Sports spread betting is increasing in popularity in the UK. You may then ask what is sports spread betting? How does it differ from fixed odds betting? Is it another name for exchange betting? Is it the same as spread betting in the US?
All these questions, we will attempt to answer with the following, ‘no stone left unturned’ guide to sports spread betting UK style.
One important aspect of sports spread betting in the UK we need to get out of the way is it is not the same as spread betting in the US. Spread betting in the US is a kind of handicap betting where teams are given an artificial handicap in order to level the playing field a little. You have to ‘beat the spread’ in order to win.
Spread betting in the UK is not handicap betting. Spread betting in the UK is derived from the kind of spread betting speculators undertake on financial markets. Each event (or outcome) will have a ‘sell’ and ‘buy’ range. If you think the outcome will happen, then you buy. If you think the outcome will not happen, then you sell. You are then rewarded or punished depending on your choices and the results.
If you are struggling to get your head around this, simply remember this:
In this definition, ‘price’ could mean any measurable aspect of a sporting contest. In football it could be goals scored, betting on the number of corners or how many throw ins there are. This also applies to discipline as well as other stats.
So, in other words, betting on the number of yellow cards and anything else that can be measured come under consideration. With tennis it could the number of points a player wins, or the total number of games player. In darts, the number of treble 20s hit … the list goes on!
When asking “what is sports spread betting?”, the golden rule to remember with spread betting on sports is this:
If your bet goes badly wrong, your liability (the amount of money you owe the bookmaker once the event concludes) will be much bigger than your stake
Lets get back to Elland Road. Let’s say you sold £5 at 2.8, but the game goes crazy and Leeds win 8-5. That means 13 goals were scored, leaving you a liability of (13 – 2.8 = 10.2 multiplied by £5) £51! This means that in order to place a spread bet, you must have decent amount of funding in your account, not just your stake. The online bookie will decide how much funding you need to have based on your proposed trade.
Traditional betting is easy to understand. You place your stake on a bet at a set price. If you’re right, your stake is multiplied by the odds to calculate your winnings, and you get your stake back. If you’re wrong, you lose your stake.
With spread betting, it’s not your stake that you could lose, it’s your liability. You are, in effect, gambling that the price of something you buy will rise. If it does rise, then you make a profit. If it falls, then you make a loss, and your losses could be much greater than the buying price.
Look at it this way. A friend asks you to go and buy him ten bottles of wine. You go the offie and buy ten bottles at £5 per bottle (he didn’t say good wine), costing you £50. When you get them to your friend, the price of wine has dropped to £2 per bottle. He therefore gives you £20, meaning you’ve lost £30 and have no wine (boo!).
The better scenario is that when you hand your friend the wine the price has risen to £8 per bottle. He gives you £80, meaning you’ve made a £30 profit. You still have no wine, but now at least you have £30 to go and buy some!
In our examples so far, it’s not wine you’re buying, its goals. If you buy ten £1 units (£10) at 3 goals, but the price (the number of goals scored in the game when it’s concluded) drops to one goal, you’re liable for £20.
Sports spread betting in the UK is not for everyone, and getting into it is not to be taken lightly. The key factor always to remember is that you could end up losing far more than your stake if things go badly wrong. The other side of the coin is that you could end up significantly in the money if things go better than you expected them to do.
Here are the main pros and coins of sports spread betting. As long as you have understood what is sports spread betting completely, you can then work out whether spread betting on sports is right for you.
Let’s get into it and actually place a sports spread bet. For this example, we are going to use Spreadex, who we regard as the number one choice for spread betting in the UK.
After signing in to our account (or signing up, if hadn’t had an account already), we have a look around the site and the buy/sell options available. We choose to wager upon the West Ham v AZ Alkmaar match in the UEFA Conference League Semi Final First Leg, and we review all our options:
We quite like the prices of the first match goals, which has a sell price of 36, and a buy price of 39. These prices reflect that Spreadex feel that the first goal is most likely to be scored between the 36th and the 39th minute. We think that someone will find the net well before the 36th minute, so we are going to sell at that price.
We decide to buy at £0.10 per minute. You may think that’s a low stake, but there are 90 minutes in a game of football, so are range of profits and liabilities is as follows:
So, we could win up to £3.50 if we are right, and we could lose up to £5.40 if we are wrong. This is why we are keeping our stake low. We click on the ‘Sell’ button to confirm our selection.
You will be shown the details of our proposed trade. Our current net position is sell at £0.10, but that will change as soon as the match commences. To confirm the proposed trade, click ‘Submit Request’.
Before your bet is accepted, the spread betting bookie will check to see if the maximum liability (here £5.40, even though our stake is only £0.10) is available in our bookie account. If it is not, then our bet will not be accepted.
