Against the Spread (ATS) Betting
For sports like the NFL, NBA, College Football, and College Basketball, betting against the spread, or ATS, is going to be the most popular type of bet. You are going to have options all over the board on these sports, but the thing that is most talked about here has to be the bets ATS. Even the popular sports shows are going to talk about the lines on games, which just means how much one team is favored by. Basically the spread is just projecting how many points that a team is going to win or lose by. It’s a pretty straight forward concept, but it’s something that you should definitely look for angles to take advantage of.
For example, if the Carolina Panthers are playing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Panthers may be favored by -6.5 points, which means that they need to win by a touchdown (seven points) or more in order for you to win your bet if you take that side. On the other side, if you decide to take the Bucs and get points, then you are taking them +6.5, and they need to lose by 6 points or less for this to be a win on your bet. There are many strategies to take advantage of when betting against the spread, and there are definitely times when you should get on a sports betting line early, or wait on it (more on this below).
Often times, many sports bettors are going to check the spreads of NFL and NCAAFB games early in the week, and NCAABB and NBA games early in the day, so they can see if there is a spread that just sticks out as possibly being a bit off. These can get action on them quick, which can result in the line moving around quite a bit. If you check a game early and see a line that you like, for example, if a team in the NFL is -6.5 and you want to bet it before it gets to -7 or -7.5, then you should jump on that bet early.
Waiting on Line Movements
On the other side of things, waiting on the line to move is also very important. In the example above we used a situation where a team was -6.5 to start and you bet it early. But, you can definitely get plenty of situations where a team is -8 or -7.5, and you want to see if the line can move down to -7 so they only need to win by a touchdown for you to protect your bet. Waiting on the bets in these spots can be very important, and I’d recommend always being patient with the lines if you aren’t happy with one to see if it moves, don’t force the action. If you are looking at betting on an NFL game, and you see the line on Monday at -8.5, but want it at -7, then buying points probably won’t be the right course of actin. In this spot, you can just sit tight and see what happens with the line!
Another option to waiting on line movements is buying points if it gets late in the week, or you think that a spread isn’t going to move in your favor. If you buy a half a point it can move the odds from -110 to -120, -130, or -140 just depending. If it’s from a key number, like -7.5 to -7 then it could move the odds from -110 to -140, but buying half a point in other situations will likely just move the odds to -120. I do recommend buying points if it is close to game time and you really confident about a bet and want to move it so it’s on a key number like -3, -7, -10, or the other way around at +3, +7, or +10. There’s nothing worse than losing a bet by half a point instead of pushing it and saving your money, so take advantage of this option if your sports betting site has it!
It’s important to note that just because betting against the spread is the most common type of bet, it doesn’t mean that it’s the best bet on the board. There are many, many times that a game can simply be tough to call, as the point spread is pretty much exactly what you expected it to be. In these situations, it’s very important that you just stick with the best option on the board, and stay with your “three star”, or best bets. There are many, many games, almost every night of the week for you to bet on ATS during both football and basketball season, so just be patient and find the best options!