What is a Point Spread?
The main goal of point spread betting is to predict the margin of victory for the winning team in a sporting event.
To achieve a point spread win, bettors must decide whether the favored team will win outright by a specific number of points. This favored team must "cover the spread" by scoring the minimum points. Alternatively, the underdog could score enough points to either win the game or score more than the perceived gap determined by the sportsbook.
Point spreads are quite different than other bet types, such as moneylines that only factor in which team will win the game outright. Instead, the relative number of points scored by each team matters.
How Does a Point Spread Work?
Understanding how a point spread works is straightforward. The process for this bet type is the same in Minnesota as in any other state.
First, online sportsbooks determine the point spread by carefully analyzing statistics and trends. The aim is to create a balanced betting line for both teams, presenting an attractive betting opportunity whether you're a fan of the favorite or the underdog. Once the spread is set, it is up to the bettor to decide whether they agree with the point spread determined and the projected margin of victory.
How to Read a Point Spread
Before betting on point spreads using apps like BetMGM Sportsbook Minnesota, you must be confident in reading and understanding point spread lines. The point spread represents the margin of victory predicted by the sportsbook, while the betting odds provide valuable information about the potential winnings from a successful bet on either of the two teams. Once you get the hang of this, you can easily bet point spreads using any sportsbook in the state.
The spread refers to the projected margin of victory of the favorite team determined by an online sportsbook before the game begins. This is the single most important factor regarding betting point spreads. A lot of useful information can be learned from these few numbers. A negative (-) number indicates the favorite team and the minimum points they must win by to cover the spread. Conversely, a positive (+) number indicates the underdog team. A successful bet on the underdog requires them to lose by this number of points or less.
To identify the underdog when point spread betting, look for a plus sign (+) before the spread. Being the underdog means that a team is considered by the online sportsbook as less likely to win the game. For a point spread bet on the underdog to be successful, this team must lose the game by fewer points than the positive spread number. If the underdog team wins outright, a point spread bet on them would also return a win.
To identify the favored team in point spread sports betting, keep an eye out for one of the two teams with a minus sign (-) before the spread. The favorite is the team more likely to win the game. The spread for the favorite represents the minimum number of points the team must win by to cover the spread. If the favorite wins the game by more points than the minimum margin of victory, then a point spread bet on this team is also a win.
Even or Pick ‘Em
Sometimes, two teams can be so evenly matched that a sportsbook has difficulty determining which is the favorite and which is the underdog. This results in what is called an Even or Pick 'Em. Instead of determining a favorite or an underdog, you'll see "PK" or "EV" instead of the point spread number. The bettor decides on which team they think will win the game without having to worry about the relative number of points that are scored.
Potential Outcomes of Point Spread Betting
If you wager point spreads in Minnesota, there are only three potential betting outcomes that you need to be aware of. Either you win by betting on the correct outcome, lose due to a wager on the wrong team, or the bet ends in a tie, resulting in a push.
Like other bet types in sports betting, a winning bet means you bet on the correct outcome. In the context of a point spread bet, this can be achieved in two ways. If you bet on the favorite team, and this team wins the game by enough points to cover the spread, then you have a winning bet.
Losing a point spread happens when you do not bet on the correct outcome. If you bet on the favorite, a loss would mean that this one team did not score enough points to cover the spread and achieve the minimum margin of victory determined by the sportsbook.
A push is a unique situation when the number of points scored in a sporting event equals the spread presented by the online sportsbook. In this situation, it's impossible to determine which team of the two competitors is the winner since both teams "cover the spread," so to speak.
Terms Points Spread Bettors Need to Know
Before you start betting point spreads in Minnesota, there are a number of important terms that you should be aware of. Understanding what these terms mean and how they impact sports betting will help you make better wagers in the future.
Against the Spread (ATS)
If you bet "against the spread" this basically means that you are betting on the underdog instead of the favorite team. When you favor the underdog in a bet, you are confident this team will have a better-than-expected performance and score enough to lose the game by fewer points than the spread, or even win the game outright.
The vig, short for vigorish, is the fee imposed by the sportsbook when you place a sports bet through their online platform. This additional charge ensures the sportsbook makes a slight profit on each wager and is their insurance to ensure they always make some profit. It's crucial to be mindful of the vig, as it reduces the overall payout bettors receive from their winning bets.
Earlier, we discussed how sometimes a bet can end in a push. A point spread bet is when neither the favorite nor the underdog can be deemed the winner since the final score equals the spread exactly. To counter this, sportsbooks add a "hook" to the point spread, which appears as .5 points added to the spread.