All proposed trades are at the behest of the spread betting site you are placing a bet at. If the trade is considered too risky for either you or them, it will not be accepted. As it turned out, the first goal of the game was scored in the 41st minute, so we would have made a £0.50 loss.
Here are now a few sports spread betting tips and strategies aimed to aid you in your quest to understand what is sports spread betting, as gathered from our site betting experts.
We’ve given you some tips, and now it’s time to give you some more, in the form of common mistakes that people make when they starts sports spread betting. Avoid these if you want your sports spread betting experience to go smoothly.
There are only two UK bookies in the UK that offer sports spread betting, and this has been the case now since 2006. These two sites are Spreadex and Sporting Index, and we take a look at both of them below.
Spreadex are regarded as the top dog in terms of spread betting in the UK, and rightly so. They are so confident that you will adore their site that they are willing to offer you £50 in bet bonuses when you complete your sign up.
The Spreadex site can seem a little overwhelming when you take a first look around, but that’s only because there is so much to it. The spreading betting site has a huge amount of infamous, and an incredible array of options with amazing coverage all the top sports, plus eSports too.
Unsure of what to bet on when it comes to football? Well each match will have an incredible 400+ betting options, so you’ll eventually find something!
Two other amazing aspects of Spreadex – the site can offer live streaming of many sports, including football, tennis, horse racing, greyhounds and eSports, plus if spread betting still bamboozles you, the site doubles as a traditional fixed odds betting site too!
What we like:
What we don’t:
After the busy-ness of the Spreadex site, you may take one look at the Sporting Index site and be impressed by how much tidier it seems. While it is true that the Sporting Index site is much neater than Spreadex, that neatness comes with a cost – Sporting Index just does not have the same level of market coverage as Spreadex.
Like Spreadex though, Sporting Index has a fixed odds side, so if you try spread betting here and decide it’s not for you but you do like the site, just switch to the traditional way of betting.
Back to spread betting though, your options are presented nicely at Sporting Index, with each buy price in red, and each sell price in blue. Just click on the price and it will be added to your be slip.
The site has countless helpful options and you can always get help with your account by telephoning them. Help is also available via email and live chat (from 8am to 11pm). There’s one thing that Sporting Index doesn’t have that Spreadex does, and that’s live streaming.
What we like:
What we don’t:
We’ve said that UK spread betting is different to US spread betting (or points spread betting) more than once now, so let’s now answer the question ‘what does point spread mean in sports betting?’
Above is how odds are commonly represented at US sportsbooks. The Broncos are at the Cowboys and bettors have three main betting options – betting on the points spread, betting on the moneyline and betting on over/under. Here we are just going to look at betting on the points spread, which is commonly called ‘betting on the spread’ or ‘spread betting’ in the US.
The odds are the same for each (as is common with spread betting) at -110. This means you’d have to bet $110 to win $100. If you need a more detailed explanation of how American betting odds work, then we have one elsewhere onsite.
The idea of the spread is to even out the playing field. If you bet on Dallas and they win 26-24, then your bet will lose as once the handicap is considered, the score becomes 23.5-24.
As you can see, spread betting in the US is nothing like spread betting in the UK.
While most punters in the UK appear to prefer fixed odds betting, if you really know your sporting stuff, then you may wish to think about giving spread betting a go, if you don’t already of course. The two sites listed here, Spreadex and Sporting Index, are betting all-rounders anyway, with both spread betting and fixed odds betting offered.
The key thing to remember at all times about sports spread betting is that your liability (the amount you pay for a losing bet) may be much greater then your stake, but conversely, your winnings could far eclipse the money you risked for your bet!
As always, remember to gamble responsibly, and always bet with your head, and never your heart.
It’s trading metrics on a sporting event. You either buy or sell based on some metric, such as the number of goals scored in a football match. When the markets closes (i.e. when the football match ends) you must buy if you sold, or sell if you bought, winning or losing money as a result.
In the UK, it’s the difference between the buy and sell prices. With US spread betting (which is a form of handicap betting) it’s the handicap given for the result of the event.
The best tip is the understanding that when your bet settles, you have to pay your liability if your bet lost. Although the liability is tied to your original stake, it is not likely to be the same – indeed your stake is your minimum liability.
Again, we think you are referring to US-style spread betting as opposed to sports spread betting UK style. The point spread is the handicap given to the two teams or competitors in a sporting contest. In the UK this is known as handicap betting or Asian handicap betting.
You should have read our ‘sports spread betting explained’ article! We’re guessing that the price you bought at was two, therefore the market closed price was zero, as they didn’t score. As you bet on them to score two and they scored none, your liability is two units, so 2 x £2 = £4.