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Spread betting tips – how to spread bet on football, racing and other sports

You can buy Olivier Giroud's goal minutes. (credit: ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)
Spread betting rewards customers more if their predictions are correct

An increasing number of people enjoy spread betting on various sports due to the added excitement and extra scope for profit that it affords. It’s a type of wagering that is often not for the faint-hearted although spread betting can be highly rewarding if your prediction is right on the money.

How does spread betting work?
A spread betting firm will make their own prediction for what is going to happen in a sporting event. For example, they might predict that Kevin Pietersen is going to score 58-60 runs for England when he walks out to the crease in a Test Match. Customers then choose to “Buy” KP runs or “Sell” his runs depending on whether they think he will go above 60 (Buy) or below 58 (Sell).

With spread betting, you will find two prices which are the buy and sell prices. The range between the two prices is known as the spread. When it comes to football betting, for an Arsenal v Tottenham match you might find that the corner spread is 10.5 – 11, which means you can either sell at 10.5 (if you think there will be a low corner count) or buy at 11 (if you think the opposite).

How is my profit / loss calculated?
Let’s use the above football example and say that you bought corners at 11 for a stake of £5. In order to make a profit, you need there to be at least 12 corners, with your profit then increasing by £5 for every corner that is awarded.

  • If there are 12 corners, you make a profit of £5.
  • If there are 13 corners, you make a profit of £10.
  • If there are 20 corners, you make a profit of £45.

As you can see, you are rewarded for making better use of your sporting knowledge compared to betting with a fixed-odds bookmaker, although there are naturally bigger pitfalls when it comes to getting your prediction wrong.

  • If there are 10 corners, you make a loss of £5.
  • If there are 8 corners, you make a loss of £15.
  • If there are 0 corners, you make a loss of £55.


Buy or sell a batsman's runs with Sporting Index.

Why should I try spread betting?
Having a spread bet can provide a wide range of exciting opportunities, with customers enjoying a big rollercoaster ride with some of their wagers. Say you bought Kevin Pietersen runs at 60 for a stake of £2 and the batsman surpassed the 60 run mark. That would essentially mean you’re making £2 for every run he scores in front of your eyes.

Using another example, you might think the match between Manchester United and Chelsea will be a low-scoring affair and decide to “Sell” Total Goals at 2.5 for a stake of £50. If the match is a goalless draw, then you would make a profit of £125 (£50 x 2.5), while you would make smaller profits if there was just one or two goals scored. It can make watching the match a thrilling experience!

What about In-Play Spread betting?
This is available and is extremely popular, with some customers waiting for the action to start before placing their bets. Top spread betting firms will offer lots of different In-Play markets so football fans can enjoy betting on Supremacy (which team will win and by how much), Total Goals, Corners, Bookings and lots of player-related markets such as Robin van Persie Goal Minutes.

As with exchange betting, you don’t necessarily have to wait until a market has been settled in order to make a profit. You can trade out of a winning or losing position and also set a Stop Loss on your account which means there is a maximum amount of money that can be lost with any given bet.
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