Point Spread Definition

A point spread can be considered a handicap of sorts and refers to providing a team with a point spread. For instance instead of just betting on a team to win, the favorite might have to win by a set number of points (point spread). This makes betting more fair when particular underdogs are playing a match.


Point spreads are most common in basketball games. One example involves two NBA teams playing with one being a large underdog. To make the bet more even, the bookmarker might require the favorite to win by more than 6 points for the wage to be effective. If the score was exactly 6 points on the handicap, then it would be considered a “push” and the wages would be returned.

Point Spread Pros and Cons
  • A point spread allows for more favorable odds as opposed to just betting on the team to win.
  • Point spreads makes sports betting a more interesting experience when watching live games.
  • A point spread might be “off” due to a factor in the game, such as a star player being injured. In this case, the bet would just be for the team to win regardless of the point lead.