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How to Bet on an Alternate Spread at a Sportsbook

by April 20, 2020

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No matter if you are a new or experienced sports bettor, you have likely experienced the following scenarios when betting against the spread.

Imagine you see a spread on a game that has you really debating what the right side is. Perhaps if the spread was just one or two points higher or lower in either direction, you would then have the confidence to bet it.

Or, what if you saw a spread that looked like a no-brainer. Even if the spread was vastly different, you would still feel comfortable betting the same side. In both of these scenarios, sports bettors would be wise to take advantage of “alternate spreads” offered by most sportsbooks.

In this article, we explain what an alternate spread is and how to make such a bet at a sportsbook.

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What is an Alternate Spread?

Alternate spreads are lines that oddsmakers offer that differ from the original spread for a game. Some alternate spreads may be adjusted by more than 10 points.

Alternate spreads have the potential for payouts that are much better — or much worse — than the original spread. The more points that one chooses to lay on the favorite with an alternate spread, the more their payout would be. Conversely, if one chooses an alternate spread where the favorite is laying fewer points than the original spread, the payout would also be less since there is less risk involved.

What is an Example of an Alternate Spread?

The following is an example of alternate spread options that SugarHouse Sportsbook offered on a game between the Eagles and Cowboys.

sugarhouse alternative point spreads eagles cowboys

The original spread on the game was Dallas -3. The -104 you see is the vig on the bet, which means a bettor would have to wager $104 to win $100. However, if a bettor thought the Cowboys could also cover a spread of -11.5, a $100 bet would win them $300. Conversely, if a bettor wanted to take the underdog Eagles +16 (13 more points than the original spread), they would need to wager $1000 to win $100.

For What Sports are Alternate Spreads Available?

Depending on the sportsbook, most sporting events that have a spread would also have alternate spreads available to wager on. A basketball game’s alternate spreads work mostly the same as it does in football.

In baseball and hockey, the spread is more commonly referred to as the “run line” or “puck line,” respectively. No matter the teams playing, the favorite’s run line or puck line is usually -1.5. However, most sportsbooks will offer other variations of these lines as alternate spreads. For example, one would be able to bet the favorite in baseball laying 4.5 runs.

Since the scoring in baseball and hockey differs drastically from the other sports, the odds for their alternate spreads would adjust accordingly.

How Do I Make an Alternate Spread Wager?

Placing an Alternate Spread Bet Online (or a mobile device)

  1. Log into your sportsbook account.
  2. Find the game(s) you which to wager on.
  3. Click on the subheading that says “More Wagers” or “Game Props.”
  4. Find where it says “Alternate Spreads” or “Alternate Lines.”
  5. Look over all the alternate spreads and find one that is most agreeable.
  6. Review the odds/potential payout.
  7. If you are satisfied, enter your wager amount and click “confirm bet.”

Placing an Alternate Spread Bet at a Sportsbook (In-Person)

  1. Approach the cashier window and tell them which game you want to wager on.
  2. Tell the cashier you want to make an “alternate spread” wager.
  3. If you are already familiar with the alternate spreads offered, tell the cashier which you want to wager on. Otherwise, the cashier will display all the available alternate spreads on the screen in front of you.
  4. Tell the cashier your wager amount.
  5. Review the odds/potential payout.
  6. If agreeable, hand the cashier your money. Take your betting slip and keep it in a secure place.

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Mike Spector is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @MikeSpector01.

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