Best Sports Spread Betting Sites – Compared to Bookies

There are two types of spread betting, financial and sports spread betting. There are only a handful of sports spread betting bookies in the UK. But there are the major players that are financially secure and properly regulated. When looking for a new sports spread bet account there are a few things to take into account. Below we’ve put together a table of the top spread betting companies to get started and what welcome offers you can expect for opening a new sports spread betting account. Read More

Best Sports Spread Betting Sites



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What Is Spread Betting?

Spread betting is a fairly complex type of betting, one that involves either buying or selling outcomes on certain sporting events. For example, there could be a spread of 8-9 on Total Corners on a football match. If you think there won’t be many corners you would sell at 8 and if you think there will be lots of corners you would buy at 9.
In spread betting, the payout can vary depending on the outcome, however, it is often boiled down to the more right you are, the bigger profit you’ll make, and the more wrong your bet is, the more money you’ll lose.
There are two key types of spread betting — financial spread betting and sports spread betting. In this guide, we’ll focus more on the sports type.

Sports Spread Betting

In sports spread betting, punters bet on whether the outcome will be below (Sell) or above (Buy) the spread. The ‘spread’ is the range within which the betting operator believes the outcome of a certain market will fall.
Let’s take the ‘Match Total Goals’ market in football, for example. The betting company has offered a spread of 2.9-3.1 for this market. This would mean that on average, the betting operator believes that there will be around three goals in the game. So, if you believe that there will be more than three goals scored, you would ‘Buy’. Conversely, if you think that there will be fewer, then you would ‘Sell’. It’s as simple as that.

Financial Spread Betting

This type of spread betting is particularly popular among people who are working in finance and banking departments. This is because they have the knowledge needed to predict the future directions of financial markets.

With financial spread betting, there are a plethora of different variants. The volatility of these markets means that one can lose a small fortune in the blink of an eye. You can quickly make a profit, but there is also a high risk of losing money rapidly due to the fact that you can lose more than your initial stake. For that reason, it’s necessary to understand all the intricacies before involving this type of betting.

Learn to Spread Bet on Sports

A fairly recent and novel way to bet on sports and football and once you get your head around it can be one of the most profitable. It is based on the principle of the stock market where you buy and sell events based on an opening and closing price.

This means that with sports spread betting and financial spread betting brokers you can bet on a team losing and also close bets in play or even before they have started. In sports spread betting the market ranges from 0 to 100 and close at various points in between.

As a customer, you can enter the market by buying or selling at a price set by the bookie. For example, if you wanted to spread bet on the World Cup on Brazil to win Spreadex are quoting a current price of 47.5 – 50.5.

Spreadex world cup odds

The closing levels of the market for specific outcomes are:

  • 100 points for a win
  • 75 points for losing the semis
  • 50 points for losing in the quarter-finals
  • 25 points for losing in the last 16
  • 0 points if they lose sooner than that.

If you think they will win and you want to bet £10 for every point you are right it works like this. You buy at £10 per point with a price of 50.5. If they win, the market closes at 100 so you win 49.5 points (£10 x 49.5 points = £490). If they lose in the semi-finals the market closes at 75 so you win 24.5 points (£10x 24.5 = £245). If they lose in the quarter-finals the market closes at 50 so you lose 0.5 points (£10x 0.5 = £5 loss). If they lose in the bottom 16, the market closes at 25 so you lose 25.5 points or £255.

If they get kicked out before that, the market closes at 0 so you lose £505. You can see it is a good way to hedge bets and not be an outright loser. If Brazil is playing badly early on in the tournament the price will go down. Therefore, if you still think they can win, you can buy more and average down or cut your losses early.

The best thing about sports spread betting is the flexibility of being able to get out early and win big.

The opposite is true in fact, if you think they don’t stand a chance of winning, you can sell them at 47.5. If they play badly to start off with and the price drops to 30 you can buy your bet back at 30 for a profit of 17.5 points (£10x 17.5 = £170) — a nice early profit.

We’ve highlighted the key sports spread betting bookies and some special offers they use to entice new customers. They are all really exciting so they are well worth a look. One thing to bear in mind is that if you call a market wrong you can lose more than your initial bet and end up owing them so be sure to bet with only what you can afford to lose.

