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What is spread betting?

Betting comes in many different forms; you can just bet on the winner or try something a bit different such as spread betting. Those of you who work in the financial industry are likely to be familiar with this concept. However, it is also available in sports betting, so what exactly is spread betting?

This article will take a look at the world of spread betting explaining:

  • The need for accuracy
  • How it can be a risky business
  • The markets that can be bet on
  • How spread betting will have you on the edge of your seat.

When it comes to a sporting fixture, the betting options available used to be very limited. You were able to bet on win, lose or draw and little else. Times have changed and now there are well over 100 different markets and one of these is spread betting. Great skill is needed for this type of betting with accurate predictions of what will happen required.

You do need to be careful with spread betting though. Unlike in fixed odds betting where the most that can be lost is your stake, spread betting can lead to high losses though there are high wins available too. This article will look at several areas of spread betting and give you a better understanding.

Now let’s take a look at an example of spread betting. You will be used to fixed odds such as 1.5 or 2.0. That’s not the case with spread betting, it’s more based on how many times something will happen and your opinion on whether the end result will be higher or lower than the set range.

How Many Goals?

One market could be for the number of goals scored in a football match. The spread 2.4 to 2.6 is given. The task of the bettor is now to decide whether the total number of goals will be higher or lower than the spread that has been allocated. This is also known as buying (more than the high point of the range) and selling (below the low-point of the range) and the decision must be made how much to risk on each point aka goals scored. How much is won or lost depends on how many goals are scored in the game.

Say it’s a game between Arsenal and Everton in the English Premier League. Your view is that this might be a low scoring game, so you decide to go for less than 2.4 goals in the match and set a stake of £20 per point. Your opinion is correct and the game ends in a goalless draw. That equals zero number of goals, so it is 2.4 below the lowest figure set. You have staked £20 a point so you will receive £48 (4.8 x 10). However, if the game had seen a few goals scored and ended 2-2, your spread bet is a losing one. Four goals are 1.4 higher than the largest figure in the range set, so that’s 1.4 x 20 (your stake per point) of £28.

A Risky Bet

There are plenty of markets that you can bet on in this example game. Try your luck perhaps on how many bookings/sending offs there will be in the match. The range set would be a points figure, say with 10 points for a yellow card and 30 for a red card and set at 37-40 points. You opt for there to be a fair few bookings and buy at the higher level at £10 a point. If the game produces two bookings and a red card, that totals 50 points. You make a profit of £100 (10 x £10).

But what if there were no bookings or red cards at all? You would find yourself in big trouble being 40 points over the final total and must pay £10 per point, totalling £400. This illustrates how risky this form of betting can be. Consider the emotions you would have during that game. If the bookings/red cards total exceeds 40 points, you will be hoping for more and more bookings to increase your profits. If the figure is below 37, you will be hoping that someone gets booked or sent off to reduce your losses. It’s an exciting form of betting but one you need to be careful with.

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