Sports Spread Betting UK 2021 – Top Spread Betting Markets

If you’re looking for the best sports spread betting sites in the UK, then you can find out all about them here. You can get spread betting sports explained to you from every angle in this detailed guide that helps beginners understand how it differs from regular fixed odds betting.

Top Sports Spread Betting Companies UK 2021

The top two sports spread betting companies in the UK right now are:

  1. Spreadex – King of spread betting on sports
  2. Sporting Index – Pioneers of sports spread betting sites 

The Top Sports Spread Betting Companies in More Detail

There aren’t many sports spread betting firms in the UK as the above table shows. Just two in fact. That means you don’t have a lot of choice if you want to place a spread bet somewhere in Britain. It’s a matter of quality over quantity, though. Here, you can take a look at the best sport spread betting sites that comprise the UK’s duopoly:

1. Spreadex – Best for Sports Spread Betting (Bet £10 to Get £30 in Free Bets)

Founded back in 1999, Spreadex soon became the leading spread betting sports platform in the UK. This has always been their niche, but in more recent times they have branched out and provide a fixed odds betting service on the side too. This allows you as a punter to have the best of both worlds with both types of gambling sitting side by side.

Spreadex sports spread betting

If you are a sports spread betting newcomer, then you should take a look at the Get Started section of Spreadex, complete with handy video tutorials. This explains all about the service they provide and clues you up on the many spread betting markets you can wager on. There is even a choice of welcome bonuses between a bet and get free bets offer, cashback deal, or receive an iPad after placing so many wagers. With Spreadex, there is so much choice.

What we like:

  • Huge options for spread betting on sports
  • Fixed odds betting service also available
  • Pick from choice of new customer offers
  • Create your own wagers with Bet Builder

What we don’t:

  • Some pages on site feel a bit cluttered
  • Fixed odds could be more competitive

2. Sporting Index – Great for Spread Betting Newbies (£25 Free Spread Bet)

Some seven years before Spreadex launched, Sporting Index was already pioneering spread betting in the UK. That reputation remains intact to this day. Like their competitors, they also now offer both spread betting on sports and a fixed odds service. What sets Sporting Index apart is their Training Centre that takes you through how sports spread bet trades work, so you understand what you’re getting into.

Sporting Index sports spread betting

If you really want to get to grips with sports betting spread markets, then the Demo Account lets you trade risk-free. Sporting Index like nothing better than going head to head with their rivals Spreadex in terms of pricing. All betting odds and trades are subject to market interest of course. With in-play and pre-match options, and a good new customer offer, Sporting Index still has plenty to recommend it.

What we like:

  • Open a Demo Account without risk
  • Pioneers of sports spread betting sites 
  • Competitively priced against rivals
  • Regular deals open to all customers

What we don’t:

  • Access to fixed odds could be better
  • Site navigation could be made easier

Comparing Sports Spread Betting Firms in the UK

As there are just the two Sports spread betting companies UK punters can use, it is much easier comparing them than it would be with regular fixed odds bookmakers. The table below looks at both the Spreadex and Sporting Index sports spread betting sites and what features they offer. If a spread betting platform has a certain element to it, then there’s a tick in the box. If not, then there is a cross:

Site Feature Spreadex Sporting Index
Spread Sports Betting tick check shield tick check shield
Fixed Odds Betting tick check shield tick check shield
In-Play Betting tick check shield tick check shield
Financial Trading tick check shield tick check shield
Betting App tick check shield tick check shield
Live Streams tick check shield tick check shield
Bet Builder tick check shield cross shield
New Customer Offers tick check shield tick check shield
Casino Platforms tick check shield tick check shield
Results Services tick check shield tick check shield

As you can see, both sports spread betting firms provide quite a lot. Both can be used by punters for financial trading, placing a spread bet or regular fixed odds wagers. There are mobile betting apps you can download for your smartphone or other digital devices using Android and iOS operating systems for both Spreadex and Sporting Index.

Each offers a results service, live streams, in-play betting and a casino platform. The only notable difference between either is the Bet Builder function present on Spreadex but absent from Sporting Index.

