All of the Sports Spread Betting Firms have excellent websites that feature detailed tutorial sessions for both the beginner and intermediate Spread Bettor.
In particular, Sporting Index's website has an interactive tutorial session which is very useful and gives an excellent grasp of the basics of Spread Betting. Also, the Spreadex website has a great tutorial to help learn about the mechanics of Spread Betting.
Footballundoubtedly is the most popular sport on which to spread bet and there are a huge number of bets available in both the long term markets (full season) and on individual matches.
Supremacy - Supremacy bets are offered in all live games and many that aren't televised, but non-televised games aren't traded in running - ie once you've placed the bet there's no getting in or out once the game's begun.
The main interest here is not only who will win, but by what margin they will triumph, eg Man Utd v Man City (at Man City) where Man Utd are considered favourites for the game and are offered at 0.7 - 1.0 goal over Man City. If you fancied Man City at home to surprise Man Utd, you may decide to sell Man Utd supremacy at 0.7 for say £50 per goal. This would mean that Man Utd would have to win for you to lose, as effectively they have given Man City 0.7 of a goal head start.
Different results would be as follows:
A draw would result in you winning 0.7 x £50 = £35.
Man Utd win 3-1. Therefore the result would be that Man Utd have a supremacy of +2 over Man City. You have sold Man Utd at 0.7, so you would lose 2 - 0.7 = 1.3 x £50 = £65
Man City win 4-1 (it has been known...) This result means that Man City have a supremacy of +3 over Man Utd, but you sold Man Utd at 0.7, so you win 3 + 0.7 = 3.7 x £50 = £185.
Of course the actual stake that you bet can be as high or as low as you like and the decimal points allow you plenty of flexibility.
The 25 index is offered in all live games and is very simple. 25 pts are awarded to the winning team and 0 to the loser.
In the event of a draw each team are awarded 10 points.
In the above Man City v Man Utd case the index may began with Man Utd 15 - 17 and Man City 9 -11. In this example if you fancied Man City to win, you could either buy at 11, or sell Man Utd at 15 for say £10 per point.
Either way you'd win - Buy Man City at 11 you'd win 25 - 11 = 14 points x £10 = £140. Sell Man Utd at 15 - you would win 15points - 0 x £10 = £150.
Bear in mind had the game been a draw - the buy Man City bet at 11 would have lost you 1 point = - £10 and the sell Man Utd at 15 would have lost you 5 points - £50 - because both teams are awarded 10 pts for the draw.
Other Popular Football Bets Include:
Shirt Numbers - This index is offered on all live games and is the shirt numbers of every goal scorer in the game added together. So if you think a game is going to be a high scoring affair you would buy and a low scoring game you would sell the index.
In the Man City v Man Utd game, the spread offered was high at 45 - 48, but this was due to the shirt numbers some of the players playing - ie Man City have Tevez at 29 and Man Utd have Nani at 17. If you felt that a high scoring game was on the cards you'd buy at say £5 per point at 48.
The downside here is if the game finishes 0-0, you'd lose 48 - 0 x £5 = £240. As it happened there were 7 goals in this game which came from Bellamy (78), Barry (18), Rooney (20), Owen (7) and Fletcher (24).
The total was therefore 147. This was an excellent day to buy as you'd win 147 - 48 = 99 points x 5 = £495.
Multi-Corners - This bet is calculated by multiplying the number of corners in the first half of a live game by the number of corners in the second half.
The spread before the Man City v Man Utd game was set at 31 - 34. If you thought it would be an attacking game with lots of corners you'd buy at 34 for say £5 a point. The downside here is if there are no corners in either the first or second half the result of the bet would be nil. You would therefore lose 34 (the price at which you bought) - 0 x £5 = £170.
However, if the game turned out as you thought and was full of corners - 10 in the first half and 8 in the second the result would be 80 (10 x 8) and you would win 80 - 34 = 46 x 5 = £230.
A similar bet to multi corners is cross corners. This is the number of home team corners multiplied by the number of away team corners. Be careful with this bet in a very one-sided game -you could end up with something that reads like 12 x 0 and a big loss!
Bookings is a really popular bet in football matches with bets being offered in all live games and all non-live premiership games. In this index 10 points are awarded for a yellow card and 25 points for a red card.
