A Guide to Point Spread Betting NZ

Steven D. Thompson


Predicting the winner while forecasting the margin of victory sounds like something seasoned Kiwi bettors will go for and is what point spread betting is all about. Point spread betting markets allow you to get better odds when backing favourites and an advantage when siding with the underdog. Place a point spread bet at some of the top NZ bookies we feature and get the best point spread odds!

Table of Contents

    What is Point Spread Bets in Sports Betting

    Point spread bets allow you to predict which of the teams will win when a predetermined advantage or disadvantage is applied to the final score. Online bookmakers add or subtract points from the two players or teams to even the playing field and to make the two teams more evenly matched. Particularly popular for American sports, point spreads are usually applied to basketball, American football, baseball, and hockey games.

    For example, if you are betting on the NBA game between the Minnesota Timberwolves (-12.5) and the Chicago Bulls (+12.5), you have two options. You can back the favourite, the Timberwolves, or go with the underdog, the Chicago Bulls. 

    If you bet on Minnesota, the Timberwolves will need to win but also do that by overcoming the 12.5-point deficit the betting site has disadvantaged them with. In contrast, if you bet on the Chicago Bulls, even if they lose with a margin smaller than 12.5 points, you will have a winning point spread bet. 

    So, if the final score of the game is Minnesota Timberwolves 115 - 105 Chicago Bulls, the Bulls are the winning team in the point spread market despite Minnesota winning the game. That's because for the Timberwolves to win in this market, they would need to score at least three more points.

    Point Spread Betting Point Spread Betting

    Point Spread Betting Examples

    Point spread betting is pretty easy to understand. That said, you can understand the market even better with some examples from a couple of different sports. For instance, if you are betting on American football, on the match between the Kansas City Chiefs (-3.5) and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+3.5), you have the following two options in the run line betting market - you can back the Chiefs and hope they cover the spread by beating the Buccaneers with a winning margin bigger than 3.5 points. Your other option is to bet on the Buccaneers, predicting that they will either win or won't lose with a margin bigger than 3.5 points.

    You can also use point spread bets for ice hockey betting, something that is often referred to as puck line betting. Let's say you are betting on the NHL game between the New York Rangers (-1.5) and the Boston Bruins (+1.5). If you back the Rangers to win in the point spread market, they will need to win the game with at least a two-goal margin. In contrast, if you predict the Boston Bruins will triumph, they will need to win the game outright, draw or lose by one goal at most.

    How to Place Point Spread Bets 

    Placing point spread bets is as easy as you want it to be. You can pick your team, choose your point spread margin and submit your bet in no time and without breaking a sweat. Here's how you can back favourites and underdogs in the point spread market.

    • Estimated Time Needed: 10:00
    • Tools Needed: Account
    • Supplies Needed: Time, Money
    Shortlist Top Online Bookmakers Step 1

    Shortlist Top Online Bookmakers

    Analyse sportsbooks meticulously before joining an online betting site. The more options you can choose from, the better your point spread betting experience will be. A smart move here is to go through our selection of top-rated bookies, read our Betpack reviews and shortlist the best sportsbooks.

    Join a Reliable Betting Site Step 2

    Join a Reliable Betting Site

    Now, consider the point spread betting markets your shortlisted bookmakers offer and pick the one with the most enticing wagering options. Then click on the Sign Up button to create an online betting account. Enter the information required and verify your new account by providing a copy of an identification document if required.

    Fund Your Account and Claim the Welcome Bonus Step 3

    Fund Your Account and Claim the Welcome Bonus

    Next, choose a payment method from the list of banking options the bookie works with. If the betting site has a welcome bonus, pick a deposit option that is eligible for that sign-up offer. By activating the first deposit bonus, you will be able to boost your point spread wagers and bet with more funds than the money you deposit.

    Bet on the Point Spread Market Step 4

    Bet on the Point Spread Market

    With your account all set up and funded, you can navigate to the pre-match or live betting section and choose a sport that allows you to bet on point spreads. Choose the spread betting market that is in line with your predictions and add it to your bet slip. Lastly, enter your bet stake, check again that you have included the correct selections and place your bet.

    Strategies and Tips for Point Spread Betting

    As with many other bet types, using proven wagering systems and betting strategies can improve your chances of winning your point spread bets. In general, even just spending some time to analyze the form of teams and players has a significant impact on your chances of winning. So, you can imagine how much more effective a point spread betting strategy or some well-researched betting tips will be. Here, we list five handy point spread tips.

    Point Spread Betting Strategies and Tips

    NBA Home Teams Cover the Spread More Often, But for How Long?

    Pay Attention to Injuries to Key Players

    Analyse Key Numbers and Stats

    Stay on Top of Line Movement

    Leverage Sports Betting Offers

    Back Favourites on the Money Line and Underdogs on the Run Line

    As with any sports betting market, using several proven strategies and betting tips can significantly improve your chances of winning your point spread wagers. Whether you rely on a betting approach that has worked for other kiwi bettors or go with a wagering system you have created yourself, investing some time and effort in crafting educated point spread bets can go a long way.

    The home-court advantage in the NBA is real, and history has shown that home teams are more likely to win outright, meaning they are also better sports betting options to back in the point spread market. The same seems to be true in other sports such as American football, where home field advantage is a thing and in ice hockey, where the home team is always given a slight edge by both bookmakers and bettors.

