spread betting accounts with a summary of each take a look at our compare accounts page. Use the tabs along the top to choose what accounts you want to look at.

Sport spread betting has a multiplier effect. The more right you are the more you get rewarded.

What sport spread bets can we take?

You can spread bet sport of most descriptions and aspects of sporting events as long as the sport spread betting company can assign a numerical value to the event.

Online spread betting companies offer spreads on a generous selection of sports. You can spread bet horse races, match sports including football, baseball, cricket, or ice hockey. You’ll find loads of other sports on offer too, take a look our account comparison. As long as the spread betting company can assign a numerical value to the sporting event you can spread bet the outcome. Spreads are available on a wide range of markets on each sport.

What is the spread in sports spread betting?

The sports spread betting company assigns a value to each aspect of the sport event and makes a prediction of the outcome. That prediction is shown as two prices, the difference between which is known as the spread.

The punter makes their own prediction of the actual outcome of the event. If the punter believes the outcome is above the sports spread betting companies’ prediction he (or she) bets high, or ‘buys’ the spread. If he (or she, yes some ladies like to sports spread bet) thinks the outcome will be lower he bets low, or ‘sells’ the spread.

What makes the spread?

Each event is given a value. Using football spread betting to illustrate this point. A goal equals to one point, or, it could be ten it really doesn’t matter as long as it’s got a number. A typical spread for goal spread betting is 2.55 – 2.75 with Sporting Index (as an example of a sports spread betting company). As you can see the spread betting company shows the spread as units, i.e. whole numbers, 1, 2, 3 etc; tenths, and hundredths. In others words showing the sports spread bet to two decimal places.

Here is an example of how a typical football spread bet might look. You think a game will produce more than 2.75 goals. Hey presto, the score at full time was 2-1, 3 goals in total. To calculate your sports spread betting profits you subtract the buy price from the numerical value for the end result; 3 – 2.75 (the buy price) = 0.25. If your stake was £10 the winnings would be, £10 x .25 = 2.50.

Cricket is also popular with sports spread betting fans, so, lets see what makes a typical cricket spread.

The sports spread betting company will make a prediction of who will win the match and the margin of victory. This is a type of supremacy bet where the favourite is listed first and the underdog second. If the team that bats first wins the game they are given 1 point for each run they win by. If the team the bats second wins the game, they are awarded 10 points per wicket won by. If the match ties the result is 0. A typical spread might be 41- 51. How the stake converts to winnings is worked out in the same way as with the football spread betting example

Is sports spread betting risky?

As with anything this depends on how you look at it. Spread betting used to have a stigma that it is risky. Sports spread betting has the potential to produce big wins and to make sports more exhilarating. With sport spread betting the more you are right the more you win. This works in the other direction, and this is where the notion of risk enters the equation.

Not as risky as you might think?

How can we reduce the risk with sports spread betting.

What is meant by risk? A simple question with a simple answer. The risk of losing money, loosing more than we might have thought.

Sport spread betting companies have added additional functionality to betting accounts to help reduce risk.


As with any form of betting, sports spread betting should be only as risky as you want it to be. That said, the various forms of managing risk are as follows. Stake size is easy to control and is the most obvious form of controlling your risk on each bet. It is down to what you feel comfortable with.

Cut your losses

One area where sports spread betting really differs from fixed odds betting is in this arena. You don’t have to wait for the game, cricket match or whatever, to reach it’s conclusion before you know the outcome of your bet.

It is possible to cut losses to some extent with a betting exchange, by laying the loosing selection at shorter odds. To make this work the market must be fast moving. Some betting exchanges lack the liquidity to make this work. However, generally speaking horse race and football markets on a betting exchange like Betfair have the liquidity needed for this. But, sports spread betting does offer added flexibility when it comes to cutting loses.

Sport spread betting companies allow you to trade your bet when the event is in action. Lets say, a bet goes sour. If you are uncomfortable with your position you can trade out of a bet. This allows you to minimise losses. Whereas with a fixed odds betting you have to stomach the whole loss.

The are other ways in which sports fixed odds betting differs from fixed odds betting.