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What Does Cover Mean In Sports Betting and Wagering?

In the sports betting sector, there are two categories of bettors, each with their style of doing things. Some bettors only place bets on money lines. They argue that the only thing that counts is who wins the game. However, the vast portion of the betting market revolves around betting the point spread especially on NBA games.

They’ll tell you that there’s nothing better than cashing a winning point spread ticket because they “beat the Vegas line.” That might be a slight exaggeration, but seeing the team you backed cover the spread feels good.

What Exactly Does “Cover the Spread” Mean? Covering the spread means the team winning by a pre-set margin or losing by less than a pre-set certain amount, depending on whether you bet the favorite or underdog. When you hear the phrase “cover,” it refers to a short version meaning “cover the spread.”

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Betting the Spread

The “spread” is the number of points by which a team is anticipated to win or lose, set by the bookmaker. It is symbolized by a positive and negative number allocated to each side, in half-point increments, to avoid ties. In the example below, a team with a score of -10.5 is projected to win by 10.5 points, while a team with a score of +10.5 is anticipated to lose by 10.5 points or more.

Raptors v Pistons – Spreads

Toronto Raptors (Spread -10.5)

Detroit Pistons (Spread +10.5)

In the example above the game might finish Raptors 111-100 Pistons, Meaning the Raptors win the game by 11 points, they would have covered the spread. The Pistons would have lost by 11 points, meaning they failed to cover the spread. If you bet on the Raptors, your bet was a winner. If you bet on the Pistons your bet was a loser.

If on the Buzzer the Pistons had made to 2 point basket, meaning the score finished 111-102 instead, although the winner of the game hasn’t changed, the winner of the bet would have flipped. With those betting on Detroit to cover the spread walking away happy, even though the team actually lost.

What is The difference between covering the spread and winning outright?

Bettors, especially those in the USA, and especially those who bet almost exclusively on NBA  have a proverb that implies that “Good teams win, great teams cover.” Wagerers believe that the superior team will almost always cover the spread. They may win the game outright, but bettors aren’t concerned about how much they win but whether the team they are betting on will play well enough to cover the spread.

Successful handicappers take pleasure in their ability to continually improve their ability to calculate how much a team should win or lose by. Each of these handicappers has its unique power rankings/formulas for calculating this data, and they rely on it above everything else.

They also understand when the danger outweighs the return, which is critical when betting on the point spread since the prices stay relatively constant throughout the year. This indicates that to break even betting -110 odds (the Moneyline odds when betting the spread), you would need to achieve a success rate minimum of fifty-two percent.

What exactly is a point spread?

Point spread betting was devised and launched in the early 1940s by mathematician Charles K. McNeil to generate movement on both sides when one is regarded as superior to the other. Against the spread (ATS) betting is one of the traditional big three betting choices, along with money lines and total points scored in a game. Point spreads are a common wagering option in both pro and collegiate football, as well as basketball.

How Does a Spread Bet Work?

Raptors v Pistons – Spreads

Toronto Raptors (Spread -10.5)

Detroit Pistons (Spread +10.5)

Favorites are always given a negative (-) point spread line, while underdogs are given positive points spread line. In the NBA scenario above, the Raptors would have to beat the Pistons by more than 10 points to cover the spread.

If the Raptors win by exactly ten points, the bet would be declared a push, and the bettor’s money would be refunded. This is how bookmakers the world over create a good rapport with their clients, keeping them coming back to place more bets.

Why should you bet on the Spread?

Many gamblers like betting spread because they either obtain a greater return on investment when betting on a favorite or want the underdog to keep the game close but not necessarily win. Normally the Moneyline odds on the spread bet will be -110/+110 with the spread being the equalizer between the two teams.

Raptors v Pistons – Spreads including Moneyline Odds

Toronto Raptors (Spread -10.5) (ML odds -110)

Detroit Pistons (Spread +10.5) (ML odds +110)

Therefore, instead of you betting the very restrictive straight Moneyline odds on the Raptors of -200, you can instead back them at -110, PROVIDED they win the match by more than ten points. However, if you believe that the Pistons will not lose by more than ten points, but will probably still lose the game, then you can back them at Moneyline odds of +110 on the spread.

Moneyline Odds vs Covering the Spread

Moneyline bets, spread bets, a team winning and you winning your bet, and perhaps a team losing but still winning your bet on the spread are all part of betting on NBA games. Betting on the NBA, whether online or in-person, can deliver some of the most entertaining and rewarding wagers in all sports.

The more you study and the more analysis you do, the better bets you can place, and ultimately the more money you can win. Whether you are placing a straight Moneyline bet or a spread bet in which you are comfortable that the team you are betting will cover the spread, betting on the NBA can be as profitable for a punter as it can be as enjoyable to watch.