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What Is a Spread Bet in Basketball?

Betting on sports is probably as old as sports itself. There are records of spectators betting on the ancient Greek Olympics as well as on the bloody Gladiator fights held regularly in the Roman fighting arenas. While the ancient bets were mostly on who would win or who would lose, modern-day sports betting has evolved considerably, with a vast variety of ways in which you can bet. One such type of bet is the point spread. What is a spread bet in basketball? Let’s understand here.

What is a spread bet in basketball?

Point spread betting is similar to handicap betting used in cricket or football. All leading bookmakers like Bet365 offer this. The aim of offering a point spread is to even out the odds, particularly when one team is heavily favored to win. In such cases, the odds offered for them and extremely short, offering little returns, while the underdog team has such long odds that no one is willing to back them.

In such a scenario, the bookie offers a `point spread´ which is a pre-determined number of points by which a team has to win or lose. Let’s understand this with the help of an example. In a game of basketball between the LA Lakers and Cleveland Cavaliers, the Lakers hold the upper hand and will most definitely win the game. So, in order to give the Cavaliers a better shot, the bookies might give a point spread of +8 to them.

This in simple terms means that the Cavaliers start with an 8 point head start. Therefore, in order for the punter to win the bet, the Lakers must beat the Cavaliers by 9 points or more, whereas, if the Cavaliers lose by 7 points or less, the bets backing them are settled as winners. In case the Lakers win by exactly 8 points, it’s a `push´ and your stake is returned back.

What is a spread bet in basketball? Now you know!


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