Point Spread Betting in Louisiana: A Guide to Betting the Spread in LA

Fact Checked by Blake Weishaar

Point spread betting adds yet another way to bet while you're using Louisiana sportsbooks

In this guide, we discuss what betting the spread means, learn how to read spreads, understand payouts and more.  

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What is a Point Spread in Louisiana?

A point spread refers to a popular method used with Louisiana sports betting apps to even out the odds between two teams. It's essentially a predicted margin of victory or defeat set by oddsmakers. 

For example, if a football team is favored to win by 7 points, they would need to win by more than 7 points for bettors who picked them to win to collect their winnings. Conversely, if a team is the underdog by 3 points, they would need to either win outright or lose by less than 3 points for bettors who chose them to win. This system aims to make betting more balanced and competitive.

Remember that you can potentially improve the odds on a point spread through the use of Louisiana sportsbook promos

How Does Point Spread Betting Work?

Point spread betting works by giving each team a handicap or advantage to make the bet more even. Let's say the New Orleans Saints are playing the Atlanta Falcons. Oddsmakers like BetMGM Louisiana might predict the Saints to win by 7 points. 

So, if you bet on the Saints, they'd need to win by more than 7 points for you to win your bet. But if you bet on the Falcons, they could lose by fewer than 7 points, or even win the game outright, for you to win your bet. This system makes betting more exciting because it's not just about who wins or loses, but by how much. It's like leveling the playing field to make both sides equally appealing to bet on. 

So, even if you're not a die-hard fan of either team, you can still enjoy the game with a little extra excitement from point spread betting.

How to Read Point Spreads in Louisiana

Reading point spreads in sports betting is simple. Let's say the New Orleans Pelicans are playing the Houston Rockets, and the point spread set by an operator like Caesars Sportsbook Louisiana is -5 for the Pelicans. This means the Pelicans are favored to win by 5 points. 

If you bet on the Pelicans, they need to win by more than 5 points for you to win your bet. If you bet on the Rockets, they can either win the game outright or lose by fewer than 5 points for you to win.

The Underdog

In point spread betting, the underdog refers to the team that is expected to lose the game. For example, if the New Orleans Saints are playing the Dallas Cowboys and the Saints are considered the underdog at a sportsbook like bet365 Louisiana with a point spread of +3, it means they're expected to lose by 3 points according to oddsmakers. 

If you bet on the underdog, you win if they either win the game outright or lose by fewer points than the spread. Betting on the underdog can yield higher payouts since they're not expected to win.

The Favorite

The favorite in point spread betting is the team expected to win the game. Continuing with the Saints vs. Cowboys example, if the Cowboys have a point spread of -3, they are the favorite, meaning they're expected to win by 3 points. 

Betting on the favorite with a brand like ESPN BET Louisiana means they need to win by more than the spread for your bet to be successful. Favorites typically have lower payouts compared to underdogs because they're expected to win.

Pick 'Ems

A pick 'em, or even odds, occurs when there's no clear favorite or underdog. This means the point spread is set at 0, indicating that oddsmakers like DraftKings Louisiana believe the teams are evenly matched. 

For instance, if the New Orleans Pelicans are playing the Memphis Grizzlies and the point spread is +0 for both teams, it means neither team is favored to win. Betting on a pick 'em game means you're essentially picking the winner outright without considering a point spread. Your bet wins if your chosen team wins the game, regardless of the margin of victory.

Odds Movement

Odds movements refer to changes in the point spread set by oddsmakers based on betting action. Let's say the New Orleans Saints are playing the Atlanta Falcons, and initially, the Saints are favored by 3 points. 

However, if a lot of people start betting heavily on the Saints, the sportsbook like BetRivers LA might adjust the spread to -4 to encourage more bets on the Falcons. This adjustment aims to balance the betting action between both teams. 

Conversely, if more bets come in on the Falcons, the oddsmakers might move the spread to +2.5 to attract more bets on the Saints. These movements reflect the changing perceptions of how the game might unfold based on betting patterns and aim to ensure the sportsbook stays balanced in terms of liabilities.

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American Odds vs European Odds

American odds and European odds represent different ways of expressing betting odds at a brand like Fanatics Sportsbook Louisiana, including point spread bets.

American Odds

In American odds, point spread bets are typically expressed as positive or negative numbers. Positive odds (e.g., +150) indicate the potential profit on a $100 bet, while negative odds (e.g., -110) indicate the amount needed to wager to win $100. 

For point spread bets, negative odds are assigned to the favorite, and positive odds to the underdog.

European Odds

European odds, also known as decimal odds, represent the total amount that will be returned on a winning bet, including the initial stake. For example, odds of 2.50 mean that for every $1 wagered, the total return is $2.50 (including the original $1 stake). 

In point spread betting, these odds can be used similarly to American odds, with odds below 2.00 indicating the favorite and odds above 2.00 indicating the underdog.

Outcomes of Point Spread Betting in Louisiana

When betting point spreads, you need to remember that it doesn't matter who wins. What matters is the margin of victory or loss


Winning a spread bet means correctly predicting the outcome in relation to the point spread set by a sportsbook like FanDuel Louisiana

For example, if you bet on a team to win with a point spread of -5, they must win by more than 5 points for your bet to be successful. If they do, you win the bet.


Losing a spread bet happens when your prediction doesn't match the outcome within the point spread. Using the same example, if the team you bet on wins by less than 5 points or loses the game outright, you lose your bet. 

Simply put, winning means your prediction was correct within the specified margin, while losing means it wasn't.

