What Is "A Push" In Sports Betting?

Want to learn what “A Push” is in Sports Betting? Read the article to find out!

A push occurs when the result of a sporting event ends as a tie between the sports bettor and the sportsbook. 

Neither party wins or loses. Instead, the original wager is refunded to the sports bettor.

Pushes in sports betting is not the worst thing in the world. What’s annoying is that you can spend your time watching the entire game, only to break even. Nevertheless, sports bettors are not punished by sportsbooks for push bets. The full wager is always refunded.

Pushes are the most common in sports that use the point spread like basketball and football but they can also be used in sports like ice hockey and baseball in terms of over/under betting.


Imagine there was an upcoming NHL game between the Boston Bruins and the Calgary Flames.  Now, as part of an NHL picks card, imagine a sports bettor was to bet that both teams would combine to score more than 5 goals.

The push comes into play if, at the end of the game, exactly 5 goals were scored.

If the bet was made and exactly 5 goals were indeed scored, the bet pushes and the bettor would receive 100% of their wager back.

Parlay Push 

If a bettor is making a parlay, every event in the parlay must win in order for the bet to win. But what if one of these events is a push? Does the parlay become void?

In most sportsbooks, the answer is no. If a push occurs on one of the events in the parlay, that event is dropped from the parlay entirely.

In essence, it’s as if that event was never selected in the parlay at all. After the event is removed from the parlay, the payout multiplier is adjusted, meaning that the new payout potential is also adjusted.

However, this is not always the case.

Some sportsbooks will count a push as a loss so it’s important to be aware of that sportsbook’s rules and T&Cs before making the play.

Half Points

Most betting lines on offer do not use whole numbers. Instead, they use half numbers. These betting lines do not have push as an option as half points cannot be scored in any sport.

Going back to the previous example, imagine the total goals scored was over/under 5.5 instead of 5 and let’s say the bettor wagered on the over.

If 6 or more goals are scored, the bet wins. If 5 or fewer goals are scored, the bet loses. Half points are a way for sportsbooks to avoid pushes.

At the end of the day, they are in the business of making money and pushes prevent them from doing so.

Avoiding A Push

While sportsbooks look to avoid pushes, bettors benefit from not using them too. After all, while pushes avoid losses, they also prevent wins.

For example, in football, the most common margin of victories are 3 points, 4 points and 7 points. This means that getting a half point on either side of the line can turn a push into a win.

Inside Trademate Push = Void

Inside the Trademate Sports products, we classify bets which end as a push as voided. The reason for this is that the outcome of both these instances are the same. That the original wager is refunded to the sports bettor. So instead of having to different classifications it’s simpler to just count them both as void.

This Article was written by Ghostbettingtips!

Do you know the different odds types? 

We have written articles explaining them: 

What is a bet? The right way to look at a bet in sports betting

When trying to understand what a bet is most of us need to change our perspective on what it really means to place a bet. Read this article to get a thorough explanation of what a bet is.

The most intuitively easy bet to understand is where two people put in the same amount of money on an event, where you either double your money or lose it. This is typically for events with around 50% chance of happening, like a coin toss.  

Let’s say we have two people: Andrew and Bobby. They want to bet on a coin toss, and they are friends, so they want it to be fair. Both of them are putting in 100 dollars, Andrew on heads and Bobby on tails. If heads, Andrew will double his money winning 100 dollars from Bobby. If tails, Bobby will double his money winning 100 dollars from Andrew. This implies an odd of 2 for both of them which correlates well with the true probability of a coin toss, which is 50% for both heads and tails.

In practice people rarely bet on coin tosses or games where the odds are 2 on both sides of the bet. So let’s use a different example next before we explain how it relates to sports betting. 

Andrew who are really good at hitting the crossbar, wants to take it up a notch and wants to bet with Bobby if he hits the crossbar or not. But Andrew can hit the crossbar often, 4 out of 5 times, or 80% of the time. This means that he misses 1 out of 5 shots, or 20% of the shots he takes. Since Andrew hits more often than 50%, it would be unfair to Bobby if they both went in with 100 dollars where the winner takes all. 

For this to be fair, they need to adjust their stake sizes. For them to find the correct stake sizes they need to find the correct odds, which reflects the probability. To get the odds from the probability, we use the inverse (1/probability) and the odds of Rob hitting the crossbar would be:

 1/(4/5) = 1.25. 


While the odds of him missing would be:

1/(1/5) = 5. 


If you are wondering why the odds equals the inverse of the probability of the event, be sure to check this article out.


Andrew would also this time ask Bobby what odds he would give him if he were to bet 100 dollars. Bobby knows his stuff so he gives Andrew the odds of 1.25. This would mean that Andrew would bet 100 dollars and has a potential profit of 25, while Bobby would bet 25 dollars with the potential profit of 100 dollars. The reason to adjusting the stake sizes is so it would reflect the odds which is similar to the underlying probability as we explained in the article about odds. To clarify, odds is just a way of adjusting stake sizes in a bet between two parties to reflect the underlying probability.


In sports betting, it is important to understand that it is always two sides of a bet. And because people rarely bet on coin tosses, or events with the exact same probability, the odds are usually not the same for both sides of the bet. The two sides of the bet are called backing and laying. Andrew is backing himself hitting the crossbar, while Bobby is laying the bet that Andrew is hitting the crossbar. 


