The rise and rise of spread betting

A growing phenomenon which can be seen in betting is the emergence of Spread Betting amongst punters. In layman’s terms, payouts are based on the accuracy of the wager, rather than a simple “win or lose” outcome, such as fixed-odds with conventional bookmakers. With this in mind, a spread can be defined as a range of outcomes, and the bet is whether the outcome will be above or below the spread.
The following example should convey the simplicity of Spread Betting- In a football match the bookmaker believes that 10 or 11 corners will occur, thus the spread will be set at 10-11. A punter believes there will be more than 11 corners, and “buys” at €20 a point at 11. If the number of corners is 14, the payout is €60 (14-11=3x€20). However, if the number of corners is 8, the loss is €60 (11-8=3x€20).
Spread betting carries a level of risk compared to its fixed odds counterpart, with potential losses or gains far in excess of the original money wagered. However a stop loss will incur so large losses can be limited. The same principle as detailed above applies to many aspects of sporting events-points in a rugby game, winning distances in a horse race, batman’s runs in a cricket game, total goals in a football match etc.
These two way markets give you the opportunity to bet for or against the prediction by going higher or lower. The more right you are, the more you can win, but of course, the opposite is true if you are wrong.
A stark indication of the volatility of this form of betting can be seen in the Euro 2004 game between France and England. A shrewd punter bought Zinedine Zidane’s goal minutes at 11 for £50 per point. This means any goal that Zidane scored he would get 1pt for every minute of the goal time. France went on to win the game 2-1, with two late Zidane goals, both in the 90th minute!
So, in the 89th minute the punter was 11x £50 down = £550. Three minutes later he had 180 points in the bank. He ended up winning 180 – 11 = 169pts x £50 = £8450, a truly incredible turnaround! From this betting coup alone one can see that there is no more exciting way to bet on sports than via the medium of spread betting.
Dublin-based firm Sportsspread is Ireland’s sole Spread Betting Company and offers a large range of markets on a multitude of sports events every day. One of the key attractions and benefits of Spread Betting over traditional fixed-odds betting is that you can bet right up to the final whistle. Sportsspread offer prices ‘in-running’ so you can take a profit, cut a loss or simply make a decision ‘in-running’ on an event you are watching live. It is free from commission unlike Betfair, who charges a commission on all winning bets, which is set at 5% of the net winnings.
Without doubt, it is an aspect of betting that interests me as a writer and a punter, and if you too are looking new ways of betting, it is well worth spreading your horizon.