One of the most popular types of bets in League of Legends betting are spread bets, or handicap bets. Bookmakers make use of handicap points (spread points) to balance a very unbalanced match so that odds even out.
Know and understand the fundamentals of spread betting by reading our guide below, and you'll learn how to make your wagers more lucrative. You'll be surprised as to how profitable and interesting betting spreads can be in LoL!
What Is Spread Betting
Spread betting in eSports refers to a type of bet where teams in a very one-sided match are given an advantage or disadvantage. Compared to fixed odds bets, spread bets reward accurate wagerers with a much more lucrative payout if they know what they're betting for.
Spread bets use a plus (+) and minus (-) system to indicate which teams are the underdogs and favorites - which then dictates which bet has the advantage and disadvantage.
Some example markets will have options between Team X +1.50 and Team Y -1.50.
In League of Legends, there can be matches where one team easily beats the other, making them the clear favorites. Because it can get boring to go for the obvious winner, spread bets will give a foothold for the underdogs. As such, for a winning bet on a favorite team to be lucrative, that team must absolutely win without giving any chances to the other team.
Are Handicap and Spread Bettings the Same for League of Legends?
Handicap bettings and spread bettings are synonymous in League of Legends. Like handicaps, the underdogs get additional points in their score for the wager to give them some leverage, while the favorites have their points subtracted.
Most American eSports betting sites use the term "spread" while others in Europe use "handicap". Essentially, they work the same way and utilize the same plus and minus indicators. If you're still confused, you can check out some examples below to demonstrate.
LoL Spread Betting Examples
Here are some examples of how spread bets work.
Example 1 - Map 1 Team to Score the Most Kills +6.50
Let's imagine a handicap bet between Cloud9 and Team SoloMid for Map 1 Team to Score the Most Kills +6.50. Team SoloMid is the underdog in this match (labeled as Team SoloMid+6.50), while Cloud9 is the favorite (labeled as Cloud9 -6.50).
If you wagered for Cloud9 -6.50 to win, they must dominate Team SoloMid in kill counts. Their final team kill count will be subtracted by 6.50, and the resulting number must still be greater than Team SoloMid's total kills.
If you bet on Team SoloMid +6.50, they must not fall 7 or more kills below Cloud9's final kill count. TSM's final kill count as the underdog will have additional 6.5 kills because of the handicap.
Given the requirements for either bet's win conditions, if the results show Cloud9 versus TSM with 21-10, the Cloud9 bet wins the spread. If the results instead showed Cloud9 versus TSM with 21-15, the TSM bet wins.
Example 2 - Match Winner +1.50
Picture an LPL best-of-three match between JD Gaming and Victory Five for the Match Winner +1.50 market. JD Gaming is the favorite (indicated as JD Gaming -1.50), and Victory Five is the underdog (indicated as Victory Five +1.50).
Similar to example 1, the favorite team's final score gets subtracted, and the 1.5 points are given to the underdog.
In this scenario, the -1.50 handicap means that the favorite team has to win by at least 1.5 games to be a winning bet. On the other hand, the +1.50 handicap means either the underdog wins the match or loses by less than 1.5 games.
For the JD Gaming -1.50 bet to win, their team must win 2-0 outright because they are the favorites. If they lose once and get a 2-1 in JD Gaming's favor, then Victory Five +1.50 becomes the winning bet. Victory Five +1.50 can also win if they get 2-0 or 2-1 in their favor.
Example 3 - Match Winner +2.50
Consider a Mid-Season Invitational Grand Finals best-of-five match between T1 and 100 Thieves for the Match Winner +2.50 market. In this scenario, T1 is the favorite team, and 100 Thieves is the underdog.
Again, how the spread in this market works is that the underdog gains +2.50 to their score while the same amount is taken from the favorite team's score.
For the T1 -2.50 wager to succeed, T1 must score at least 2.5 wins more than 100 Thieves in the best-of-five match. In other words, T1 must make a clean sweep 3-0 for this side of the wager to win. A 3-1 or 3-2 result will not count as a win for T1, even if they win the match overall.
While T1 is pressured not to give any wins, 100 Thieves also has to deal with the fact that they need to take a game off T1. However, 100 Thieves only need to score one win to succeed in the bet.
Pros & Cons of LoL Spread Betting
Advantages of spread betting in League of Legends:
- Spread Betting is Lucrative - Handicap bets have better odds for team favorites compared to fixed odds markets. If you do your research correctly and are confident with your predictions, spread bets can be potentially more lucrative in the long run.
- Spread Betting Minimizes Risk - Handicap bets, compared to fixed odds bets, have some ways to minimize risks for beginner and seasoned wagerers. For one, it eliminates the possibility of a tie because the underdog will seize the win in such cases. Even if your favorite underdog loses in the actual match, the handicap can still give you a win through spread bets.
Drawbacks of spread betting in League of Legends:
- Worse Odds for Underdogs - Underdogs are given a head start in handicap bets, so to keep things fair, they have relatively worse odds than in fixed odds markets. This point is primarily a drawback if you're much more certain about underdogs winning in a regular market for a particular match.
- Not All Sites Have Handicaps - Some sites do not provide handicap markets because they primarily focus on traditional fixed odds. Furthermore, not all fixed odds markets have an equivalent handicap market. Thus, this limits your options whenever you want to check for multiple odds for a given match.
LoL spread betting can be challenging to approach initially, but this guide should cover all the bases you need before you try your first spread bet. Good luck, get out there, and start winning!