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What is Buying Points in Sports Betting?

When you place a bet on a sports team or a horse, you are typically going to be betting around a point spread.  Online betting sites will assign points to teams, horses, and players based on whether they believe they are likely to win or lose.  This practice is known as “shading the lines.”  The lines can move depending on changes in circumstances and expectations of different outcomes, and you will find different point spreads at different online bookmakers.

How points spreads work is quite simple:

Negative points are assigned to favourites.

Positive points are assigned to underdogs.

Say for example that Liverpool is going up against Manchester United, and Manchester United is the favourite.  Liverpool might be assigned 5 points, and Manchester United may be assigned -4 points.  This means that if you bet on Manchester United to win, they would have to not only win, but clear the spread as well.  If you bet on Liverpool, they could actually lose the game, and you might still win your bet, because once the points spread is applied, they might come out on top.

So what is buying points?  Your online betting site may offer you the opportunity to purchase points on points spread wagers like these.  Basically, you pay a little more when you place your bet to give yourself a better chance at winning.  So, for example, you could purchase a point on Manchester United, bringing their spread for you to -3 points.  Or you could buy points on Liverpool, bringing their spread for you to 6 points. 

Sometimes buying points makes the difference between whether you win or lose your bet.  If you feel pretty confident that a given team will win, but the points spread is going to make it hard for you to win your bet, buying points allows you to get around that problem. 

Before you decide to purchase points, though, you should probably shop around to find the best lines and odds.  Different online bookmakers will assign different lines, so it can be helpful to sign up at more than one betting site.  Then you are able to choose the best points spread.  Another betting tactic is to time your bet well.  Since the lines move as a game draws closer, you may find you are able to get a better wager well in advance of a game or closer to the onset.  Over time, you will figure out which tactics are best.


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Bookmaker of the Month

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Gambling on the Internet

A few things to consider when gambling online:

  • Take advantage of first deposit bonuses
  • Have a budget and stick to it
  • Don't lose more than you can afford
  • When drunk, don't bet!
  • Don't chase losses
  • Bet on markets you know well
  • Don't abuse bonuses