Point Spreads are also referred to as the betting line. Point Spreads are one of the more common types of sports betting except on sports where there is very limited scoring like Soccer, Hockey, and Baseball. Point Spreads are also not used in sports such as Auto Racing, Boxing, Cycling, and other sports were it is a win or lose proposition that does not involve point scoring. When two teams play each other there is typically one team that is determined to have a better chance of winning that the other. This could be because of any number of reasons or more likely a combination of them.
Some of the factors that go in to the determination are the teams win and loss record, injuries to players, previous match ups between the two teams, and even the home court or field. The other way that sports books adjust for the favorite team is by a money line.
A money line is where there are no point spreads but there are odds so that betting on a favorite to win your return will be less than the amount that you bet and betting on the underdog to win your bet would return more than your wager. If it wasn’t for the Point Spread or the Money Line then almost everyone would be betting on the favorites to win. If, after the adjustment for the point spread the two teams tie, then there is no action on the wager and all bets are refunded.
Against the Spread
Sports Books provide a tremendous amount of statistical data that really helps to make good betting decisions. One of the statistics that is very valuable that you will not find in your local newspaper is a team’s record against the spread (ATS). You may see it listed by its acronym, ATS. A team may have an excellent win and loss record but the ATS is the team’s record of how they did against the spread. A team may win a lot of games straight up but not when you factor in the point spread. A team may not win a lot of games during the year, straight up, but they do win games when you factor in the ATS. And after all, when you are betting on a team with a Point Spread, isn’t the teams record against the spread more valuable to you than their record straight up?
Vigorish or “Vig” or “Juice” is how Bookmakers and Sports Books make money. When a Money Line is not involved, most of these bets pay on an 11/10 basis. That means that you have to bet $110.00 to win $100.00. Because the Sports Book makes money in this manner, they would prefer that there was an even distribution of bets between both teams and they do try to make this happen by adjusting point spreads and money lines if they notice that the betting is heavily skewed towards one side over the other.