There are several very important terms and phrases you need to know if you have your sights set on becoming a sports bettor who has even the slightest idea of what you are about to bet on. Doc’s Sports “How To” section has you covered for everything you need to know, but this may be one of the most important phrases to know when betting on sports that use a point-spread. Sure, money line, juice, totals, covering the spread and bad beat are all important words and phrase to know, but “laying the points” is something the general public loves to do.
What Does Laying the Points Mean?
If you walk up to any professional better and ask them who they are thinking about betting in the Monday night football game, you will likely get one of two phrases. They will likely either say they are laying the points with the favorite or taking the points with the underdog. “Laying the points” as a phrase simply means to bet on the favorite team to win by the already set point spread line. For example, if you like the Dallas Cowboys to dismantle the lowly Detroit Lions and the line is set at Dallas (-6.5), this means the Lions will hypothetically start the game up 6-0, which means the Cowboys have to win by seven in order to cover the spread and turn your bet into a winner. The opposite of this would be “taking the points” which I will touch base on more thoroughly down the road. To sum it up, taking the points is a betting on the underdog, which in this case would be Detroit (+6.5). Anything other than a Dallas win by seven points or more, would make your ticket a winner.
Is Laying the Points a Good Idea?
The answer to this question really depends on who you are betting and what the point spread is. There is a saying amongst bettors which states: good teams win, but great teams cover. The general public is prone to making the same mistake time and time again. They will be betting on a favorite to win the game, despite not understanding how many points they have to lay in order to actually win their bet. If you want to bet on the great teams of the NBA and NFL – think Golden State and New England – the money line will usually be set at a price that can’t be played, thus forcing you to lay the points with either team. Remember, good teams win, great teams cover. While New England and Golden State may win the game outright- with ease, the likelihood of them covering the high, inflated point spread won’t be very high, thus making them bad options to lay the points with.
If you are a fan of the team you are going to lay the points with, I would advise you to look elsewhere first. There is nothing worse than watching your favorite team win, but costing you money because they couldn’t cover the point spread.
How to Understand Which Team is Laying Points
If you are new to betting and happen to find yourself completely confused while staring at an NFL or College Football game list for any given weekend, don’t worry you’re not alone. Reading the point spread can be tricky for starters which is why I am going to explain it as simply as I can.
When you look at the list, you will see two teams. Most times, the home team will have a spread beside their name like (-3) or (+6). Any time you see a minus sign (-3) beside their name, that home team is the favorite, which means they are laying points against their opponent. If the home team has a plus sign (+6) beside their name, they are the underdog, which means the away team is laying points and is tasked with covering the pointspread.
Just as a point of reference, typically spreads have half-points associated with them, meaning lines will be -3.5 or +6.5. This is to ensure their will be a for-sure winner against the spread. If the number is whole, like -3 or -6 and the score ends with a differential of that number, it is deemed a push. In this case, the winner did not lay the points or take the points and your money is returned in full.
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