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Different Types of Spread Betting Football Markets

As in fixed odds betting, spread sports betting features a variety of markets punters can bet on. Below, we’ve revealed some of the most common types of football spread betting markets, along with a brief recap of how they work.

Types of spread betting Football Markets

Time of First Goal

With this market, the punter must predict the period of the match in which the first goal will be scored. For the above match, the spread was 44-47.
If you’re anticipating that the first goal will be scored after the spread you can buy this for £1 per point, you would sell if you felt like it would be beforehand. In this match, Ireland’s Katie McCabe opened the scoring in the sixth minute so the market settled at six.
If you sold, you were correct by 38 minutes so this would leave sellers with a win of 38x their stake, so in this instance of £1, they would have won £38. Buyers meanwhile would have been left £41 out of pocket.

Supremacy Bets

A supremacy bet is where the betting operator predicts how dominant one team will be over another. The bookies set a spread based on how many goals A team will beat team B. It is effectively a handicap bet.
Let’s take the example of Canada’s 2-1 win over Ireland. Before the match Canada were favoured on the supremacy spread which was 0.65-0.85. Given the Canadians won by one goal, buyers would have won 0.15x their stake and sellers lost 0.35x their stake. This is also an example of a market that can settle at a negative number. If Ireland had been able to cling on to their 1-0 lead this market would have settled at -1 and it would have been the sellers in the money to the tune of a 1.65x win.

Total Corners

Total corners is an interesting betting market because it requires a slightly different approach and knowledge. Here, you’re trying to predict how many corners both teams will take during the course of the match.
In this match the spread was 9.1-9.6 and there were 9 corners exactly resulting in a tiny win of 0.1x the stake for sellers and a loss of 0.5x the stake for sellers.
But as we mentioned before, spread bets come with a high risk of losing big. For example, if the sides had gone corner crazy and there were 21, then buyers would have won 11.4x their stake.

Goal Scorer Shirt Numbers

This is a unique sport spread betting market. It takes a lot of luck and research to have any success with it. At the end of the match, the shirt numbers of all the goal scorers are added together. The match in question saw the Shirt Number spread at 23-26 with the market eventually settling at 36 as buyers won 10x their stake.
With this being an international match the spread was quite low, but in club football where high shirt numbers are commonplace, this spread can be a bit more volatile.

Best Sports Spread Betting Welcome Offers

  • Spreadex – A great all-round bookie with fixed odds as well as sports spread betting — Claim an iPad (you have to put a certain amount of bets through)
  • Sporting Index – Well established and specializing in sports — £100 to get you started (withdrawal) to bet with for seven days, but you are liable for any losses (which can exceed your deposit) over £100.

Find Out More About Spread Betting on Specific Sports

Unlike traditional fixed odds betting, where you bet on an absolute outcome. I.e. something either happens or it doesn’t, with sports spread betting you bet on how much or how little something happens. One good example of this is in cricket betting where you can place spread bets on how many runs a batsman or team will score whilst there are special spreads for bowler performances where they are awarded ten points per wicket taken and an extra boost if they take a five wicket haul.

Spread betting on rugby is popular and spread betting operators will offer a good range of selections whether you prefer the 13-man or 15-man code. Popular spread markets include Total Points, Total Tries and a Supremacy which works in a similar way to the football example above.

There are spread betting markets for all manner of sports and quite a lot of them are novel ways of betting so it is worth exploring the range of markets and sports covered. If you are unsure what the spread entails then there will be a little info button next to the spread. Hover over that and it will tell you exactly what you are betting on .

How Does Sports Spread Betting Work?

Sports spread betting is an exciting and established way of betting on sports. Compared to traditional fixed odds and exchange betting providers it can be fast, more profitable and much more fun. However, it may seem daunting as a new form of betting as it is not as popular as traditional fixed odds bookies.

It works by betting a stake based on points of an outcome. We have a guide to how sports spread betting works, but here is an example of how it works if betting on goals in a Chelsea versus Arsenal football match.