Push or Tie

A tie, also known as a push, occurs when the final margin of victory or defeat equals the point spread set by the a sportsbook like ClutchBet Louisiana. For example, if you bet on a team with a point spread of -3, they need to win by more than 3 points for you to win your bet. 

However, if they only win by exactly 3 points, neither side wins or loses, and it's considered a tie or push. In this case, your original wager is returned to you, and the bet is essentially canceled. It's like a neutral outcome where neither the bettor nor the sportsbook wins or loses money on that specific bet.

Point Spread Payouts in Louisiana Explained

Point spread payouts can vary depending on the odds set by the sportsbook and the outcome of the game. 

Generally, when you place a point spread bet and win, you receive your original wager back plus the winnings based on the odds. If you bet on the favorite and they win by more than the point spread, you typically receive a smaller payout since the odds are in their favor. 

Conversely, if you bet on the underdog and they either win outright or lose by fewer points than the spread, your payout is usually higher because the odds are against them. It's important to understand the odds and potential payouts before placing a point spread bet.

What Does Covering the Spread Mean?

Covering the spread in Louisiana, or anywhere else in sports betting, means that a team has performed as expected or better in relation to the point spread set by oddsmakers.

For example, if the New Orleans Saints are favored by 7 points and they win the game by 10 points, they have covered the spread. 

Likewise, if the LSU Tigers are the underdog with a spread of +3 and they either win the game outright or lose by fewer than 3 points, they have also covered the spread.

What Does Against the Spread (ATS) Mean?

Against the spread (ATS) refers to a betting strategy where you're not simply betting on which team will win, but rather on whether a team will exceed or fall short of the point spread set by oddsmakers. 

For instance, if you bet on the New Orleans Pelicans ATS with a spread of -5, you're betting on them to win by more than 5 points. If they do, your bet wins. If they win by exactly 5 points, it's considered a push. ATS betting adds another layer of complexity and excitement to sports betting.

What is the Vig?

The vig, short for vigorish or juice, is the commission or fee that sportsbooks charge for facilitating bets. In Louisiana, as in other places, sportsbooks aim to make a profit by taking a small percentage of each bet, typically around 10%. For example, if you place a $100 bet, you might actually be risking $110, with the extra $10 going to the sportsbook as the vig. 

This ensures that the sportsbook makes money regardless of the outcome of the bets. Understanding the vig is important because it affects the potential payouts and profitability of your bets.

Spread Betting Strategies for Louisiana Bettors

Having a spread betting strategy is important for several reasons. Firstly, it allows bettors to analyze games more effectively by considering the point spread and understanding the potential outcomes. Secondly, a solid strategy helps manage risk by making informed decisions about which teams to bet on and how much to wager. 

Additionally, having a strategy can help bettors identify value bets where they believe the point spread doesn't accurately reflect the true likelihood of a team winning or covering. 

Ultimately, a spread betting strategy in Louisiana enhances the overall betting experience, potentially leading to more successful outcomes and maximizing enjoyment from sports wagering.

Risk Management

Risk management involves carefully assessing the potential downsides of each bet and implementing measures to mitigate losses. This might include setting limits on the amount wagered per bet or per day, diversifying bets across different sports or games, and avoiding overly risky propositions. By managing risk effectively, bettors can safeguard their bankroll and minimize the impact of losing streaks.

Informed Decision Making

Informed decision making means using available information to make well-reasoned bets. This includes analyzing team statistics, injury reports, weather conditions, and historical performance data. Bettors in Louisiana can also consider local factors such as team dynamics, home-field advantage, and fan support. Making informed decisions increases the likelihood of selecting winning bets and boosts overall betting success.


Consistency in spread betting strategy involves sticking to a predetermined approach over time. This includes following established guidelines for selecting bets, wagering amounts, and bankroll management. By maintaining consistency, bettors in Louisiana can avoid impulsive decisions and emotional reactions to short-term outcomes, leading to more stable long-term results.


Adaptability is crucial in spread betting strategy, allowing bettors to adjust their approach in response to changing circumstances. This might involve modifying betting criteria based on evolving team dynamics, injuries, coaching changes, or other relevant factors. Being adaptable enables bettors in Louisiana to stay ahead of the curve and capitalize on new opportunities as they arise.

Maximizing Value

Maximizing value means identifying bets with favorable odds relative to their perceived likelihood of winning. In spread betting strategy, this involves seeking out opportunities where the point spread appears misaligned with the actual probability of a team covering. By finding value bets, bettors in Louisiana can potentially increase their long-term profitability and optimize returns on their investments.

Understanding Variability

Variability refers to the inherent unpredictability of sports outcomes, despite careful analysis and strategy. In spread betting, understanding variability means recognizing that even the most well-informed bets can sometimes result in losses due to factors beyond control, such as referee decisions, last-minute injuries, or unexpected performance fluctuations. 

By acknowledging variability, bettors in Louisiana can maintain realistic expectations and avoid overreacting to short-term outcomes, staying focused on their long-term betting goals.

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Place a Point Spread Bet in Louisiana Today

Now that you understand how point spread betting works, you're equipped to confidently place your bets in Louisiana. Whether you're backing the New Orleans Saints, the New Orleans Pelicans, or any other team, the principles remain the same. 

Remember the basics: the favorite, the underdog, and how to interpret the point spread. With informed decision-making, risk management, and an eye for maximizing value, you're poised to navigate the world of point spread betting with skill and strategy. 

So, whether you're cheering from the Superdome or watching from your living room, dive into the excitement of point spread betting in Louisiana with confidence and enjoy the thrill of the game like never before.

Louisiana Point Spread Betting FAQ


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