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What Does It Mean to Lay the Points?

by January 19, 2022
Patrick Mahomes

In sports betting, “laying the points” is a phrase used to describe the spread you took for a favored team. I will walk you through an example below:

Say the Bengals go on the road to face the Chiefs. The Bengals are +3.5 while the Chiefs are -3.5. If you want to bet on the Chiefs, you would have to lay 3.5 points. Laying these points means that the Chiefs would have to win by four points or more for the wager to hit, as you are essentially taking off 3.5 points from the Chiefs’ final score.

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Laying the points is necessary if you want to bet on a favorite without paying a large amount of juice. If the Chiefs are -3.5, the juice to play the spread is (-110). If you do not want to lay the points, you would have to pay the juice of (-185) on the Chiefs moneyline.

The opposite of laying the points is “taking the points”. Going back to the example above, if you bet on the underdog Bengals at +3.5, you are taking 3.5 points as the sportsbook is essentially giving you those points on top of the Bengals’ final score.

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Whether you’re new to sports betting or a betting pro, our Sports Betting Strategy and Advice page is for you. You can get started with our 101 section — including 10 Sports Betting Tips for Beginners — or head to more advanced strategy — like Key Numbers When Betting Against the Spread — to learn more.

Tony Sartori is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Tony, check out his archive and follow him@tony_sartori.

Bet Types, Betting 101, Betting Tips