Question by JamesLT: How does the spread point work in betting?
Like for example if I bet on the Pittsburgh Steelers who are -3 against the Chicago Bears and if I bet on New York Giants who are +3 against the cowboys.

Best answer:

Answer by Ptsie
San Francisco -5 vs. St. Louis 41

You may look at that and be intimidated and feel helpless, but I’m going to decode this little bugger for you. This is the betting line…not the odds. The odds are what you are going to be paid (covered later). When ever you see a team with a (-) number next to them (-5 in this case) that means that team is favored to win by that margin…5 points. The number after the matchup (41) is the projected total points to be scored by both teams added together. So there are two options here. A player can choose to bet on the matchup either San Fran -5 points, or St. Louis +5 points. For the player who wagers on San Francisco -5, San Fran must win by more than 5 points for this to be a winning wager. For the player who wagers on St. Louis +5, they must either win the game, or lose by less than 5 points for this to be a winning wager. If the outcome falls on the number, either way, the bet is declared a “Push”, and your original stake is refunded. See, that wasn’t too difficult was it? Sometimes you will see the points displayed as half numbers like San Fran -5.5 If you bet on San Fran and they win by win. If they win by 5 or less…you lose. Clear?

You will find a complete explanation of a sports betting tutorial for new sports bettors at

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