What Does ‘Half Point’ Mean in Betting?


A half point in betting usually applies to spread markets. The majority of spread markets aren’t presented as “whole points” but instead the bettor usually makes a selection based on a spread total that has a half point – for example if the Chiefs were favored against the Bills, the spread total would usually be something like 2.5 points rather than 2 or 3 points. That half-point is often referred to as a “hook“.

Why are Half Points Used in Sports Betting?

Half points are used for two main reasons:

  • If the sportsbook thinks that adjusting the spread total by a whole point will be too unbalanced, they can adjust the line by half a point to keep both sides of the bet balanced
  • The most common reason for a half point is to avoid the possibility of a tie in the bet which would result in a push. If the line was 3 points and the game was decided by three points then there would be no winners. If the line is set at 2.5 or 3.5 points then there will be a winning and losing selection in the spread market.