Sports Spread Betting Explained

Having sports spread betting explained to you before trying it for yourself is essential. We are not dealing with a standard fixed odds bet that you would place with an ordinary bookie here. Rather than offering prices for an outright result, spread betting markets consider ranges within which a key statistic such as goals in a game should fall.

Say, for example, that there is a big football match in the English Premier League between local rivals Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur. As a derby game with a history of goals, the range for total number of goals in the match is set within the bracket of between 2.45 and 2.65. 

If you think there will be fewer than average goals scored between the Gunners and Spurs, perhaps because both teams boast strong recent defensive records going into the game, then you would look to Sell a spread bet here.

Alternatively, if you fancy there to be more than the average number of goals in the North London Derby, then you should Buy into the sports betting spread offered. Now, let’s look at how these scenarios can play out in practice.

Selling a Sports Betting Spread

When you go with the Sell price for a spread bet on one of the betting sites, your wager says it will be under the bracket or threshold specified. If the Arsenal and Tottenham game ends up as a boring draw with a 0-0 final score, then this is how you would calculate your winnings.

The price you sold at was the bottom end of the bracket, 2.45. That has the total number of goals subtracted from it. In this scenario, there weren’t any so there is nothing to take away. This figure is then multiplied by the amount you stake. If you bet £20, then you have won £49.

However, should the Gunners and Spurs end up a thrilling 3-3 draw with six goals in total, you lose money. In this situation, you subtract 6 from 2.45 giving you -4.45 multiplied by the £20 stake. You incur hefty losses of £98 from your spread betting account here.

Buying into Spread Sports Betting

When you take the Buy price on a spread bet, then you need the outcome to be above the upper end of the bracket or threshold specified. A 0-0 draw between Arsenal and Tottenham when you had bought into there being over 2.65 goals with a £10 stake would be -2.65 and the number of goals added. 

There’s nothing to add this time, so that is then multiplied by your stake giving -£26.50. Your loss on buying into there being over 2.65 goals in total again comes out of your account on one of the spread betting sites in the UK.

A successful buy would be if the North London Derby ended 3-3 with six goals scored. The calculation is -2.65 + 6, which is 3.35 multiplied by your £10 stake. That gives you £33.50 in winnings. As you may have realised now, it matters quite a lot with spread betting markets how right or wrong you are in your decision whether to Buy or Sell.

How to Place a Spread Bet – Our Step by Step Guide

We also thought it would be useful for you to know the exact process of placing spread bets on sports. If you follow this step by step guide put together by SportsLens experts, then you will know exactly what to do:

Step 1: Sign Up for Your Account

First of all, and this may be stating the obvious but, you need to join one of the best sports spread betting companies in Britain. They will have to approve your application after doing some checks, and these may be more rigorous than ones you may encounter when signing up to a fixed odds bookmaker. Spreadex or Sporting Index will look at your credit record and decide whether or not to impose limits on the account you want to open.

Step 2: Make a Deposit and Find Bets

Next, you need to fund your gambling by making a deposit via one of the accepted payment methods. After that, it is time to find something to bet on. There are so many spread betting markets on sport available now that you will find plenty to choose from.

Step 3: Add Fancied Wagers to Betslip

Just as you would with a regular fixed odds online bookmaker, you track down the bets you want and hit those odds and this adds to the betslip right away. Remember, with spread betting, you want the Sell price if you fancy something to be below the set bracket. Alternatively, if you’re betting above that, the Buy price is the one you want.

Step 4: Select Your Stakes

Once your desired wagers are on the betslip, you need to decide how much you fancy something. With spread bets, it is vital that you remember you could win or lose a whole lot more than you stake, so think very carefully about how much you want to gamble. Sometimes, there is what they call a Stop Loss or Stop Win option available which limits both profits and losses, but this isn’t there for every market.

Step 5: Check for Winnings

With a bit of luck and research beforehand, you have bought or sold a winner through spread betting. You should see all settled wagers in your account, indicating both profit and loss. If your balance is bigger than it was before, then you definitely backed a winner. Should it be smaller, then sadly you were wrong with your wage and have incurred losses. 

