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Understanding Point Spreads in Sports Betting - What does -18.5 Point Spread mean?

A point spread is a crucial betting line that handicaps a matchup between two teams or competitors. It levels the playing field by assigning a point deficit or surplus to equalize the odds for bettors.

The point spread aims to generate close to 50/50 action on both sides, creating a balanced book for sportsbooks. Bettors wager on whether the favored team will cover the spread (win by more than the assigned points) or if the underdog will cover (lose by fewer than the assigned points or win outright).

-18.5 Point Spread

What Does a Point Spread Look Like?

Point spreads are displayed with a plus (+) or minus (-) value next to each team/competitor. For example:

Boston Celtics -18.5
Milwaukee Bucks +18.5

In this NBA matchup, the Celtics are 18.5-point favorites, displayed as -18.5. The Bucks are 18.5-point underdogs, shown as +18.5.

How to Bet on Point Spreads

If you bet on the Celtics -18.5, they must win by 19 or more points for you to win your bet.

If you bet on the Bucks +18.5, they can lose by up to 18 points and you still win your bet. Or if they win outright.

If the final margin lands directly on the point spread (e.g. Celtics win by exactly 6), it results in a push where all bets are voided and money is returned.

Factors Impacting Point Spreads

Opening point spreads are determined by community members on BettorEdge. It's good to consider team performances, strength, injuries, and home-field advantage on what a point spread should be. Thereafter, the point spread lines can move based on:

Market Action
Heavy public betting action on one side
Injuries or roster changes
Weather conditions
Other factors influencing expected outcome
Bigger point spreads (e.g. -14) indicate a severe mismatch, while tight lines (e.g. -2.5) signal an even matchup.

Betting against the public and taking unpopular underdog points can yield value if the line overcorrects based on lopsided action. Getting the best price is imperative to become a winning sports bettor over the long-run.


Thankfully, BettorEdge is a peer-to-peer platform, or betting exchange that gives you the best priced sports bets in the market as you're matched up against other users in the community.

Covering the spread and capitalizing on the handicapping cushion is the key to consistent profits when betting on point spreads across sports like football, basketball, hockey, baseball and more.

Try out your point-spread betting strategy on BettorEdge! 

Point Spread Betting Strategy

Click the button below for $$$ to start betting against the spread on BettorEdge.

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