If you think it will be a high scoring match and that more than three goals will be scored and the booking is quoting 1 to 2 (they think that between one and two goals will be scored) you would buy goals at two at a certain amount per point.

If you bet £10 per point the most you can lose is £20 (2X£10), but if five goals are scored you make £30 (5-2 x £10).

The closing levels of the market for specific outcomes are:

  • 100 points for a win
  • 75 points for losing the semis
  • 50 points for losing in the quarter-finals
  • 25 points for losing in the last 16
  • 0 points if they lose sooner than that.

If you think they will win and you want to bet £10 for every point you are right it works like this.  You buy at £10 per point with a price of 50.5.  If they win the market closes at 100 so you win 49.5 points (£10 x 49.5 points = £490).  If they lose in the semi finals the market closes at 75 so you win 24.5 points (£10x 24.5 = £245).  If they lose in the quarter finals the market closes at 50 so you lose 0.5 points (£10x 0.5 = £5 loss).  If they lose in the bottom 16 the market closes at 25 so you lose 25.5 points or £255.  If they get kicked out before that the market closes at 0 so you lose £505.  You can see it is a good way to hedge bets and not be an outright loser.  If Brazil is playing badly early on in the tournament the price will go down so if you still think they can win you can buy more and average down or cut your losses early.

The best thing about sports spread betting is the flexibility of being able to get out early and win big.

Of course, the opposite is true if you think they don’t stand a chance of winning you can sell them at 47.5.  If they play badly to start off with and the price drops to 30 you can buy your bet back at 30 for a profit of 17.5 points (£10x 17.5 = £170) a nice early profit.  We’ve highlighted the key sports spread betting bookies and the special offers they use to entice new customers, well worth a look as they are really exciting. One thing to bear in mind is that if you call a market wrong you can lose more than your initial bet and end up owing them so be sure to bet with only what you can afford to lose.

How Does Horse Racing Spread Betting Work?

So far we have covered football spread betting in some depth, but horse racing spread betting is also incredibly popular and there are a few ways to go about it. The most popular way of doing it is known as the Race Index 50-25-10 spread market.
Here horses are given a spread and then they are awarded 50 points for a first place finish, 25 for coming second and 10 for bagging third spot. So say you fancied a horse that was priced at 22-23.5 on the spread, buyers would need it to come home in the first two places to secure a profit.

The flipside would be true if you didn’t like the look of the horse and you wanted to get against it, this can be an alternative to laying a horse. In the example here, any result other than a top two finish yields profit for sellers with them earning a reward of 22x their stake if the horse finishes outside of the frame altogether.

There are also match bet spreads where one horse will be pitted against the other. Similar to the football supremacy spread we mentioned, instead of goals it is the number of lengths between them that you are betting on and it can provide an interesting angle if you don’t have a major fancy in a race,
Also, you can place spreads which cover every race of the day at a particular meeting with the Total Winning Distances for the day a popular spread market along with number of Winning Favourites and the performance of individual jockeys.

Difference Between Sports Spread Betting and Traditional Betting

The most notable differences between sports spread betting and traditional betting are as follows:

  • In spread betting, you’re betting against the spread either by selling at a lower price or buying at a higher price.
  • With spread betting, you can close out for a profit early, if the market is going in your favour.
  • In spread betting, the more you beat the spread, and the more accurate your predictions are, the more money you win. With traditional, or fixed odds betting, the potential winnings are fixed, and you always win the predetermined amount of cash, regardless of other factors.
  • Traditional betting markets are expressed in odds; you multiply the odds with your stake, and that’s how your potential winner will be. With spread betting, the pay off depends on how close your predictions have been to the ‘spread’.

Where to Find Best Sports Spread Betting Tips

Sports spread betting tips are no different than any other tips, but there are some specialist services that can provide statistical analysis that is worth a look at. Spreadex and Sporting Index (as well as most other bookies) will provide sports spread betting tips but there is always a conflict of interest. Because bookies (except for betting exchanges) make money when you lose. So if their tips were any good they would put themselves out of business.

However, if you are looking for sports spread betting tips give Stratabet a try. They provide statistical analysis on all football which is a great market for sports spread betting.

