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point spread

a betting device, established by oddsmakers and used to attract bettors for uneven competitions, indicating the estimated number of points by which a stronger team can be expected to defeat a weaker team, the point spread being added to the weaker team's actual points in the game and this new figure then compared to the stronger team's points to determine winning bets.
Also called spread.
Origin of point spread
An Americanism dating back to 1950-55 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Historical Examples
  • Southward to the point spread lands owned by the parish, and known as the common pasture.

    Old Kaskaskia Mary Hartwell Catherwood
  • Peter's thoughts still hovered about old Rose, and from that point spread to the whole system of colored service in the South.

    Birthright T.S. Stribling
  • It was a pleasant diversion to get out of the level valley, which at this point spread out some miles back to the bluffs.

    The Awakening of the Desert Julius C. Birge

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