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Back in the late 1980s sports spread betting became quite popular, for instance in the UK as it offered a new form of sports betting.

It knows it origins in finances where spread betting is a popular derivative product used to speculate on financial markets without taking ownership of the underlying asset. Instead, you’d be placing a bet on whether you think the price will rise or fall.

In sports there was the tradition of fixed odds betting, where one would place a fixed-risk stake on decimal odds on the outcome of a sporting event that would give a known return for that outcome occurring or a known loss if that outcome didn’t occur.

But sports spread betting platforms operate differently. You bet on whether a given result would end up being above or below a ‘spread’ provided by a sports spread betting company in a sports case. Of course, the profit or losses are determined by how high the actual result ends at, over or below the spread.

The spread on offer would apply to the forecast of the betting company on the spectrum of a final result for a single incident in a sporting event. In a football match, for example, this would be the cumulative number of goals to be scored. Based on whether they believe the final result would be better than the top end of the spread on sale, or lower than the bottom end of the spread, you can opt to ‘purchase’ or ‘sell’ on the spread. The nearest the player is to the actual result, the more they win, but the more they are off, the more they are able to fail.

The benefit or loss level of the gambler will be determined by the stake size chosen for the bet, compounded by the number of unit points above or below the bet level of the gambler. This illustrates the inherent contrast between sports spread betting and sports betting with fixed odds in that both the number of wins and the level of loses are not constant and will end up being several multiples of the chosen initial stake value.

Difference between UK and US sports spread betting

In sports betting in the U.S. and sports spread betting in the UK, there is a distinction between spreads. Betting on the spread in the U.S. is effectively still a fixed risk bet on a line offered with a proven return by the bookmaker if the gambler bets accurately on either the underdog or the favorite on the offered line and a known loss if the gambler bets incorrectly on the line. There is no known final advantage or loss in UK betting above or below the spread, with these figures calculated by the number of unit points, the level of the final result ends up being either above or below the spread, compounded by the stake picked by the gambler.

Every final scenario that ends in the middle of the spread will result in gains on both sides of the book for UK spread betting businesses, as both buyers and sellers will have ended up making unit point losses.

Which sports offer spread betting?

Sports spread betting is possible with quite some sports. In football you can bet on corners, goal times, shirt numbers, and so on. Horse-racing offers you bets on winning distances, jockey performances, and almost everything else. Cricket also has a wide range including runs, bowler performances, and so on. In fact there is a whole range of sports you can bet on, not limited to rugby, greyhounds, tennis and golf.

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Bernard - Side-Line Staff Chief editor
Bernard Van Isacker is the Chief Editor of Side-Line Magazine. With a career spanning more than two decades, Van Isacker has established himself as a respected figure in the darkwave scene.

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