Eg Man City v Man Utd. Local derbies are normally a fiery affair and the spread starts quite high at 44 -48 which means that the spread firms are expecting between 4 and 5 yellow cards in the game. You may think that this is quite low for a local derby so you decide to buy at 48 for say £3 per point (this equates to £30 per booking).
In the event the game is more friendly than expected and there's 3 yellow cards. So you'd lose 48 - 30 (3 at 10 points each) = 18 points x £3 = £54.
In a volatile game with 7 yellows and 1 red then the result (or 'make up') would be 95. In this event you'd win 95 - 48 = 47 points x 3 = £141 profit.
There are loads of other football bets on individual games. You can bet on individual player performances where each pass, shot on target, goal etc can gather you points, but a yellow card for that player would lose you points, or individual player goal minutes - each goal the player scores, the time in minutes of each goal is added up! There are bets on total goal minutes (similar to individual player minutes but all match goals count), number of injury time minutes -and a host of other bets. See the individual firms' websites for further details - sporting index or spreadex.
Long Term Football Bets are a very popular type of football spread bet which give a great alternative to fixed odds betting. Many people back their team at the start of the season to win the title.
With spread betting you can back for or against an individual team based on how many points you think they will get over the course of the season.
One of the big benefits of long term football spread bets is that unlike fixed odds betting, you do not have to lay your money out up front. Bets are settled at the end of the season or after you have 'closed' your bet at any time during the season. With fixed odds betting, if you backed Man Utd to win the Premiership at the start of the season for £100, you pay the bookmaker at the time that the bet is made. This has always off putting for us as it may be 10 months before you get your money back if you win.
For example - a spread for every team will be offered at the start of the season in every division. If Wigan are offered at the start of the season to get 43 -45 points in the premiership and you think that looks low, you can buy at 43 at your desired stake. If at the end of the season they have got 57 points you'd make 57 - 43 = 14 points profit.
If your stake had been £10 a point you would make £140.
The beauty of long-term bets is that they are updated each week so that you can trade in or out as you require. ie You have bought Wigan points at 43 at the start of the season and they start really well and have 21 points after 10 games. The spread will have altered their final total to say 55 - 57.
You could trade out of your bet after 10 games by selling at 55 for your stake and make 12 points and not even have to wait until the end of the season. After your bet has been closed you will not be bothered how well Wigan do - unless of course you support them!
Again, there are other long term markets available - see the spread firms individual websites for more details - Sporting Index or spreadex
Cricket is also a hugely popular market in spread betting terms. Bets on individuals, teams and match totals in individual games and long-term markets on whole test series make up the majority of all cricket bets. Betting on test matches is probably the most popular of the bets that the spread firms offer. Examples are as follows:
eg England v West Indies - Antigua 2004. West Indies win the toss and decide to bat first. This is the final test, they are 3 - 0 down in the series and haven't batted well , but traditionally Antigua is a good batting wicket.
The spread firm offers their 1st Innings runs at 370 - 390. You think that they will bounce back from their last three defeats and bat well so decide to buy at 390 for £2 per run. Lara bats supremely and beats the world record - getting 400 not out and the Windies steam on to 767 declared!
You have won and won big - 767 - 390 is a whopping profit of 377 points x £2 = £754. However had you sold at 370 you'd have lost heavily -£794!!
These type of bets are available for single matches and whole test series in terms of total runs scored by teams, individual batsmen etc. However they can be volatile as seen in the above example, so be careful
You can also bet on bowlers where 20 points are awarded for each wicket in an innings, test or series with bonus points for 5 wicket hauls. In addition the 25 -10 index - similar to football (see above) is offered by spread firms on all live matches, one day and tests.
See the spread firms websites for further details and examples - Sporting Index and spreadex.
Golf offers a huge range of bets on all tournaments both on the American and European tour. As golf tournaments are being shown more frequently (especially on Sky TV and Setanta) the range of bets on offer grows and grows. There is generally live coverage of a European Tour event and USPGA tour event each week. Bets can be placed on player's finishing position in the tournament, match bets (you bet on one player against the other), numbers of birdies or bogies on certain holes etc etc.
