Sportsbooks do an excellent job of providing a litany of betting options for its users across a variety of sports. However, one market that seems to go under the radar is ‘winning margin’. This guide will detail everything you need to know about the bet type, and how you can make a profit off the back of this knowledge.

A winning margin bet is a type of single bet in which you’re attempting to predict how many points/goals the winning team will win by.

US sportsbooks offer various winning margin markets, with the high-scoring nature of the country’s most popular sports — football and basketball — facilitating some margin of error.

Instead of having you predict the exact margin of victory, sportsbooks will provide a point range (or band).

Winning margin markets are typically offered for an array of sports, including basketball. In the step-by-step guide below, we explain how to place a winning margin NBA bet with FanDuel:

  1. Log in to your FanDuel account by accessing the blue ‘Log In’ icon located in the top right-hand corner of the homepage. Create an account via the green icon alongside it if you need to.

  2. FanDuel’s popular markets are prominent on their homepage. A scroll down showed upcoming NBA events.

    screenshot of nba odds on fanduel homepage
    (Source: FanDuel)
  3. FanDuel’s NBA coverage is shown below. We opted to place a bet on the Miami Heat @ Philadelphia 76ers game.

    screenshot showing fanduel nba odds
    (Source: FanDuel)
  4. To access all the game’s markets, we clicked ‘More Wagers’.

  5. There are a multitude of different markets available on this game, so we had to use to horizontal slider to find FanDuel’s ‘Margin’ markets — shown below.

    screenshot of fanduel margin odds
    (Source: FanDuel)
  6. We opted to place a ‘Margin of Victory’ bet, deciding to back the Heat to win by 1-5 points. There were 12 different margins available in this sub-market.

    screenshot of fanduel margin of victory bet
    (Source: FanDuel)
  7. Here is the wager in our bet slip. Enter your stake and click the ‘Place Bets’ icon to conclude the winning margin betting process.

    screenshot of fanduel margin of victory betslip
    (Source: FanDuel)

The winning margin market may not necessarily be the most prominent, but the US’ leading sportsbooks will offer this bet type for a multitude of popular sports. Here are the best sportsbooks for winning margin betting:

  • Winning margin markets are always competitive
  • Fun betting experience and easy to place bets
  • Same-game parlay profit boosts available for NBA betting

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  • Lists winning margin markets for all the day’s games on one page
  • Provider of various winning margin markets (multiple point bands)
  • No-Sweat Same-Game Parlay every day during NBA playoffs

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  • Winning margin markets supplied for an array of sports, including golf
  • Chance to win esteemed VIP prizes
  • Excellent soccer winning margin markets — handicaps & correct score

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  • Sufficient winning margin markets for popular sports, esp. basketball
  • High-quality rewards program
  • Great selection of outright betting markets

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There are various winning margin bets you can place with your favourite sportsbook. Here’s a rundown of the options typically available to you:

Winning Margin by 2

‘By 2’ indicates a precise prediction where you’re betting on the winning team to win by a margin of two points/goals.

As a result, such markets are typically provided for lower-scoring sports such as soccer, ice hockey, and baseball. It’d be very tough to back exact margin of victories for football or basketball games given how many points are scored.

If you bet on Bayern Munich to beat Real Madrid in their Champions League semi-final match-up ‘by 2’, you’ll need Bayern to win by two goals – 2-0, 3-1, 4-2, etc. Anything but a winning margin of two will mean your wager loses.

Winning Margin 4 Way

Winning margin 4-way simply means that you have four outcomes to choose from when predicting the final score. There are four point bands, if you will.

For example, in an NBA matchup between the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat, bookies could provide these winning margin 4-way markets:

  • List Icon

    Boston Celtics 1-10

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    Miami Heat 1-10

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    Boston Celtics 11+

  • List Icon

    Miami Heat 11+

In short, you can bet on both teams to win by one to ten points, or by over 11 points.

Winning Margin 3 Way

3-way winning margin betting limits the punter somewhat, with the bigger point ranges lowering the odds in some instances.

