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point spread

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noun

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.

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Also called spread.

Origin of point spread

An Americanism dating back to 1950–55
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

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