Normally the majors bring out all sorts of interesting specials which are always worth a look for a bit of entertainment value.
Example - Finishing position in the Open. You think that Sergio Garcia is coming into the tournament on the back of some very promising tournament results and will prform well.
He's quoted at 28 - 31. If he wins he'll get 1 point (finishing 1st), but the maximum result could be 70 if he misses the cut (he'll be awarded 70 pts) You think he'll win, so sell at 28 - ie you think he'll finish better than 28th.
At the end he finishes 3rd and you win. Say you had sold at £10 per point you'd make 28 - 3 = 25 points x £10 = £250. Had he missed the cut then you would have lost 42 points - 70 -28 = 42, so would have lost £420.
See the spread firms' own websites for more examples and details of bets on this week's tournaments - sporting index and spreadex.
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Rugby Union bets were extremely popular during the Rugby World Cup with a huge range of markets on offer. Also the 6 nations offers great betting opportunities and there are all kinds of bets available on league and cup matches from both at home and abroad.
Many of the bets that are available in football are available in Rugby such as supremacy and try scorer shirt numbers -but many other bets are available on all live games.
For example: The total number of points in the Rugby World Cup final was set at 39 - 42. So if you felt it would be a high scoring game, you would BUY at 42 points or if you saw it as a low scoring game,the you would SELL at 39 points.
In the event, the game finished at 17 - 17 after full time.
The total points were therefore 34, so if you had brought at 42 you would have lost 8 points, but if you had sold at 39 you would have won 5 points - multiplied by your stake.
See Sporting Index or Spreadex's websites for more details on the wide range of bets available
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Rugby League- with Sky Television showing the Super League, spread betting on Rugby League games has never been more popular. There is a vast range of markets most of which are offered 'in running' and with the Super League running throughout Summer, Rugby League offers great betting alternatives for those not into cricket and for those wanting similar bets to the ones offered on football.
Example - Time of first match try. St Helens are playing Bradford Bulls in a top of the table clash at Odsall Stadium. The spread firms offer 29 - 32 mins for the time of the first match try. This means if you think there'll be an early try, you would sell at 29 (mins).
However if you think it will be a very tight game and the first try will be much later, you would buy at 32 minutes. Say therefore that you fancied an early try you would sell, at say £10 per point - or minute.
When the game commences, Bradford appear to have scored after 8 minutes but it is referred to the Video Referee. You are sweating because if he gives a try you will win £210! (29 minutes - 8 minutes = 21 points x £10). He doesn't give it and the game goes on and the minutes tick away. However on 21 minutes Bradford score and the try is given. You win £80 - (29 - 21 = 8 points at £10 per point).
Had there not been a try in the game your maximum loss would have been (80 - 29 = 51 points at £10 per point) £510. However, few games of rugby league ever finish without either side having crossed the line.
The time of the first match try applies to the time of first match goal in football. Also, you can elect to bet on the time of the first try/goal scored by one or other of the two teams. Clearly this will always be a higher spread than non specific 1st match goal/try.
As mentioned earlier, many of the bets on Rugby League are similar to those offered in football. Supremacy, shirt numbers, total number of tries etc can all be bought and sold, and there are individual player markets and markets on games that aren't featured on TV.
See spread websites for more details - sporting index and spreadex
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Horse Racing- Spread betting offers a great alternative to fixed odds bookmaking. Spreads are offered on all races in the UK with a whole host of bets available ranging from backing or laying an individual horse to a range of bets across the whole card.
Example - Favourites. It's Ladies Day at Royal Ascot and having studied the card you fancy all of the favourites that day to do well. The 'favourites' bet offers 25pts for a winning fav, 10pts for a second and 5pts for a third.
There are 7 races and the spread is 66 - 69 - ie 66 to SELL (you don't fancy the favourites) and 69 to BUY (you fancy the Favourites). So you buy at 69 for £5 per pt. The fav wins the first 2 races, so quickly you 've got 50pts.
A 2nd in the third race gives you a further 10pts. The next 2 races see the favourites finishing out of the frame, but the sixth race sees a 2nd and the last a win giving a further 35pts (10 for the second and 25pts for the win). So the final result is 95pts.
