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Sports Spread Betting

Sports Spread Betting
Written by David

Spread betting has quickly become one of the most interesting and exciting ways of betting on all kinds of different events. It is often compared to the stock market which is what makes is so intuitive and popular for so many people. Being able to see the rises and falls, being able to understand why things have gotten popular and why others are seeing their prices dropping like a stone, can help betting to become easier and make more sense. There is, however a steep learning curve when you first start to try spread betting.

If you are used to making regular bets where you simply select and price and then off you go, then it might not make sense to you straight away but spread betting will pay off in the long run. When you first try spread betting, it makes sense to assist yourself with some free bets, with many bookmakers offering you the chance to try it out without using your own money. Competition between bookmakers, both in traditional and in spread betting, has meant that companies have to offer incentives to keep people betting with. Free bets are one of the best examples of these incentives, they give you the chance to learn about spread betting, without actually spending any of your own money on it.

This is ideal as once you have mastered spread betting, it can be a very fun and lucrative practice. It can give you a new way to look at sport and to enjoy your favourite games. It is particularly popular for businesses who use it as a way to bet while also avoiding certain taxes. In terms of sports spread betting, there are a number of exciting and interesting options to explore in terms of providers. Here are some of the best of them, companies which have been offering spread betting for years, who are masters of it and can give you great platforms to use when you start spreading betting. They are brands that have built up trust through offering excellent offers, creating great marketplaces and allowing you to bet with a refined and well made user interface.

Some spread betting providers also quote a range of sports and political markets. Spread betting is one of the most exciting and popular forms of betting on sport and has many advantages over fixed odds. On most major sports events you can even place a bet during play. You can also place spreadbets on sports events online, using an internet dealing platform.

Make no mistake – this area is riskier than fixed odds betting!

A test match cricket innings spread might pitched around 260-270, as a punter if it falls outside of this spread you will win or lose. Just how much you win or lose will depend upon the final total. Winning in large quantities is not a problem, but if it goes against you what is the biggest possible downside?

How low can it get? A test match rarely sees innings totals below three figures, but they do happen. Will Sod’s Law kick in just when you’re a buyer whose bet goes wrong and one team collapses spectacularly. New record low test innings of 22?

With such uncertainty if you are a buyer, what is the worst downside you could expect? 100? 60? 30?
As a seller if things go against you, what is the maximum score in a test match innings? 500? 800? 1200?

Any spread bet you place, make sure you take account of the worst case scenario and how much it would cost you if things went badly wrong. Then add a little extra to the figure you first thought of as a comfort zone. Buying the 270 @ #10.00 per point is an easy bet to strike, but should the side make a total flop and score zero, is a loss of #2,700.00 something you’d accounted for?

But maybe it’s hardly likely is it, after all… That’s never happened before!

There is also within the scope of spread betting the ability to spread on the stock market, ie share prices and the like. With financial markets you are not limited to just betting what the closing stock price will be for a given stock, you are also able to do the same thing for indices like the FTSE and the NASDAQ.

If you have never placed a spread bet before I would strongly recommend you make your first trades over the phone. Be up front with the person handling your call and explain this is the first time you have placed a spread bet so please be patient.

The reason I advise this is that the brokers may use language or jargon you are unfamiliar with. I’ll create a ‘Glossary’ to help you but for now you need to know that when you place a spread bet you effectively ‘open a position’. A buy or sell is your position, you just need to make the broker aware of the event you are interested in betting on and your stake of course.

Okay, so you’ve placed your first spread bet and the game is traded ‘in running’. This means that you can still place bets or manage your position after the scheduled off time. Lets say your bet was a buy of total goals in the Chelsea v Liverpool game on Sky Sports. You’ve bought total goals at 2.5. The game is nearing half-time, its very tight and you don’t think there are going to be any goals. You have two options; you can let the bet run its course or you could close your position. The likelihood is that the market would have contracted to something like 1.4-1.6 so if you wanted to close your position you would sell at 1.4 and you would lose (2.5-1.4)* your stake.

Taking a loss is probably a new concept to you unless you are a trader on the exchanges but you must learn to consider all options at all times and this is one option that is available to you.

To be fair I don’t know that much about sports to be able to provide any guidance on spread betting with it so recommend you researching it yourself.


They advertise themselves as ‘the betting exchange’ and their reputation often precedes them owing to the fact they are known across the world as being one of the premier providers of spread betting marketplaces. You can bet on all kinds of things but they have very good sporting expertise with all the major with sports covered and fair market prices which are regularly updated and easy to understand. It is a good starting site as they try not to couch things in technical terms. They work hard to make sure that it is a weeklong site that encourages you to play and helps you to learn, rather than making it complicated and off putting for anyone other than a master of a spread bet. Start here if you want to try spread betting but are a little unsure of all the specifics.


Betfair are a trusted partner of a number of famous soccer clubs, such is their clout and reputation within the industry. Their type of spread betting is slightly more limited than others, as you seek to lay or back teams and matches as well as results and other bets related to a sports match. If you want an ultra simple place to start then this is ideal. It is a bit like spread betting lite. It is also one of the best regular sports bookmakers out there if you want to do some traditional betting along with your spread betting. They are partners with Juventus, Arsenal and Barcelona, all giants of soccer and clearly happy to have their name associated with betfair. They are trusted for good reason.

Sporting Index

Their only focus is on sports betting, they do not offer any other kind of spread betting meaning if you are only interested in sports, this is the best place for you. It is easy to understand, has the largest range of sports you could imagine and has a very mature and muted website that reflects their serious approach to pleasing you and ensuring you have a good experience. They even have a casino if you want to take a little break from betting.

About the author


I first cut my teeth in the Square Mile in the winter of 2002. I was young, fresh-faced and straight out of university; keen but maybe a little naïve about the way the investment world really worked… A few years ago I discover a whole new world of opportunity: spread betting on the financial markets.

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