What if Spread is -3 and Team Wins by 3 or Spread is +3 and Team Loses by 3?

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If you bet on a game with a spread of -3 and the team won by exactly 3, or if you bet on a spread of +3 and the team lost by exactly 3, your bet pushed.

When a team hits the spread on the exact number, the bettor gets their money back.

Depending on the bet's details, you might consider a push to be a fortunate or unfortunate outcome, or you might just chalk it up to this: you get to live to bet another game.

Expect a Push to Hit Your Account in the Same Timeframe That a Win Would

Most legal sports betting sites remove money from your account wallet when you successfully place a wager. Therefore, when you bet that the team would win (or lose) by more (or less) than three points, your wager went into the house’s account.

So, when a push occurs, expect your account to be re-credited. Rather than your account receiving more than your initial bet, as would happen with a winning bet, you will simply see the amount of your initial wage back in your wallet.

The time that it takes to re-credit your account should be similar to the time your sportsbook takes to process a winning bet—typically within an hour of the game ending.

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What If a Push Comes as Part of a Larger Parlay?

Bettors can bond over a shared experience: you place a parlay bet that requires multiple legs to hit in order to win, and you hit several of the legs. However, sandwiched within multiple winning bets is a push.

It’s all over for the parlay, right?


Most sportsbooks do right by bettors who nail a parlay aside from a push. The book will typically act as if the match that pushed was never part of the parlay. The bettor will receive a lesser payout than their original parlay would have paid but will at least get credit for the winning bets in the parlay.

Is There Any Way to Avoid a Push?

Yes. You can tease up/down a spread or seek out an alternate spread or alternate total line to ensure that a push is impossible.

There is no major sport that counts half points, so betting a line that involves a half-point (-6.5 in a football game, for example) is a surefire way to avoid the push.

When you “tease” a line up or down or bet an alternate line, you either buy or give points away. If the initial spread between the Miami Dolphins and San Francisco 49ers is 7 points, for example, you could take the alternate spread of -6.5. In this case, you would receive less favorable odds (-120 rather than -110, perhaps), but you will avoid the risk of the push.

Alternate lines are often offered in half-point increments with built-in odds. For example, a sportsbook might offer an alternate line of -9.5 for the same Dolphins-49ers matchup (as well as several other alternate spreads).

Depending on your predicted outcome of the game, you might choose an alternate line that is wider or thinner than the original line.

Now, remember that a push is not the worst possible outcome that comes from a wager. When you embrace a half-point spread, you also accept the possibility of a losing wager.

>> Read More: What Happens if Spread is -7 & Team Wins by 7?

Sam Mire

Sports and writing rank 1a and 1b on Sam's list of interests, with the order being more or less interchangeable. He sees the world through purple-and-gold colored lenses on Saturdays and a black-and-gold tint on Sundays. Sam has written for FanSided, been published in USA Today, and seeks projects that deliver tangible value to both the diehard and casual fan.