Best Sports for Spread Betting

It’s time to get popular spread betting sports explained to you in more detail. Some sporting events lend themselves more easily to this type of gambling than others. The spread bet is not limited just to team sports either, yet they remain ones that punters go in for quite a lot. You will find a list below that are the most popular for spread betting on sports today. There is also more detail on each sport afterwards:

  • Football
  • Horse Racing
  • Cricket
  • Rugby

Football

footballAs spread betting sports in the UK go, football is the most popular. The reason for that is very simple. Football in general is the most popular sport that people bet on in Britain. Every gambling website offering odds are football betting sites first and foremost in the region. Many of the spread betting markets developed have been tailored specifically to this. We have more on this below but, for example, Shirt Numbers and Total Corners have a clear link to football.

Horse Racing

horse racingClose behind football in the hearts of the British nation in betting terms is horse racing. It follows, then, that the sports spread betting UK punters do includes the horses too. What the best sports spread betting sites have done here is transformed the regular fixed odds distance markets and adapted it to their purposes.

Now you can buy and sell wagers on the winning margin, measured in so many lengths. Match bets between two horses too have had the same treatment, combined with the distance market. This is somewhat different to regular horse racing betting sites offering traditional fixed odds wagers. Selling a horse racing bet is much like laying horses on a betting exchange.

Cricket

cricketbatWith cricket, another popular sport played in the UK and English-speaking countries around the world, spread betting looks at the margin of victory in runs or wickets between two teams. You can also wager on players making above or below a certain number of runs. The markets here focus on both the individuals and the overall team performance side by side.

Rugby

rugbyWhether it is league or union, both codes of rugby are popular in different areas of Britain. There has traditionally been a north-south divide between rugby league and rugby union, so sports spread betting companies UK customers use have opportunities to target different local markets. Many of the spread bets on offer for either code of rugby mirror football, but with total points or tries instead of goals.

Most Popular Spread Betting Markets

Spread sports betting thrives on its unique markets. You need to know what the most popular of these are before you start buying and selling them. We have already touched on the prominent position that football betting in general has in the UK, so it may not be a surprise for you to learn that the most popular spread betting markets here are all on that sport. The list below has more:

  • Supremacy – The difference in goals between the team that wins and the losers.
  • Shirt Numbers – The sum total of the shirt numbers belonging to every goalscorer in a game.
  • Total Corners – The sum total of corners in a game.
  • Total Goals – The sum total of goals scored in a game.
  • Bookings – Points are awarded based on disciplinary action taken by the referee. A yellow card equals 10 points and a red 25. You can bet on the total points in a game.
  • First Match Goal – Is the opening goal scored before or after a certain time? If this isn’t until stoppage time at the end of the game, it is classed as 90 minutes.
  • Win Index – Using the points system of 25 for a win, 10 for the draw and 0 for a loss, this is like betting on a team to win a game.

Understanding Spread Betting Prices

Now that you have some idea of the markets people bet on, it would be useful to firm up on spread betting odds. As we have seen with Buying and Selling, there are some key differences between this and regular fixed odds wagers. Your stake isn’t all that you could end up losing if you make the wrong trade. 

If you Sell on the Total Goals market, and it turns out to be a game where many are scored, the more goals that go in, then the more you stand to lose. Likewise if you Buy into a spread bet on a game, and then it ends up being a goalless draw, then you end up paying out more than your stake.

Sports spread betting may reward you when you get something right with bigger winnings, but it also punishes you more severely when you make the wrong call. It is potentially harsher than the peer to peer wagering you can do on sports betting exchanges, so you must comprehend the risks. As with any form of gambling, there are upsides and drawbacks. We will review those in full below.

Difference Between Sports Spread Betting UK and The Point Spread

In the USA, the point spread is a popular bet that punters make on the major sports across the Atlantic including NFL and college American football, NBA and other basketball leagues, and even baseball competitions like MLB. You may have heard the saying covered the spread, which comes from this market.