Sports Spread Betting Strategies

A good sports spread betting strategy should revolve around understanding the market, reducing your exposure, and increasing profits when you are right.

Here are a few spread betting tips that could help you maximize your chances of winning money in the long run.

  • Bankroll management — this plays a vital role in sports spread betting because you can lose massive amounts of money if you’re being careless with your budget. On that note, you should always choose an even stake, one that suits your betting budget.  Keep in mind that this isn’t like fixed odds betting where your stake is all you can lose.
  • Make sure that you’re comfortable with the worst-case scenario — Sports spread betting can produce some big surprises, and if you didn’t think things through, you could lose big time. Always try to envision the worst-case scenario, and if your budget can’t handle it, then you should reduce the stakes or wait for another opportunity.
  • Keep it simple, keep it safe — If you’re indecisive about the outcome, you should always stay on the safe side of things. It’s always better to land a smaller profit than risk losing everything.
  • Never chase loses — The hardest thing to do for a punter is do walk away from a losing bet and do nothing. But if you’re constantly trying to chase losses, things could get out of control real fast.
  • Get a proper understanding of spread betting — If you’re not familiar with how things work with spread betting, then you shouldn’t get involved in it. You cannot rely on luck, only your reasoning and predicting skills.
  • Do your homework — It’s essential that you do a thorough research of the match you plan to place spread bets on. There are dozens of sports sites that publish all kinds of statistics. This intel is extremely valuable to your predictions.

Sports Spread Betting Reviews — Two Major Players

If you are looking for sports spread betting reviews, we’ve put together some information about the two sports spread betting bookies. We’ve done a Spreadex sports review and a Sporting Index Review and also a Sporting Index versus Spreadex sports review.

Looking for Sports Spread Betting Free Bets?

You’re in luck here. As sports spread betting is fairly small in the global scheme of betting. Sports spread betting bookies are keen to offer free welcome bets for new customers to try out the type of gambling.

Spreadex tends to offer things like iPads, where are Sporting Index will offer some no deposit funds to risk on bets. Keep an eye on our comparison tables for the most up to date sports spread betting free bets.

What is Sports Spread Betting Maximum Return?

The max return you can make sports spread betting is in theory unlimited. It’s one of the great things about it. In practice, however, profits are limited by the event taking place. But the key is that the more right you are the more you make. If you buy total goals at 2 for £50 per point. Your max loss is £200, but you will make an additional £50 for every goal scored over two. Plus, if you’re only a little bit wrong and only 1 goal is scored you only lose £50 or end up flat if 2 goals are scored.

Best Sports Spread Betting Companies in the UK?

There are only two and both are brilliant. Both sports spread betting companies, Spreadex and Sporting Index deal with sophisticated and experienced gamblers that trade in large amounts. As such they are used to providing a high level of customer service and are constantly innovating their offers.

You Can Bet on Credit with Sports Spread Betting

Unlike traditional sports betting spread betting bookies are prepared to offer their customers credit. This is in part due to the fact that most spread betting bookies have a good and personal relationship with their customers but also because the outcomes are so variable. In many ways, it is like trading the financial markets and it is possible to use it to hedge against fixed odds betting.

What Can You Bet on?

You can sport spread bet on pretty much anything nowadays. Horse racing and football remain the major markets and offer some really great odds and bets that are not possible with traditional fixed odds betting. For example, you can bet on the minute of the first corner in a football.

Cricket spread betting is also quite popular among UK punters, as well as golf spread betting, and basketball spread betting.

Lay Sports Spread Bets and Winning When You Lose

As with betting exchanges, it is possible to make money when teams or horses lose. Instead of buying something like a horse to win or a team to score goals, you can sell it. This is one of the most popular forms of spread betting as punters can use it to hedge bets, but also to act as though they are a bookie themselves. An example of this would be if you think a horse who is the bookie’s favorites will not win a race. You could either lay a bet on an exchange or sell it as sports spread bet.

In-Play Sports Spread Betting

Sports spread betting is a fast-moving market with live odds throughout races and matches. You can enter and exit bets in play if you have a nice profit. Alternatively, you can protect yourself by closing out early if it looks like your bet is going to be a loser. This service is generally offered online and over the phone.

