Can a Team Lose and Still Cover the Spread?

by | May 10, 2022

Sports betting is fun and fruitful when placing the right wagers. To have the best chance to win, understanding basic strategy comes in handy. Whether someone is looking to place bets on their favorite sports team or trying their hand at predicting the outcomes of games, betting on sports can be profitable.

Of course, that’s as long as people find ways to avoid any confusion. There are so many different types of bets available that it can be difficult to keep them all straight and know how they work. One type of bet that often confuses many is called “the spread”. Let’s take a closer look at what this type of bet involves, and whether a team can lose while still covering the spread.

What is the Spread?

The spread is simply the difference between the two teams’ scores. For example, let’s say that Team A is playing Team B, and the spread is 7 points. This means that Team A must win by more than 7 points for bettors who picked them to win and collect their winnings. Conversely, bettors who picked Team B to win would still collect their winnings as long as Team B wins, or loses by less than 7 points.

In other words, the spread sets a “line” that the two teams must beat or fall below for bettors to either win or lose their bets.

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Is it Possible for a Team to Lose and Still Cover the Spread?

The short answer is yes. Sportsbooks aim to put the spread in the middle of the two teams to entice action on both sides.

For example, let’s say that Team A is playing Team B, and both teams are evenly matched. If the spread for this game was 7 points, it would be possible for Team B to lose by exactly 7 points and still collect winnings from bettors who picked them because they would fall under their required margin of defeat (7 points).

In other situations, it’s also possible that neither team will beat the spread. Let’s say that Team A is favored over Team B by 5 points. If Team A wins the game by exactly 5 points, it scores as a “push” and bettors who picked either team to win would have their original bets refunded. No one wins, but no one loses.

Spreads make gamblers think differently. it’s hard to get in that mindset at first. With more wagers placed, it becomes easier. Once someone understands how it works, betting on the spread can be a great way to add an extra level of excitement besides the norm.

How Do Sportsbooks Avoid Pushes?

If a team wins by the exact spread, it has already been talked about above that it’s considered a push. This means that no one wins or loses the bet, and all bets are refunded. However, if there is a tiebreaker in place (such as a half-point), then the bet has its decider based on that.

No game can finish with a team scoring half-points, so a 9.5-point spread is always much preferred over a 9-point spread. No one gambles for a push result, so it can be frustrating to deal with.

Final Thoughts on Betting on Losers

It’s not the sexiest strategy, but betting on losers to still find ways to cover is a strategy nonetheless. A lot of people who love following underdogs have found success identifying teams that find ways to keep it close. There’s money out there to win betting like this.



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