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point spread betting explained

Point Spread Betting in New York


Discover the top point spread prices and lines at New York online and mobile sportsbooks. Bet with the handicap or point advantage and see if your gut instinct is correct. You can even back Teasers and be on total control of the spread. 

What is a Point Spread Bet?

Sports betting sites in New York offer point spreads on a range of different sports, including:

  • Football
  • Hockey
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Soccer

What is a point spread? Essentially, it is a wager on whether a team or player will win the game based on the sportsbook’s spread. The sportsbook will assign a points handicap to the favorite before the game starts. The underdog also receives a pregame point advantage. You simply bet on whether your team/player will win with the modified point total. 

Is it a good bet? The beauty of a point spread is that you can sometimes get better odds than a standard moneyline (win bet) wager. You must decide whether you think the favorite can still “win” the game, even with a points handicap. 

How to Place a Point Spread Wager

It’s easy to find prices on the point spread in the NY sportsbook lobby. Simply log in to your New York sportsbook account and open the main lobby. You can also filter point spread bets across all upcoming sports games. 

Regular Point Spread

The point spread is offered at NY mobile sportsbooks on everything from football to baseball. Prices are usually listed alongside the regular Moneyline and Totals markets. 

Point Spread Example (Football bets):

Chicago Bears @ Miami Dolphins
Bears +3.0 @ -105
Dolphins -3.0 @ +120

The Bears are playing the Dolphins in the night’s football game. In the regular Moneyline market, the Dolphins are favorites. However, in the point spread they are given a 3.0-point handicap. The sportsbook makes them favorites so is punishing them with a small pregame handicap to overcome. As a result, their odds are now +120 to win the game. 

At the same time, the Bears will start with a theoretical 3.0-point headstart. With such an advantage, they are odds-on to win on the point spread. 

If the game finished 25-23 to the Dolphins, their 3.0-point handicap would give the Bears the victory on the spread. 

Other Types of Point Spread Bets

The traditional point spread bet is popular among New York football gamblers. However, you can find a variety of different spread options at the best NY sportsbooks. 

Teasers

Most point spread markets are decided by the sportsbook. However, you do have the chance to pick your own spread by betting on ‘Teasers’. 

Teaser bets allow you to shift the spread up or down to suit your own tastes. In our example, you may be able to move the spread to -6.0 or up to +6.0. The sportsbook will recalculate the odds accordingly. 

Run Line

The point spread isn’t just available in football. You can also bet the spread on baseball, called the run line. With tighter scores, the spread tends be a lot lower than those found in football markets. 

Puck Line

Similarly, hockey point spreads are called the Puck Line. You bet on which side will win with a points handicap or advantage applied. 

The Push

Some point spread bets end in a tie. For example, in a game that ends 25-22 with the winner having a 3.0-point handicap, the final “score” would be 22-22. In this instance, your stake is returned. 

Points Betting

PointsBet NY offers a unique type of betting option called PointsBetting. With Points Betting, you place a bet on whether the spread will be higher or lower than the sportsbook’s mark. However, like financial spread betting, you bet a unit stake for every point above or below the mark. 

The more “right” you are, the more you win. However, you can also lose if you guess the wrong way. PointsBetting allows you to set loss limits to stop your bankroll being decimated. 

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You can take your pick of bonuses and promotions at the top NY sportsbooks. 

Cash Out: Some sportsbooks let you cash out your bet early and secure a small profit. This is perfect if you want to lock in a win on your spread bet. 

Parlay Boost: A parlay is a wager containing multiple bets. The parlay bonus rewards you if your parlay contains lots of individual legs. The more correct legs there are, the more you win. 

Loyalty Scheme: All good NY sportsbooks offer a VIP program where you can earn loyalty points by placing spread bets. Collect points as you go, then redeem them for cash, free bets or purchases in an online store. 

Top Sites for Spread Betting in New York

Sportsbook BonusPoint Spread MarketsRetention Bonuses
PointsBetFree BetsNBA, MLB, College baseball, NHL, tennis, UFC, soccer, NFL, Pointsbetting, UFC/MMAName a Bet, no rollovers, odds boosts
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DraftKings$150 Free BetsNBA, MLB, College football, College baseball, NHL, tennis, UFC, soccer, NFL, spread, teasersRefer-a-friend, free-to-play pools, odds boosts, Missions, free bets
Caesars$1,100 First Bet InsuranceNBA, MLB, College football, College baseball, NHL, tennis, UFC, soccer, NFL, spread, teasersMobile app promotions, cash giveaways, holiday giveaways
BetMGMRisk-Free Bet up to $1,000NBA, MLB, College football, College baseball, NHL, tennis, UFC, soccer, NFL, spread, teasersRisk-free bet tokens, refer-a-friend, money back, casino FREEPLAY, teasers
BetRivers Sports$100 BonusNCAAF, Super Bowl betsfree bets, first deposit offer, daily boosts

How does spread betting work in New York?

Spread betting, also known as the point spread, enables you to wager on the margin of victory or defeat in game, with the size of the potential payout determined by moneyline odds.

What does +4.5 mean in spread betting?

As with moneyline betting, a positive point spread indicates the team is an underdog. If you bet on a team with a point spread of +4.5, it means the bet is a winner if the team avoids losing by more than four points.

For example, let’s say the New York Jets are playing the Buffalo Bills as 4.5-point underdogs (+4.5). If the final score of the game is Buffalo 30, New York 26, than New York will have “covered the spread” because their margin of defeat is less than 4.5 points. But if the Bills win by five or more points, the Jets will have failed to cover the +4.5 spread, and your bet is a loser.

What does a -6.5 point spread mean?

In point spread betting, the team sporting the negative spread is considered the favorite. For example, let’s say the New York Giants are listed as -6.5 in a game versus the Dallas Cowboys. That means the Giants must win the game by seven or more points to cover the spread and reward loyal sports bettors with a payout. 

How do point spreads pay out?

While moneyline odds can skyrocket in a game featuring two mismatched teams, thereby diminishing the value of placing a wager, point spreads act as a great equalizer. 

For example, let’s say the Brooklyn Nets are listed as heavy -400 moneyline favorites to produce an outright win over the New York Knicks. While the Nets enjoy a high likelihood of winning big, you would have to bet a hefty $400 on the Nets to win just $100.

However, the Nets as as 10.5-point favorites in point spread betting could be a much more attractive option. Here is how that will be presented at the sportsbooks:

New York Nets +10.5 (+100)

Brooklyn Nets -10.5 (-120) 

What the above line means is if you think the Nets can beat New York by 11 or more points, you only have to bet -120 to win $100. And while the Knicks are expected to have little chance of winning the game, they can still produce a winning bet by avoiding losing by more than 10.5 points, with a $100 wager winning you $100.

What does a negative spread mean?

A team with a negative point spread is considered a betting favorite, with the negative number indicating the number of points/goals/runs they must win by to produce a payout. For example, if the Buffalo Bills are pegged at -4.5 in point spread, they must win by more than 4.5 points for your point spread bet to payout.

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