Key Numbers in an NFL Point Spread
If you're a football fan, you'll be familiar with three and seven-point scores. Most NFL games are divided by a final field goal (worth three points) or a touchdown (worth seven points). These numbers are commonly used by sportsbooks for the point spread. You might notice these numbers frequently when betting on NFL point spreads in Minnesota. Being familiar with how scoring works in football and why spreads are set this way can help you make more successful bets in the future.
Point Spread vs Moneyline
Point spreads, and moneyline bets are two distinct bet types commonly found when using Minnesota sports betting apps. A moneyline bet aims to predict which team or athlete will be the victor in an upcoming match. The number of points scored in the game by each team has no impact on the outcome of the bet, so long as there is a clear winner by the end of the match.
How to Bet Point Spread in Minnesota
We've already covered many topics in this point spread betting guide, including what point spreads are, how they work, and some important terms to know. Now, we will look at how to bet point spreads in Minnesota. While there is no single way to guarantee a winning bet, keep these tips in mind to set yourself up for a more successful betting career in the future.
Use Multiple Betting Sites
One of the best things you can do to get the best value for spread betting in Minnesota is to use numerous online sports betting sites. Each online sportsbook in the state offers slightly different betting odds to its users since each site makes predictions and conducts its probability analyses differently. By signing up for multiple sites, you can shop for the best betting odds to find the best deal.
Take Advantage of Minnesota Sports Betting Promotions
We touched on the benefits of Minnesota sports betting promotions in the previous section. Opting in for sports betting promos is one of the easiest ways to increase the profitability of any bet you place, including point spread bets. Most sportsbooks offer welcome promotions to new users, often providing these bettors a risk-free first bet or deposit bonus.
Understand Home-Field Advantage
It is always a good idea to consider where a game you plan to bet on occurs. The home-field advantage refers to the fact that a team playing on their home turf has a higher likelihood of performing better than expected, which can result in a greater chance of this team winning. There are many reasons for this, including familiarity with the environment, support from fans in the crowd, and reduced fatigue from traveling away.
Understand Key Numbers
As you place point spread bets, you might notice some key numbers that appear frequently. For example, as we saw earlier, three points and seven points frequently come up when betting on NFL point spreads since field goals and touchdowns often decide the game's outcome. Knowing these numbers is important when it comes to being able to understand point spread lines and make better betting choices.
Monitor the Over/Under
Before you wager a point spread in Minnesota, it's often a good idea to shop around different bet types and monitor the odds. An over/under, also known as total, is a bet type that aims to predict the total number of points scored by both teams in a match. Even though over/unders don't share information about the margin of victory, information related to whether the game is expected to be high- or low-scoring can be useful for making point spread bet decisions.
Consider the Moneyline
This point follows much of the same logic as the above recommendation. A moneyline wager refers to a bet on the team or athlete you believe will win a sporting event outright. Moneyline odds highlight the probability by which the favored team is expected to win a game. Considering moneyline odds allows bettors to compare the potential payout for each bet type to choose a betting option with the best value.
Start Point Spread Betting in Minnesota
Now you're ready to wager one of Minnesota's most popular bet types. Instead of wagering simply on the outcome of a sporting event, point spreads add an extra level of excitement by considering the margin of victory by which one of the teams will win. Now that you know how point spreads work, the important terms to know, and numerous strategies for being a successful point spread bettor, you're ready to start betting. Remember to have fun, look for the latest Minnesota sportsbook promos and always gamble responsibly.
Minnesota Sports Betting Point Spread FAQs
The point spread refers to the margin of victory by which the favorite team is expected to win a game. For a point spread bet to be successful, the favorite team has to "cover the spread" and score the minimum number of determined by this victory margin.
A point spread is a bet type where sports bettors wager on whether a team will "cover the spread" or not. The bettor must decide if they believe the favorite team will score more points than this minimum margin, or if the underdog will perform better than expected and lose by fewer points than the spread.
A point spread bet with -7 means that a favored team is expected to win by more than 7 points. If the team wins the match by less than 7 points, the team does not cover the spread. In order for a bet on this team to be successful, the favorite must be victorious by more than 7 points.
A -7 point spread in football means the same as it would for any other sport. As seen in the above example, a -7 point spread indicates that the favorite team has to win the game by more than 7 points in order for a point spread bet on this team to be successful.
If you see a -3.5 point spread bet, this means that the margin of victory for a winning bet on the favorite is 3.5 points. This essentially means that the favorite team must win by 4 points or more.
Stefan Krysa is a freelance sports writer in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Born in the U.S. and raised in Canada, he is an avid sports fan committed to providing up-to-date information regarding sports betting in Minnesota for MinnesotaBets.com.