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Spread Betting - Sports

Spread Betting firms create different spread markets to suit individual sports. We look at the main sports here but of course they will be inventing ever more markets with the express purpose of making it difficult for the customer to judge exactly what is value and what is not.

Rugby -
When placing rugby spread bets you needn't worry just about one particular team winning the game, sometimes either team scoring a try, conversion or drop goal can help you earn money from a bet.

Total Points
This is the most common form of spread betting on rugby and very simple. A firm may quote a match to have between 40-43 points scored by both teams in total. If you thought the game would result in less than 40 points being scored in total you would sell at 40, but if you felt there would be more than 43 points scored in total you would buy at 43.

If you placed a £10 buy at 43 and 50 points were scored in total, you would make a profit of £70 ((50-43) x £10). However, if only 34 points were scored, you would lose £90 ((34-43) x £10).

Other points markets are available like Points Supremacy, Team Points, Group Points (like in the World Cup) or Total Cup Competition Points as well as esoteric markets like Multi-Points (first half points multiplied by second half points).

Index-based rugby bets
Index-based rugby spread bets are based on points being awarded for various outcomes during a match. Points are awarded or deducted for both teams for various elements of a match. For example; an index based on the following: Win = 25 points, draw = 10, try = 10, successful kick = 5, last try = 10, missed penalty or missed drop goal = -5, yellow card = -5, red card = -10.

Other rugby spread betting bets
There are Try-related rugby bets which involve the minutes it takes to score first try, last Try, minutes added for Trys scored etc. Also indices based on shirt numbers and many weird and wacky esoteric markets that will have little chance of being analysed by the average punter.

Spread-free bets Place three sports spread bets online on the same sport's qualifying markets in the space of 10 minutes and you'll get a fourth bet spread-free

Golf -
The most common form of spread betting on golf is a Multi Player Index, in which the bookmaker awards something like 50 points to the winning golfer in an event, 30 to the second placed golfer, 20 to the third and 10 to the fourth. It might be called a Tournament Index. There can be any number of players in this index but its usually a selection of 6-10 players.

The player who finishes highest from the selected group will collect 50 points in this case. The 2nd 30 and so on. Ties mean 2nd and 3rd points may be shared.

Your job will be to judge the value of a player's quoted trading price ( say Montgomerie 12-15 ) and decide whether its a Buy (at 15), Sell (at 12) or if its a No-trade. Most often quotes will induce you to think No-trade and that is right most of the time if the spread setters has done their job properly.

Since the initial success of the Tournament Index the spread firms have decided to add the LeaderBoard Index.This spread represents how a golfer will perform in relation to all other players in the tournament and is not just a selection of players. The players within the Leaderboard Index correspond with those leading the tournament, so further players may be quoted as the tournament progresses. Points are allocated to the placings once more but with more places and higher points. e.g 1st=60, 2nd=40 etc.

Finishing Positions allow the player to punt whether a player will finish in a place higher or lower than the quote of say, Faldo 35-37. A buy here means that you wish Faldo to finish in 38th position or worse to make a profit (do badly). Conversely a sell means you want him to do well.

Match Bets come in two sorts, 18 Hole and 72 Hole. They are different in scoring.
A bet placed on a 72 Hole match is one that is multiplied by the number of strokes between the two players at the end of the tournament (special rules apply if one or both miss the cut). It is important when considering a bet to note the quote order. e.g. Faldo/Norman 0-2 means the result is considered in terms of how many strokes Faldo wins by. If he loses then its a negative number. If you fancy Faldo you must buy at 2 and sell at 0 if you prefer Norman.

On the other hand 18 Hole match bets are juiced up by awarding 10 points for a win plus 3 points per stroke. So winning by 2 points is a 16 point result. This time the quote might be Faldo/Norman 1-4 and so a buy at 4 results in a win of (16 - 4) points or 12.

Open an account with SpreadEX, place five qualifying sports spread bets and once the bets are settled you can choose a complimentary £10 Golf Finishing Positons spread bet plus more.

Football -
Market makers have devised all sorts or spurious markets concerned with football, most of which don't relate to the actual result. Clearly once you leave the bounds of score and result related indices anything is possible. We look at the main markets around today.

