When two teams are not evenly matched, the spread, also known as the line, is utilized to balance the odds.
In order to obtain the same amount of action on both sides of a game, bookmakers set a spread. For instance, the Colts are favored by -3 points when playing the Texans. The spread is denoted by -3 points. If you bet on the Colts against the spread, you can only win if the Colts win by at least three points. You would lose the wager if the Colts win by two points because they missed the crucial number of three.
The spread of -3 indicates a very even matchup between the two teams, and perhaps in this instance the Colts are only -3 since they are playing at home. These teams are equal in the eyes of the bookmakers, who anticipate receiving bettors’ money in an even split. If bookies set the spread at -10 and most people thought both teams were similar, they wouldn’t make the same amount of money since Texans +10 would probably get crushed by bettors.
Depending on the sportsbook and the state, the odds on both sides of a spread bet are often set at -110. Therefore, whether you wager on the Colts -3 or the Texans +3, you will win the same amount of money if you win.
If you think three points is a hard number but think the Colts will win, you might place a moneyline wager on them to win without considering any points. In the aforementioned illustration, the only criterion for a Colts moneyline wager is that they win the match. The distinction is that they might have -140 win odds. Conversely, the Texans might have a +120 win probability.
While betting on the Colts moneyline results in a smaller payment, betting on the Texans as the underdog moneyline would result in a larger payout because you would bet on them to win the game outright. Even if the Texans won outright in a spread wager, you would only win the wager if the Texans.