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Note: The goal of this article is to give you the basic idea and an overview
of what index betting. It is not meant to be a comprehensive and detailed
explanation of the game.
Index betting, otherwise referred as Spread Betting is a bet type, where
you are rewarded by the degree, in which you are correct in selecting a winner
of a sporting event. The amount you stand to either win or lose is not fixed,
and therefore, with index betting, you never really know just how much money
you will win (or lose), until after the event is over, or until you have
'closed out' your bet.
Now straight up, I must say, that this form of betting appeals only to certain
types of punters, because this can be a volatile type of investment. If the
game or match doesn't go as planned, you can be exposed to fairly hefty losses,
because your downside can be, to an extent, unlimited. Anyone, who has traded
options on the share market, should grasp this concept without too much trouble.
The concept is similar to that of the stock market, where if you like a
team/player you 'buy', but if you think that the team/player will perform
below market (or the bookmaker's) expectations, you would 'sell'.
Spread companies offer a number of different markets on the one game/match.
In some cases, it is staggering as to the number of index markets that they
offer on the one event. The more common of these are the total point markets
(where you bet on the total of the outcome scores), match margin (predicting
the winning margin), and the performance indices (examples would be betting
the finishing position of a player in a golf tournament, or the finishing
position of a driver in a Formula One race).
Best Explained With an Example.
A Rugby Union match between Australia and England. The total points market
is 44 - 47. This means that if you fancy that the game will be a high scoring
game, and that both teams will score more than 47, you buy at 47. If the
end total for the game were 57 points, then you would be correct, and you
win ten times your stake. In this example your stake is $10 per point, and
$10 x 10 equals a profit of $100.
However, if the game total were only 37 points, you would be wrong to the
tune of ten points, thus losing $100 (the difference between the buy price
at 47 and the actual score).
The difference between the buy and sell prices is how the bookmaker makes
Let's look at a cricket game between Australia and England. Australia is
batting first, and the quote reads 220 - 230 for Australian runs. If you
believe that Australia will make more than 230 runs, you buy. If you believe
that Australia will make less than 220 runs, you sell.
Australia goes on to make 290 runs after a brilliant knock by Matthew Hayden.
If you had bought Australian runs, you would be correct by 60 runs (290 -
230). You would collect 60 times your stake.
However, if Australia finds it difficult to score runs, and makes just 170,
you will be wrong by 60 runs (230 - 170), thus losing 60 times your stake
or $600 if you are using $10 as a unit.
Be aware, that the bookmaker naturally biases the spread in favour of the
buy price. That is to say, we have an inherent built-in disadvantage betting
the buy price, because of the way the bookmaker structures his spreads. He
attempts to make the buy price less appealing, because of the disproportional
number of punters who bet on buy prices.
There is much more demand for the buy price than for the sell. After all,
the nature of a punter is to find a team or player who will perform well,
as opposed to seeking teams/players who the punter believes will perform
poorly. So keep this in mind, if you think that index betting is for you.
You will find it much easier targeting the sell prices. Of course, this is
not to say, that you can't find good bets buying, but just, that they are
a little more difficult to find.
You may make a play at how many points a team will score over the regular
season. For example, you believe that NZ Warriors are set for an ordinary
year, so you sell at the spread of 31 - 33. This means, that you are betting,
that the Warriors will score less than 31 points over the course of the season.
Starting off, it can be quite confusing getting your head around the concept.
(I know, because it took me some time to understand fully and to grasp what
was going on, and how I could make money from this type of betting.)
This article has been just a very short overview of spread betting. If you
are interested in the concept, and would like further information, go to
www.puntingace.com and we have links to firms that deal in exactly this.
Spread betting is certainly not for everyone, and if you are not 100% confident
in understanding the spread betting market, then I would seriously suggest
that you stay out of it, until you gain more knowledge. You certainly can
make a lot of money from successful spread betting, but the opposite is also
true, you can lose a lot of money, if it all goes pear shape.
Australians Matt Elliott and Jess Kirley of
, have been investing together professionally on sports for over 3 years
now. They take a very mathematical approach to their betting, and liken it
more trading a commosity like stocks than actual gambling. They continue
to lead the industry with innovative approaches to sports betting and their
reputation among their peers is a testinmony to that. Visit
to discover how you too can turn your hobby of betting into a profitable
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