    However, those trends might be changing. Recent studies seem to point to a decrease in the advantage of the home team due to better transportation and accommodation of the road team. Tactically astute coaches also affect the decline of the home-court edge. They can offset the negative effects of travel and set up their teams to adequately respond to the demands of playing away games.

    Whether you are betting on NFL games or on college football, you want to back a team whose key players are fit and raring to go. If that's not the case, and the team you are betting on to cover the spread is missing important players, you might end up with a losing bet. 

    To prevent that from happening to you, read the news, team reports and pre-match previews. If you notice that a crucial player is not going to be included in the team due to an injury, you might want to completely change your bet. How? By backing the other team to win in the point spread market. Point spread margins are notoriously tight, and even the smallest of advantages to one or the other team can result in a completely different outcome. 

    Before placing point spreads, go through as many numbers as you can relating to the matches you want to bet on. Check how many points each team has scored in recent games or how often a team wins from a losing position. One of the most important pieces of statistics you need to look into is to see how many times a team has covered the spread and on how many occasions it has failed to do that.

    Using advanced statistics can also help. In other words, it is a good idea to look at efficiency and possession ratings, expected points, dangerous attacks, or player-specific stats and metrics. That is how professional bettors analyse their future betting endeavours and it is definitely an approach that you can copy when betting on the point spread market of a sporting event.

    When point spreads change that is an indicator that the market might know something you don't. Whether it is an injury to an important player or an unannounced omission of a star performer, a point spread change can tell you a lot about the direction in which a point spread bet might go.

    If you notice that change in multiple sportsbooks, then there is definitely something going on that you should be aware of. Even a one-point point spread movement can indicate that the previous market dynamic has changed dramatically, and you will need to recalibrate your wagers and think again about what sports wagering option you will go for.

    You can use bonuses and sports betting offers to your advantage when placing point spread wagers. For instance, you can activate a risk-free bet promo and use it to wager on a 2-way point spread market with even odds.

    The even odds mean that you will get similar payouts regardless of which bet wins. So, by using your own money to bet on one outcome and the risk-free bet promo on the opposite result, you ensure that you won't lose regardless of the final score.

    If your first bet wins, you get to withdraw your winnings. On the other hand, if your first wager loses, the risk-free bet offer will be activated, and you will get free bet credits that you can use to place new point spreads, moneyline bets or any other types of wagers.

    It may sound simplistic, but the reality is that most kiwi bettors back favourites in the moneyline markets but use run and puck lines to bet on underdogs. They feel more comfortable knowing they get a points advantage, which they see as an edge that turns a potentially risky bet into a wager with a decent chance of coming to fruition. 

    In contrast, if you decide to bet on the underdog in the moneyline market, that team will have to win the game outright, which happens from time to time, but is not the likeliest outcome. Therefore, if you feel Team A is a favourite that will brush away Team B, backing Team A with a moneyline bet is a prudent move. On the other hand, if you think Team B has a chance of creating an upset, you can back the underdog to win but also use the safety cushion of a few points in case Team B loses by a small margin.


    Whether you are a seasoned Kiwi punter or a beginner betting enthusiast, chances are you will place a point spread bet at some point. Because point spread bets allow you to predict both the winner and winning margin in a match, they will pose an exciting challenge for most bettors and will often come with competitive odds too. The availability of the market in various sports and at multiple online bookmakers makes it even more enticing. You will be able to place point spread bets on basketball matches, NFL and college football games, ice hockey duels, baseball match-ups, and many other sports and competitions. Most NZ online bookmakers offer point spreads too.

    However, you don't want to bet at any sports betting site. You need to join the best point-spread sportsbooks if you are looking for a wide range of betting lines and bettor-friendly odds. Top online bookmakers also have a myriad of lucrative bonuses, work with convenient payment methods, and provide you with round-the-clock customer support. So, if you want to experience the perks of point spread betting to the fullest, find a reliable online sportsbook that excels at not one but various key factors that determine the quality of your online betting experience.

    At Betpack, we review the best point spread betting sites for New Zealand bettors and help you find trusted bookies that have passed all our tests with flying colours. All you need to do is read our unbiased betting site reviews and sign up with a top-quality bookmaker that has the point spread wagering options you deserve.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How Do Point Spread Bets Work?

    Point spread bets allow you to bet on the winner of the match but only after a predetermined advantage has been applied to the weaker team and a points disadvantage has been assigned to the favourite. For instance, if you see that Team A has a +4.5 points advantage, it means that even if the team loses by four points, it will be the winning bet in the point spread market. 

    What Does a Spread of +7 Points Mean?

    A point spread of +7 is usually applied to one of the teams in NFL and college football matches. It means that the team benefiting from the seven-point advantage will be the winning bet even if it loses by six points. If the team loses by exactly seven points, the bet is a push and your bet stake is returned. 

    What Does +1.5 Point Spread Mean?

    A team benefiting from a +1.5 point spread advantage can lose a match by one point and still be the winning option in the point spread market. The one-and-a-half-point advantage ensures that you are betting on a 2-way market, and there is no Push outcome, a situation in which the bookie returns your bet stake.

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