What Does Taking The Points Mean In Sports Betting?
by Doc's Sports - 10/9/2014
An underdog could be expressed, for example, as +7.5. That means that if the team wins the game, or loses by seven or fewer points, then those who bet on that team won. If they lose by eight or more points then the favorite has covered the spread, and those who bet on the underdog lose their money. You are said to take the points because the number of points in the pointspread become your advantage. When betting the underdog in this example it is as if the game is 7-0 in your favor before it even begins. The opposite of taking the points is laying the points. When you bet on the favorite in this example it is as if you are trailing 7-0 when the game starts.
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The biggest mistake people make when thinking about taking the points is that this makes it easier for teams to cover spreads. People will regularly suggest that the more points you are taking the easier it is for your team to cover the spread. That isn’t necessarily true at all. I would rather take one point betting on a team I think is going to win the game outright then I would want to take 30 points betting on a team that seems likely to lose by 50. Pointspreads are all relative to the teams involved and how you expect it to play out. They are a comparison of the relative strength of the two teams on that day in that game. There is nothing to be gained by comparing point spreads from different games to each other.
It is also important for bettors to ignore thoughts of who is going to win the game outright when you are betting the pointspread. It doesn’t matter. The only concern is the margin of victory or defeat that you expect, and how likely you expect it to be. Square bettors will often shy away from betting on a heavy underdog because they are grossly outmatched in the game. While that may be the case, it doesn’t matter. To cover the spread they don’t have to win the game, or even come close - they just have to lose by fewer points than the spread suggests. It is quite possible - and even common - for an underdog to be more likely to cover a spread in a given game than the favorite is.
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