What Is ATS in Betting?

Have you ever tried to wager on sporting events? Have you ever seen the term “ATS” and wondered what it means?

In the sports betting world, there is a massive offer of games and events that you can put your money on and win some cash if you’re lucky.

If you bet on a prediction outlined by the sportsbook or bookie, and the games that you wagered on match the prediction, you will win rather large prizes.

Sports betting is synonymous with the sports world, and thousands of people worldwide participate in the activity. If you wager on sports, you will get an entirely new experience compared to simply watching the game for entertainment purposes. However, wagering is not as straightforward as you may imagine. If you want to wager on horse racing, baseball, football, basketball, or any other sports, you’ll need to learn the essential betting rules. Otherwise, you might end up losing your bet and your money.

In our article, we’ll show you the common technique of spread betting and answer all questions related to ATS in betting.

Sports Spread Betting

If you’ve ever tried to bet, you might have encountered terms such as moneyline, odds, juice, props, totals, push, tie, etc. Online and land-based bookmakers offer various betting types. In the United States, you will often see the moneyline bet system as well as the option of spread betting. These two bet types are the most common in the States.

Sports Spread Betting

When it comes to spread betting, the method was invented by Charles McNeil back in the 1940s. Betting was around for hundreds of years before that, so this new technique was a breath of fresh air, and it was an instant hit. First, McNeil called it “wholesaling odds” for football, but the idea later became known as the point spread.

Now, in betting, most people usually believe that you bet on either/or and win/lose situations. However, what the point spread does is that it shows you a margin of victory. The bookmaker sets it, and the margin displays a range of outcomes. When you make a bet on the point spread, you essentially put your money on whether or not the final score will be below or above the margin.

Point Spread Rules

In essence, you will put the money on whether the final score is higher or lower in comparison to the betting spread. Although, it’s not as simple, and the bet counts differently if you put your money on the underdog or the favorite.

In betting, the favorite and underdog are crucial terms, and almost all betting revolves around them. When people check out some betting odds, they will see “+” and “-” symbols next to the values. The minus sign indicates the favorite, and the plus sign indicates the underdog. Ultimately, the favorite is more likely to triumph over the underdog. Conversely, the underdog has fewer chances to win.

However, in the point spread, the favorite actually starts off with a disadvantage. Let’s illustrate this with an example.

If the Rams -3.5 (-110) play the Patriots +3.5 (-110), the Rams are the favorite. Since the spread is 3.5- they have to win the game by 4 points or over. If you wager on the favorite in spread betting, the team always has to win by a certain number of points indicated by the spread. If the favorite you bet on wins by the required point value, it means that they have “covered the spread.”

Now, in the case of the underdog, the Pats +3.5 (-110), the bet is slightly different. In spread betting, the underdog from our example, the Patriots, must not lose by 3 or more points. If the team does so, the bet loses. What’s more, if the Pats win, the bet will also count.

Against the Spread

Imagine that our example game ends with 13-3. The total score indicates that the Rams defeated the Pats by over 4 points. Thus, they “covered the spread.” If you placed a bet on the Rams, your ATS bet would have won. And, this is what ATS means. It’s an abbreviation for wagering “against the spread” or against the line.

If you put your cash on the favorite, you are essentially wagering against the spread. If the game ended with a final score of 13-10, your ATS wager would not have counted since the Rams did not win by 4 or more points and therefore did not cover the spread.

But, if you put your cash on the underdog and the game ended with the same 13-10 score, you would have won. Since the Rams did not lose by over 4 points, they covered the spread. Even if they lost, the wager would have won.


betting strategy

Overall, ATS is actually a quite good betting strategy, but it’s advisable to do it when the spread is low. Also, if you estimate that the favorite team is much better than the underdog, it’s smarter to wager against the spread. If you wholeheartedly believe that the favorite can win against the spread, your wager could pay off quite a lot.

Additionally, you have to pay attention to the “juice.” The money line will usually show -110 for both teams. It means that if you want to win $100, you have to wager $110. If you lose, the sportsbook will get the money, and the 10 percent is usually taken as a commission on the wager. Bear in mind that you do not need to use $100 in your wager, it’s merely a round figure set by bookmakers for people to calculate their actions easier. Additionally, sportsbooks will not always list -110. The number could be smaller, for example -105. Then, you would only have to put up $105 in order to win $100.

Additional ATS Details

Furthermore, if you want to wager against the spread, it’s important to note that bookmakers can shift the margin on the spread before the game begins.

For instance, in case of injuries, weather changes, or other circumstances, the spread can change. Additionally, if too many people wager on one side, the sportsbook can modify the margin. It means that timing is crucial because it can give you a disadvantage or advantage depending on the shift.

NFL is certainly the most popular sport for spread betting, especially due to the Super Bowl. You will also see different types of point spread in football, baseball, and hockey.

Another thing that you have to ensure before wagering is to inquire whether this activity is permitted by the regulations in your jurisdiction. Individual states have different laws or statutes which can prohibit or allow it. If you want to try spread wagering online, offshore sites are legal in almost all US states due to the fact that local laws do not affect them. It’s a great way to try legal wagering.

Closing Thoughts

Now that you have learned about ATS, you can dominate the spread! Check out some available betting options in your state or online and good luck!