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Sporting Index Review
Getting started with sports spread betting
If volatility doesn’t frighten you, then spread betting could be an exciting new way for you to enjoy sporting action. Unlike traditional fixed odds bets, the amount you can win or lose is not set in stone. The more right you are in predicting an outcome, the more you’ll win. The flip side, of course, is the more wrong you are, the bigger your loss.
The potential for sizeable downswings is enough to put many people off. It’s also a good reason why only those with a good understanding of betting markets should consider sports spread betting.
How does sports spread betting work?
In normal betting, you place a bet at fixed odds. If you lose, you forfeit your stake, and if you win, you know the winning sum in advance. But spread betting throws convention out of the window. Now, you’re betting not only on how much higher or lower a result will be to the one forecast, but you’re also wagering a set amount for each point reached above or below that figure.
Let’s take a simple example. The spread (this is the marker set by the betting site) for runs scored by England in a cricket innings might be 275-285. Using your knowledge, you reason the score will be higher than 285, so you ‘buy’ £1 a run. Now, if England score more than 285, you get £1 for each run above it. So, if they make 340, you win £55. While that sounds tempting, what happens if they get bowled out for 150? You lose £135!
Taking the same 275-285 spread, you might forecast England would fall short, in which case you would ‘sell’ £1 a run at the lower 275 figure. For every run below 275, you make a pound, but if they romp to 340 you lose £65.
The same concept can be used in multiple sports – goals, corners or cards in football matches, games played or the number of aces in tennis matches, the points scored in rugby and so on.
UK Spread betting is not to be confused with US-style point spread betting, where you bet a fixed amount to back the favourite team to win by a certain margin, or the underdog to lose within a specified points deficit.
What is the spread in sporst spread betting?
Every market consists of two prices. The lower is the ‘sell’ price, and the higher is the ‘buy’ price (275-285 in our cricket example). This difference is known as the spread. The spread consists of the betting site’s mark-up, which is how they make their money. In our example, the actual forecast would be 280 runs, but you must buy at 285 or sell at 275 – ensuring £5 to the site.
Key sports spread betting tips to help you
A sensible strategy over the long term is as much about managing and cutting your losses as it is winning.
- Always know how much you stand to lose on a worst-case basis, making sure you’re comfortable with it.
- Make use of the cash-out facility as you might in traditional fixed odds betting. In spread betting the market will move in-play, so you might be able to cash out for a small profit rather than risk it going wrong and losing.
- Select your stakes wisely. Buying £10 a goal on total goals scored in a football game if the spread is 1.9-2.1 is fine since the maximum you can lose is £21. But you would not be comfortable buying £10 a run in our cricket example because your losses might be substantial. Falling even ten runs short would cost you £100.
- Ensure you understand the market you are entering. In a football game, there may be as many as 20 markets to look through. It might be prudent to concentrate on one market to become expert at it.
- Keep accurate records of your bets. Only by studying your performance can you better assess what is working for you – or what best to avoid.
- Bet with your head, not your heart. So, don’t always back your football team to win by a landslide because that’s what you want to happen (unless you support Manchester City).
There’s plenty of advice online, but your biggest advantage comes from watching a lot of sport. Having a good understanding of the likely outcome of matches will shorten your odds of becoming a winner.
The most popular sports spread betting markets
If you’re just getting started, it’s advisable to bet on the most popular markets, which are less niche than some. Here are the top three spread betting markets in the popular sports covered.
Football sports spread betting
- Total goals scored in a game
- Supremacy bets – the number of goals a team will win by
- Total points a team secures throughout the season
Rugby sports spread betting
- Team tries scored in a single game
- Supremacy bets – can cover point-winning margin
- Total points scored in the game
Cricket sports spread betting
- Player runs/wickets by a named player in a cricket series
- Supremacy bets based on runs or wickets a team wins by
- Batsmen runs for a single innings
Golf sports spread betting
- Finishing positions in a tournament
- Match bets cover the shot difference between two players over a round
- The winning score is the four-round total score for a tournament winner
Tennis sports spread betting
- Supremacy bets for the number of games a player wins by
- Total games played in a match
- Total aces in a match or by a player
NFL sports spread betting
- Long term, such as predicted winners of the Super Bowl
- Supremacy covers the forecast winning points margin
- Points is the total number of points scored in the match
Pros and cons of sports spread betting
The nature of the beast is that the advantage of spread betting, namely the opportunity to make large gains, is also its disadvantage because you can also make substantial losses. Losses can exceed your deposit, so be vigilant. One benefit is that spread betting firms are governed by the Financial Conduct Authority, meaning they must operate a safe and secure business and be clear in outlining the risks and educating customers.
A clear benefit is the sheer number of markets. It makes watching sport more engaging because every goal, try or run scored might inch you closer to or further in profit (or loss, of course). With fixed odds, if you bet on 0-0 in a football match and someone scored in the first minute, your interest is ended right away.
However, spread betting is more difficult for new betters to get to grips with, and that can lead to expensive mistakes.
Who are the main sports spread betting firms?
Spreadex Sports Versus Sporting Index
Spreadex Sports offers multiple markets in a wide variety of sports while providing excellent customer service. As you’d expect there are mainstream sports like football, cricket, tennis and golf, but you can also bet on basketball, ice hockey or volleyball if that’s your thing. Many fixtures are covered live, so you can take advantage of shifting prices in-play. Some sports are also streamed live within the platform for your viewing pleasure.
CEO Jonathan Hufford told us recently that Spreadex was unique in that it offered sports and financial spread betting from the same account. The site also offers fixed odds betting and casino games.
Sporting Index was founded in 1992, and the first sports spread betting firm to go online in 2001. It also now has a mobile app, and overall customer reviews are good. Like Spreadex, it has a simple sign-up process, and you’ll be expected to answer some personal finance questions, together with acknowledging your understanding of spread betting risks.
Sporting Index, which does not offer financial spread betting, often changes its welcome offer, so check out the promotion before signing up.