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College Basketball Betting Spreads Explained

College Basketball Betting Spreads ExplainedIn a game like college basketball where both the money line, point spread, and total are all very common wagers, its good to understand how it works, to better know which bet best suits you. First, there’s the point spread, in this scenario, you’re not simply betting who will win the game, but rather by how many points.

A point spread’s purpose is to even out the playing field between two unmatched teams. You can bet on the underdogs with the extra points, or on the favorite to win by more than a number of points. These point spread betting lines are recognizable by the use of the + or – symbols next to them.

When a point spread for a game shows a team with a plus sign (+), it indicates that the team is the underdog, and must win the game outright or either lose the game by fewer number of poitns than indicated by the point spread.
When a team has a point spread line with a minus sign (-), it indicates that the team is the favorite, and must win the game by a greater number of points than said point spread.

Below is an example of a College Basketball Betting Spreads Explained:
Stanford +5.5
@ North Carolina -5.5

With a point-spread line of 5, Stanford must win the game outright or lose by five points or less to cover the spread. The opposite is true for North Carolina, they must win by at least six points to cover the spread and count as a win for bettors.

Odds-makers will also set the point spread on whole numbers like 3, 6 or even 10. In these kind of scenarios, if the favorite wins by that same number or if the underdog loses by that same number, the game is considered a “Push” and the wager is returned to the player. For example, if Stanford was +5 point favorites and they lost by five points, any wager on the Stanford +5 would result in a push.

Sometimes you’ll see a game without a spread, or with the spread set to 0. This is called a pick’em play where each team is given even odds to win the game. Since no points are given or taken away, the bettor must simply pick who they think is going to win the game outright.

The player’s payout is determined by the odds attached to the money line point spread. A negative number (such as -150) shows how much money you must wager to win $100, while a positive number (like +150) shows how much money you will win if you place a $100 wager.

Typically, most bookmakers will use odds like -110, unless otherwise noted to the player. Bookmakers often adjust a line in the days leading up to a game based on how bettors are responding to the line. They do this in order to balance the action on both sides of a game.

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