Who Regulates Sports Spread Betting?

As sports spread betting is more like financial trading it is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This is because you can lose more than your initial deposits and in some cases can bet on credit. It is important to only bet with regulated bookies and the main players like Spreadex and Sporting Index are currently the main players.

Welcome Offers and Free Bets

When you open a new sports spread betting account, there are a few good offers available. Always make sure you check the criteria because bookies will require you to place a certain amount of bets before you can claim bonuses. Getting a free bet or welcome offer is pretty easy in sports spread betting and some bookies will even give you a laptop, iPad or XBOX once you have qualified.

Risks and rewards of sports spread betting

There is no doubt that there are high risks with sports spread betting. Equally the rewards are just as high. If you call a bet correctly, you can win big time. But the same works with losses. It is entirely possible to lose much more than the balance of your account if a bet goes wrong. SO if you are new to sports spread betting make sure you start small and fully understand the implications and exposure that any bet you place.

Let’s go over the pros and cons of spread betting.


With fixed odds betting, you’re either right or wrong. If you’re right, you win the fixed amount of money, regardless of other factors. But with spread betting, the more ‘correct’ you are, the more money you’ll win.

Another perk of spread betting is variety. What we mean by that is that you can literally place spread bets on anything. And the more options you have at your disposal, the higher the chance you’ll have of recognizing a potentially lucrative opportunity.

Spread betting allows you to take a long-term view over a sports meeting, event, or even tournament for that matter. In cricket spread betting, for example, you can bet on a player’s predicted runs over a whole competition, such as the test series, or the World Cup.


Spread betting is more volatile than fixed betting. This means that the potential range of outcomes can be vast in some markets, and much smaller in others. For instance, total goal minutes in spread betting is far more volatile than the Total Goals market of fixed-odds betting.

The main downside of spread betting is that it comes with a high risk of losing money rapidly. Going back to the total goal minutes market, let’s say the operator has set a spread at around 140-150. If you bought at 150, you could lose 150 times your stake in case of a scoreless draw.

Spread Betting on Financial Markets

This is the financial version of sports spread betting. Some bookies offer both sports and financial spread betting and if you’ve started off betting on the financial markets you may find sports spread betting slightly easier.

Difference Between Spread Bets and CFDs

Both spread bets and CFDs can provide similar economic benefits to investments in indices, shares, currencies, commodities. Both types of bets are equally popular among traders who work from home and financial experts.

The main difference between spread bets and CFDs is seen in how these products are taxed. Spread betting is free from CGT (Capital Gains Tax), whereas CFD requires traders to pay CGT. Also, CFD is available globally, while spread betting is only available in the UK or Ireland.

Free Sports Spread Betting Bets

Sports spread betting is one of the most exciting ways to bet in-play online and over the phone. Once you’ve figured out how sports spread betting works, it’s more like trading the markets than taking a punt. The amounts bet are usually larger because you can close out early and winnings are scaled based on the final outcome. Once you have found the best sports spread betting sites, which shouldn’t be too hard because there are not that many providers you need to find the best sports spread betting welcome offers. It also pays to have more than one account as like any relationship diversification is the key. Open accounts with the below bookies to get their welcome offers.

Spreadex – iPad

Spreadex is one of the original spread betting firms and the spreadex welcome offers are always great.  You can get anything from cash to electronics to iPads. They allow you to bet on credit and really look after their customers. You’ll need to open an account and place a few bets to get what you want. But think of it as earning something awesome for having fun betting and you’ll soon have a shiny new toy.

Get started with Spreadex here

Sporting Index – £100 to get you started

To take advantage of this Sporting Index welcome offer you just need to open an account, (no need to deposit funds) and you will be credited with £50 in your account to get started. Once done, you are eligible for £100 in your account to get started.

Because of the nature of sports spread betting the winning potential here is pretty good and well worth opening a new account. Clearly you can’t withdraw the £100, you only have 7 days to make use of it and any losses over £100 are yours to cover. But after 7 days any profits you have from the £100 are yours to keep.