Predicting the future—that’s what this comes down to, or at least what The Machine Picks seems to attempt to do. Whether it’s a gut feeling, or you have compiled all the data necessary to make an educated guess, wagering on the outcome of a sports game is basically predicting the future. Before you dive in and start laying your hard-earned money down on your favorite team let’s look at the rules surrounding sports betting stats and the spread line.

Betting on the Spread Explained

A bookie or lines maker decides the potential range of outcomes for a certain game. Let’s say the Penn State Nittany Lions are playing the Michigan Wolverines. A lines maker sets the spread at -4 for Penn State, making it the favorite. This would make Michigan the underdog at +4. Basically the teams are giving points if they are favored and getting points if they are the underdogs. What you must decide is whether you think Penn State will win by more than 4, or if Michigan will keep the game closer than 4 points. An example of a Penn State cover—the term for when a team wins by the spread prediction or more—would be 31-24 Penn State. A Michigan cover would be, for example, 24-21, Penn State. The underdog doesn’t necessarily have to win the game outright to cover the spread.

Spread lines can feature half points like 4.5. Using the same example, Penn State would have to win by 5 or more. Michigan would have to keep the score within 4 points to cover as the underdog.

The Many Aspects of Spread lines

Spread lines can be the most complicated numbers to understand. Experts and odds makers take into account every factor when it comes to sports betting. Team history, trends, stats, home field advantage, and weather all affect the outcome. Wagering on the spread line is never easy as you think, but the first step is always understanding the framework.

For more sports betting help visit the Machines Picks today and try out some of these tips!