Spread Betting is a relatively new innovation and differs from conventional fixed-odds betting. Punters can spread bet on sports events and financial markets. Bets are normally made on a final result or final score. In sports like cricket, football and rugby, spread betting falls into two main categories – namely, Total Number Bets, Supremacy and Match Bets. Winners are those who correctly predict the number of goals or points scored in a football or rugby match.
Total Number Bets
The key factor is the spread – that is, the difference between the prices at which a punter can back his selected team to do well and/or badly. Take the example of a cricket test match – India versus England. England to bat first.
The spread bet will be based on how many runs England score in their first innings. The spread, might be set at 320 – 380. This means England are expected to score between 320 and 380 runs. If a punter thinks that England could score a total of 430, he will Buy at the higher score quoted of 380.
If, on the other hand, a punter thinks England will score nearer 300 runs, he would Sell at the lower quote of 320 (Punters always Buy at the higher quote and Sell at the lower). Punters specify the amount per run they wish to bet. For example, if a punter thinks England will do well, he may Buy for 2 pound per run at 380. This means for every run over 380 that England score, the punter wins 2 pounds. So, if England make 450 runs, the punter’s total winnings will be 140 – (450-380) x 2 = 140 GBP.
But for every run below 320 that England total, the punter loses two pounds. If England are all out for 300, then his loss is 40 – (320-300) x 2 = 40 quid. If a punter decides England will do badly, he could Sell for 2 pound per run at 320. So for every run below 320 that England score, he would win 2 pounds.
A final England score of 250 would mean a profit to the punter of 140 – (320-250) x 2 = 140 quid. But for every run scored above 320, the punter loses 2, and if England’s total was 400 runs, the punter would lose 160 – (400-320) x 2 = 160 GBP.
In spread betting, winnings and losses are made in proportion to whatever unit stake is chosen. However, the unit stake is not the limit of a punter’s risk. A 10 pound bet with a bookmaker means that all a punter can lose is his tenner, whereas, a ten pound per run bet on a cricket match can mean a win, or loss, of many times the 10 pound unit stake.
Supremacy and Match Bets
In the case of supremacy and match bets, the focus is on how much a team will win by. A punter’s bet is based on the margin of victory of one team over another. A good supremacy example would be a rugby match between say, South Africa and France – the spread 18 – 24. This means that South Africa are fancied to beat France by between 18 and 24 points (the team on the left being the favourite).