There is a difference between the point spread done by bettors in America and spread betting sports markets in the UK. This US version is the equivalent of British handicap betting. If the Tampa Bay Buccaneers win an NFL game by seven points and the point spread was set at five, then they are said to have covered the spread. 

This is a winning wager, but doesn’t payout any additional money for being two points greater than the bracket. In fact, a spread bet in the UK where you bought into the Bucs at 4.75 would be more profitable than for American bettors placing the point spread wager stateside. It is easy to confuse the two types of betting, though, so that should have cleared things up for you.

Pros and Cons of Sports Spread Betting

As with any type of wagering you can do online, part of having sports spread betting explained to you is understanding there are advantages and disadvantages. Here at Sportslens, we feel honesty is the best policy when it comes to gambling so that you can choose the right kind of bets for you. Here are the pros and cons with spread betting on sports today:

Pros:

  • The more you are right, then the more you win
  • Cashout options let you quit while you’re ahead
  • In-play betting could cover potential losses
  • Less need for accuracy in finding winners

Cons:

  • The more you’re wrong, then the more you lose
  • Easily confused with point spread betting in US
  • Few sports spread betting firms to choose from

Sports Spread Betting Tips

With all of the basics covered, it is now time to think about smart strategy. That is where Sportslens experts come in with their sports spread betting tips that we asked them for. These come from industry experts who have made plenty of moving through spread betting over the years. They know a thing or two about how to approach it successfully. Pay attention to these sports spread betting tips before you take a punt:

Test Things out with a Demo Account

It makes for a sound strategy to proceed slowly with spread betting at first and really get to grips with it before you start staking money on the markets. One of the great things about Sporting Index is that you can play risk free with a Demo Account. This gives you a superb opportunity to see how sports spread betting works in practice.

While you can’t win anything through a Demo Account, you can’t lose money either. Taking your time to fully get your head around what this form of gambling involves could be the wisest decision you ever make when betting.

Keep What You Bet on Simple at First

There is no sense in wagering on complicated markets that you don’t fully understand right away without developing a proper appreciation of them. Instead, one of the key sports spread betting tips we have for you is to keep things simple. The Win Index market available is the fixed odds equivalent of wagering on the result of a match.

This will help you in comprehending the basics of spread betting. Once you have built up some experience, and hopefully the account balance through successful punts, then it is time to experiment with other wagers as you have room to do so.

Find Yourself a Niche to Bet in

There are certain specific areas of a sport that we all enjoy more than others. Betting on them is no different. Maybe you are really good at spotting teams who score more goals in the second-half than their rivals because of the way a coach approaches games tactically. You would then want to use this niche knowledge to your advantage.

Even with spread betting on sports, there are so many different markets for you to wager on that you can easily specialise in Total Goals or another area. Carving out a successful niche requires research, though, so be prepared for that.

Always Consider Cashing Out

There is an old saying that applies to betting, and that’s quit while you’re ahead. Now that both fixed odds and spread betting options come with cashout functions, this option is available to you while sporting events are still in-play. You must always consider the possibility that just because a bet you have placed is winning at this precise moment that the end result may be different.

This can be a judgment call because you may be compromising on some of your winnings if the result ends up in your favour, but you must take what is offered in terms of cashing out spread bets early seriously.

Stick to a Strict Staking Plan

It almost goes without saying that you should never bet too much, but there is a particular reason why not with spread betting. If you are way out in your Buy or Sell, then this could end up costing you a fortune. Remember, you can lose much more than you stake if you make the wrong call.

The solution here is to wager sensibly and within your means relative to your account balance. Picking a staking plan and sticking to it is really important, so that you don’t incur massive losses and can afford to payout on wagers that don’t win.

Conclusion

That’s all folks when it comes to spread sports betting in the UK. You’ve had spread betting sports explained to you. There isn’t a whole lot of choice in Britain with just Spreadex and Sporting Index competing for your business, but the presence of both in the region ensures neither enjoys a complete monopoly on it.

The sports spread betting UK customers have access to is thriving and long may that continue. We have explained the difficulties, risks and rewards, so you should have as much information as you need to decide if spread betting is for you.

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