What Does ‘Giving Points’ Mean in Betting?


Giving points is a way of sportsbooks assigning a handicap to a team in order to even the playing field. This is done to balance the perceived difference in ability between two teams. The team that is given the points is the underdog, and the other team is the favorite. The idea is that if the underdog is given enough points, then they have a chance of winning the bet if they perform better than expected. This concept is also known as ‘covering the spread‘.

What Does Giving Points Look Like in Betting?

If we take an NFL game as an example, let’s say that the Patriots were listed as 3.5-point favorites against the Jets. If you were to place a wager on the Patriots in a spread bet, then you would be “giving” 3.5 points to the Jets to start the game. This means that you would need the Pats to win by four points or more to win the bet.

Whole points can be given, but you’ll usually see points given as .5 in order to create a win and loss rather than a ‘push” on the bet as it’s impossible to score half points.

Best Online Sportsbooks for Spread Betting

First Wager Bonus 100% up to $1250
Promotions See Website
Multiple Promotions: See Website