Supremacy / Superiority
Probably the most common form of spread betting on football and the simplest football market is who scores the most goals. A Man Utd./Arsenal quote may go 1.1-1.3 which indicates Man U as favourite by 1.2 goals. If you think that on average they are bigger favourites than 1.3 goals then buy at 1.3. If you think this is a more even contest then you might want to sell at 1.1. If you buy at 1.3 and Man U win 4-3 then the make-up is 1 and you will have lost (1.3 - 1) x your bet.

Total Goals
This is simply a market on the total goals scored in match. So the quote may look like Man U-Arsenal 2.6-2.8. This is not to be confused with the above superiority. It means that if you think 3 or more goals is likely then you may want to buy at 2.8. If you do and 6 goals are scored (the make-up)then you win ( 6 - 2.8 ) x your bet.

Shirt numbers
This is the beginning of the more esoteric markets. It relates to the shirt numbers of the goal scorers. This clearly takes more research to know what are the numbers of the likely goal scorers and how often they score. This is a more volatile market than those previously discussed.

A quote may look like 30-32. This may seem high but if player 10 scores twice for one side and player 8 twice for the other then the make-up is 36. Great care must be taken here for sometimes a substitute may be wearing a "silly" number like 28. This is for serious gamblers.

How many cards will the referee show during a match? Again this looks random but it may depend on a few very understandable factors which include the referee, the players, the conditions and any special situations they may make the match a "spicey" affair.

Most of the time points are scored as follows : 10 points for a yellow card (maximum one per player), 25 points for a red card. So a market maker may quote 35-38 and you would win with a sell at 35 if there were only one yellow and one red card.

All sorts of other markets have been made like; Corners (simple), Time of 1st Goal (simple), Total Goal Minutes (aggregate time of all goals scored in the game) and many others which we won't look at.

Horse Racing -
Horse Racing is easily the biggeest sector in fixed odds bookmaking.. There is also a thriving spread world but its not quite as well suited to the spread format as football or golf or cricket.

Individual Race Index / Points index
The most common form of spread betting on horse racing is a simple Multi Player Index using the official placings to determine the make-up for each horse along the line of 1st=50pts, 2nd=30pts and so on. An odds-on favourite will be quoted arond 31-33 and its your job to judge the value offered.

This is a Single Index market based solely on the horse that starts the race as favourite. Points are awarded like this ; Winning favourite = 25 points Second place favourite = 10 points Third place = 5 points.

Starting Prices (SPs) of Winning Horses
A more esoteric Single Index market. This is based on the sum of the starting prices of the winners at a whole race meeting. This can be blown up by a big price winner so the market setter usually has a limit of 50-1 for a single winner.

Winning Distances
This again is a Single Index market. It is based on the total winning margins at a race meeting. There are special rules to cover bizarre events like a huge distance winner. Its nomally a max of 15 lengths for the flat and 30 for National Hunt. Standard photo finish distance are translated into decimal parts of a length, such as; Short Head = 0.1 of a length Head = 0.2 of a length Neck = 0.3 of a length Half a length = 0.5 of a length 3/4 of a length = 0.75 of a length .

Match Bets
A Heads-Up Index based on the distance between two nominated horses in a race at the finish. Max make-up is 12 lengths for the flat and 15 for jumps.

Of course market makers are free to experiment with a multitude of markets based on any aspect of the meeting, course, jockeys, trainers and horses. More will surface and we will add if they become popular.

Cricket -
Cricket is the sport with the most groups of statistics to offer market makers a chance to construct indices. There are far too many already in operation to consider. However the most common forms of spread betting on cricket are Supremacy (runs against runs), Individual Batsman Series (or Match) Runs, Individual Bowlers Series Wickets and the Innings Score for either or both sides.

There are also Multi Player Indices when three or more countries compete in 1-day matches and Heads-Up Indices in Test Series when points for the make-up are awarded along the lines of victor gets 25 pts, a tie is 10 pts and the loser scores zero. This market is clearly an in-running market, that is one that can be adjusted continually as the Test Series progresses.
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