The bookmaker will provide three different margin options for a match. DraftKings, for example, provides markets on either team to win by X number of points or more, as well as either team to win by fewer than X points.

Winning Margin 1-5

With this winning margin bet, you’re betting on the team to win by at least a point, but no more than five. If the point difference at the end of the game lands between this point range, you’ve got yourself a winning bet!

For instance, if you bet on the Celtics to beat the Heat by 1-5 points, a 110-107 victory would be a winner, but a 110-99 win would be a losing bet.

Winning Margin 12 Way

screenshot of draftkings winning margin 12 way
(Source: DraftKings)

This is the same premise as the 4-way winning margin markets. With 12-way, though, 12 different point ranges are provided, offering punters even greater specificity and greater odds as a result.

In the example above, DraftKings’ is providing six different winning margin ranges for each team, starting out at 1-5 and working up to 26+.

Here are four ways you can stand yourself in the best possible stead when placing winning margin bets:

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    Check stats: This is fairly obvious, but a quick check of a team’s attacking and defensive stats can help you gauge the margin of victory. Teams that defend well are typically going to be involved in closer matches, while those that attack proficiently are more likely to enjoy bigger margins of victory when they do win. You can also check a team’s average margin of victory or defeat.

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    Head-to-head matchups: History matters, right? While teams tend to change and evolve rather quickly, recent matchups between two teams can help you gauge the nature of an upcoming bout. Are they tightly fought affairs, or does one team run away with it?

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    Check player injuries: News regarding player injuries and statuses is easily found nowadays thanks to the growing intertwining of sports and social media. Use these updates to your advantage in the betting world. A player missing a particular game could have huge ramifications when placing a winning margin bet. The Miami Dolphins are less likely to blow a team out if Tyreek Hill’s injured, while Bayern Munich are more susceptible to defeats on the big occasion without star goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.

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    Understand the game: While we're not saying you need to improve your knowledge of the sport, it’s important to understand the context of the game in question. There are going to be occasions when the fixture means more to one team than it does to another, especially towards the backend of the season, when teams are vying for playoff positioning or places in European competitions (in soccer). You might want to check out goal difference stats when placing soccer winning margin bets, as there might be times when a team needs to run up the score to move up a position in the standings.

Let's now have a look at some of the advantages and drawbacks that come with winning margin betting:

Pros:
  • Allows for some margin of error when predicting the final score of a match
  • These types of bets can provide bigger margins
  • Useful for accumulator betting — bigger odds
  • Sportsbooks provide an array of different winning margin markets and thus, point ranges
Cons:
  • It's particularly difficult to predict winning margin for high-scoring sports
  • Research required to master winning margin betting

We believe that winning margin betting is an avenue that any avid sports bettor should explore. Leading bookie are providing an array of different winning margin options on a variety of sports and, if you do your research, there’s certainly an opportunity for you to profit more with this market compared to mere match result betting.

When placing a winning margin bet, you’re betting on the number of points/goals the winning team will win by.

This type of winning margin bet provides four different point ranges for the game — two for each team. 1-10 and 11+, for instance.

Football winning margin betting involves backing a team to win by a certain number of points. Sportsbooks will provide various point ranges for each match, and you must choose which range — as well as the winning team — the winning margin will lie.

It’s the same concept for every sport. With basketball, you’re betting on the margin of victory. Given the high-scoring nature of the sport, sportsbooks will supply a range of different winning margin markets as well as point ranges, which is up to 12.

A winning margin band are the points between the winning and losing team. There are various bands for each match and are displayed like this: 1-5, 6-10, 11-15, etc.

WRITTEN BY James Cormack View all posts by James Cormack

Big sports fan specialising in football. Experienced the lows of Vlad Chiriches and Tim Sherwood as a Spurs fan along with the more recent ‘success’ under Pochettino. My following of the New England Patriots since 2012 somewhat makes up for the lack of silverware produced by Spurs in my lifetime.

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