You will therefore win (95 - 69) 26pts at £5 per point = £130. However had all of the favourites disappointed that day (none of them finished in the first 3), your maximum loss would have been 69 points = £345
A similar bet to the one above is called Heavyweights and awards the same points to those awarded in the Favourites bet to the horses in each race which are Number 1 - ie normally the top weight in each race. Additionally you can bet on an individual jockey at a meeting in the same format - so if you fancy Frankie to do well at Ascot (again!!) buy his individual index.
See the Spread Firms Websites to see the range of bets available - Sporting Index and Spreadex
Motor Racing -there is a big market for formula 1 betting and as such the spread firms offer many bets both on single races and the season as a whole. Bets on each race include who will win the race, the best performing constructors, match bets (ie how far one driver will beat another by) and bets on qualifying - who will get pole position etc.
Race Index- The firms will quote each driver in a Grand Prix based on a finishing position. Points are awarded as follows:
1st - 60pts
2nd - 40pts
3rd - 30pts
4th - 25pts
5th - 20pts
6th - 15pts
7th - 10pts
8th - 5pts
You therefore might fancy Lewis Hamilton to do well at Silverstone for the British Grand Prix. He is quoted at 27 - 30, so anything in the top 3 would put you in profit if you chose to buy at 30. Say he finished 2nd and you had bought, you would win 40 points less 30 (the price at which you bought) -so you would win 10 points multiplied by your stake.
The good thing about this type of bet is that whether you buy or sell, you know how much you may lose in a worst case scenario- ie Buy at 30, he crashes - you lose 30 points. Sell at 27, he wins, you lose 23 points. This is handy for all those cautious punters out there!
Tennis - Wimbledon takes over the BBC TV schedule for a fortnight in June and July and as a result the spread firms ensure that they offer all kinds of bets on tennis. In addition spread betting is available on all major televised tennis events with a huge number of bets on offer. Look at the spread firms websites to see which tennis event is being held this week and you will see that they are offering prices on it - Sporting Index and Spreadex
The various bets include supremacy bets and number of games in a match and, especially during Wimbledon fortnight you can bet on number of deuces, number of aces etc etc
Tennis X Courts Example - Nadal playing Murray in the 1/4 final at Wimbledon. The spread for the 'Tennis X Courts' bet in this game is set at 94 -97. The points are made up by multiplying the number of games Nadal wins in each set by the number of games Murray wins (ie 6 - 4 = 6 x 4 = 24) and then adding these totals up. So if you think that it will be a really close 5 set match you'd buy, but if you think it'll be one sided you'd sell.
Say you sold for £2 per point at 97:
It only goes 3 sets with Nadal winning easily -with the set scores as follows:
6 - 3 (6 x 3 = 18)
6 - 2 (12)
6 - 4 (24)
The total number of points would be 18 + 12 + 24 = 54.
You would therefore win 97 - 54 = 43 at £2 per point = £86.
However, if it had been pretty close, with Nadal winning 3 sets to two, you'd probably lose, unless each set was one-sided (ie. 6-0 or 6-1). Obviously, the easier the match -the more you'll win if you've sold!
Snooker - All televised snooker events are covered by the Spread Firms, especially the World Championships in April. Great range of bets offered. Supremacy bets are perhaps the most popular bets and an example is shown below:
Snooker 10 - 3 Supremacy- In a snooker supremacy bet the firms quote a match bet of one player against his opponent. You bet not only on whom you think will win the match, but by how much he will win. The winning player is awarded 10pts for winning the match and an additional 3pts for every frame by which he wins.
So in the World Final, the firms make O'Sullivan the hot favourite to beat Grahame Dott. On the 10 - 3 Supremacy O'Sullivan is 29 - 32 over Dott - ie the spread firms think he'll win by about 7 frames - (10pts for the win and 21pts (7 x 3 = 21) for the margin of victory - therefore - 10 + 21 = 31pts).
If you think O'Sullivan is a really good thing and will crush Dott, you may decide to buy at 32. In the end O'Sullivan wins 18 - 8, a winning margin of 10 frames, so his 'make up' is 40 (10pts for winning and 30pts for winning by 10 frames) and you would win 8pts multiplied by your stake.
However, you may have been getting very worried in the early part of the final when Grahame Dott was 5 - 0 up!
