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Cover the Point Spread in NCAA Basketball

December 22, 2013

Level: Novice

Not everyone out there is super knowledgeable about the art of sports betting.  If this describes you then keep reading and you might learn something.  A point spread is a number that is given by the sportsbook to enable people who are interested in sports betting to place a bet on a specific game depending on not just who wins and who loses but also on the possible final score of each team.

In the following short article you will learn everything there is to know about a point spread and if you then pull up last’ year’s NCAA stats and point spreads you will be able to tell which ones were the best and worst, training you to know what to look for and helping you get prepared to bet on future games.

Point spread defined

Though we defined what a point spread is in a general sense in the opening paragraph lets break it down in a bit more detail.  The payoff in point spread betting is not in the win or loss of the game … rather it’s based on the accuracy of the predicted outcome of each bet.  What a point spread does is it offers a range of betting outcomes and possible outcomes, deepening your interest in the specific outcome of a game or match. By allowing you to decide if you want to bet for the outcome to be below or above the spread, point spread betting puts you in the driver’s seat in a way that standard win/loss betting does not.

A bit of history

In the 1940s there was a math teacher by the name of Charles McNeil.  He lived in Connecticut and decided to become a bookmaker or “bookie.”  This math teacher invented spread betting and brought it to Chicago where it became famous.

How it works

The sportsbook will set the point spread for a game.  Let’s say the teams are Kentucky and Ohio State.  The spread is -6-10.  If the person doing the sports betting chooses the underdog then he will take the points and if the score of the underdog plus the spread (the difference) is better than the score of the favorite … the bettor wins.

Conversely if the person doing the betting chooses the favorite to win he gives up points.  He will win only if the underdog’s score is less than the score of the favorite minus the spread.

Push or tie

A push or tie is what happens when the teams finish their match in a tie game.  In this case some books will offer a push in which case you will get your money back.  Most will not and will make the spread have a decimal or a half point just so that in the event of a tie nobody gets their money back.

ducks-hoopsNow that you have all of that information you should (with a little research) be able to find out who the best and worst teams for covering the point spread were in college basketball last year.

While it might have been easier just to tell you which teams did the best job of covering the point spread last year, there’s that old saying: If you give a man a fish he will eat for a day, but if you teach a man to fish he will eat for a lifetime. Here at Sports Book Advisor we want to give you the tools you need to successfully place bets.

This year so far the best college basketball teams to cover the spread have been?:

Oregon 9-0

UMass 9-2

Portland 9-2

Villanova 8-1

Penn State 8-1

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