This bet can end up in the negative - ie Dott wins 18 - 15. Dott would get 10pts for winning and 9pts for winning by 3 frames - ie 19pts. If you'd bought O'Sullivan at 32, you would lose 32 + 19 - 51pts x your initial stake, so be careful with your stake values!
Boxing- All televised fights are covered by the Spread Firms with many bets offered in running. Bets include total fight minutes, supremacy bets and a 25 - 10 - 5 index with points awarded as follows - 25pts for knockout/fight stopped, 10pts for a win on points, 5pts for a draw and 0pts for a loss.
Fight Minutes Example - Lennox Lewis fights MikeTyson and the spread firms offer a spread for the total number of minutes the fight will last at 17 - 19. Based on 3 mins per round, they are guessing it will last 6 rounds. You think that Lewis will be too strong for Tyson and will finish him off in a couple of rounds, so decide to sell at £20 per point at 17.
Tyson lasts longer than you think but eventually is stopped within the first minute of Round 4. Thus the 'make up' is 10. 3pts for each round plus 1 minute for the fourth round = 10pts. So your profit would be (17 - 10) = 7pts at £20 per point = £140.
The fight could have gone the distance ie the full 15 rounds, so the worst case scenario where you have sold would have been 45pts - the maximum 'make up' - in which case you would have lost 28pts - £560.
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American Football - This is an up and coming market with the Spread firms offering all kinds of 'in running' bets on the Superbowl and loads of other bets on the non live games. Many of the bets offered in American Football are similar to those offered in football, rugby etc, such as supremacy, touchdown minutes, touchdown shirt numbers and 25 - 10 index, but there are a number that are unique to the American game, especially with the amount of statistics that are churned out by the NFL. Check out our NFL page for a guide to American football.
See the Sporting Index and Spreadex websites for the range of bets offered during the NFL season.
Total Points Example - In the Superbowl, St Louis are playing Baltimore and the spread firms offer a price of 46 - 49 on the total number of points in the game. You expect the defences of both teams to be really tight in this game so decide to sell at 46 for £10 per point.
The game is played and you are correct, with a late field goal giving St Louis victory 17 - 14. The total number of points in the game (make up) is 31. You therefore make a profit of 15 points (46 - the price which you sold at - less 31 - the final 'make up') at £10 per pt giving you a win of £150.
Greyhound Racing - Televised greyhound racing is becoming more and more popular on Sky TV and of course the spread betting firms make sure that there are plenty of bets available to enhance your enjoyment of the event. There are bets on individual races and across the whole card on a similar basis to some of the bets offered on horse racing. One of our favourites is the 'Barking Mad' bet, with an example shown below:
Barking Mad - This is a bet over the whole card at a specific dogs meeting. The spread is made up by multiplying the trap number of the first and second in each race and then adding them all up -ie 6 beats 5 = 30 pts.
For an 8 race card at Walthamstow, the 'Barking Mad' Spread is 104 - 107. You fancy the trap six dog to make the frame in most of the races, so you decide to buy the spread at 107 for £5 per point.
Race 1 - 5 beats 3 = 15
Race 2 - 4 beats 6 = 24
Race 3 - 6 beats 1 = 6
Race 4 - 2 beats 6 = 12
Race 5 - 5 beats 6 = 30
Race 6 - 6 beats 4 = 24
Race 7 - 4 beats 3 = 12
Race 8 - 1 beats 5 = 5
Total = 128
In the end, the 6 dog makes the frame in 5 out of the 8 races and the 'make up' is 128pts. You have bought at 107 so your profit is (128 - 107) 21 points at £5 per point =£105.
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Other Sports - There are other sports on which the spread firms offer bets.
These include Aussie Rules football, Basketball, Cycling and Baseball. In addition spreads are offered on political issues especially around the general election and US Presidential race.
Check out the links to our other pages and if you are interested to see what kind of bets are on offer, please visit either Sporting Index or Spreadex for further information. Both of the big firms have their own spread betting news pages; Sporting Index have Trading Talk which we publish here on this site, whilst Spreadex have the Sports Betting Blog that follows the fortunes of two punters. Both are well worth reading if you want to know more about Spread Betting. Back to top