If you have ever bet on a bookmaker site, you would be backing different outcomes like home win, draw or away win. In these cases, the bookmaker would always be laying bets against the bet you are backing. For clarity, laying bets means to bet on any event not to happen


Laying bets with two outcomes is easy to understand, as laying one side of the bet means backing the other outcome. The difficulty often arises when we have 3 or more outcomes. If we use football as an example, the usual thing to bet on is full time match winner. This consists of three outcomes: home win, draw and away win. 


In this case; 

1.    Laying a home win would mean backing draw and away win. 

2.    Laying a draw would mean backing home win and away win. 

3.    Laying an away win would mean backing home win and draw. 

SIDE NOTE: More advanced readers would also notice that instead of backing a home and draw by having two separate bets on home and draw one could place an asian handicap (AHC) +0.5 on the home team. If you are unfamiliar with AHC bets, this article explains what an Asian Handicap Bet is and how it works to bet on them. 


Take some time and think of how this applies to a bookmaker and what really happens when you bet 100 dollars on Liverpool to win at home with 1.2 odds? 

This would mean that the bookmaker thinks that it is 1/1.2 = 0.8333 = 83.33% chance that Liverpool would win or a chance of 1-0.8333 = 0.166666 = 16.66% that Liverpool were to not win. This would mean that the bookmaker bets 20 dollars on draw andaway win with the odds of (1/0,16666 = 6) against your 100 dollars on the home win! If this is hard to understand think back to Andrew and Bobby’s crossbar challenge.

If you would think this through the probability for not home win should be the same as the probability for away win and draw. The same goes for the odds. Let us start by showing you an example with the total probability equalling 1.

Let us see how this works with a random football match with three outcomes. We have the corresponding odds and probability like this:

What is a bet? The right way to look at a bet in sports betting  Photos  1 Random Match odds

The probability for not H is 1 - (1/2.5) = 1 – 0.4 = 0.6

The probability for U and B is 1/4 + 1/2.86 = 0.25 + 0.35 = 0.6


We now know that there are two sides of every bet and what this really means. Now we need to separate practice from theory and look at how it works when you bet against a bookmaker. 


What is a bet? The right way to look at a bet in sports betting  Photos  2 Coin toss balanced odds

Let us start with the coin toss. As we can see the odds are balanced with the probability since the probability for both heads and tails are 1/2 and the odds are 1/(1/2) = 2. The balance is showed with the colour blue. 

What is a bet? The right way to look at a bet in sports betting  Photos  3 From coin toss to crossbar challenge odds adjustment

If we go from a coin toss to a crossbar challenge where Andrew is hitting the ball, the underlying probability changes. If the odds do not change, we would have a positive value bet on one side of the bet. We would have positive value on the backing side, while there would be negative value on the laying side. We can see this in the picture, green corresponding with positive value while red means negative value. The true odds for the event would be 1.25 for a hit and 5 for a miss, while we would get the odds of 2 for either outcomes. There would be positive value betting on Andrew hitting with 2 in odds because the odds are higher than what the underlying probability suggests. 

What the different symbols mean.

What the different symbols mean.

What is a bet? The right way to look at a bet in sports betting  Photos  5 Balanced bet without edge

Here we have the balanced-out odds of the crossbar challenge between Andrew and Bobby. As we can see the odds given is the same as the true odds from the underlying probability. This would be fair odds and would essentially mean that Andrew and Bobby would break even in the long term. These examples are as applicable to real sports events as they are to a crossbar challenge, so let us switch from a crossbar challenge (hit/miss) to a random football game (home win/not home win) using the same odds.  

What is a bet? The right way to look at a bet in sports betting  Photos  6 Adjusted bet with edge1

In reality, putting up odds equalling the underlying probability for every bet can be challenging. So, let us see what happens if the odds are slightly wrong compared to the probability. Here the odds are adjusted to 1,33 and 4, while the probability still suggests odds of 1,25 and 5. This will give you positive value if you were to bet on home win, while laying home win would give you negative value. 

What is a bet? The right way to look at a bet in sports betting  Photos  7 Adjusted bet with edge2

For this example, we see that the positive value and negative value just switch places, making laying the bet the preferred choice. As we can see from these two examples, if a bookmaker would operate with odds that reflects a total probability of 1, they would need to hit the exact probability every time. Or else they would risk giving away an edge, it just depends on which side of the bet the edge is on. So, what do bookmakers do to mitigate for this risk factor? Well, the answer is simple; they make the stick bigger.

What is a bet? The right way to look at a bet in sports betting  Photos  8 Bookmaker margin

This picture shows the difference between the true probability and the corresponding odds as well as how a bookmaker operates. They basically calculate their odds from a total probability of more than what is theoretically possible. This will give them more wiggle room for the odds which will make it easier to put up odds with a positive edge for them. In other words, they use the margin to protect themselves from the uncertainty that exists when trying to predict the true odds. 


Essentially, this will overvalue the probability, while undervaluing the odds consistently over time.


But, how can we find value now, when they are always providing less odds than what is probable? Well, we find it when the blue double arrow goes outside the yellow area on the picture. Then the odds would be either higher than 5 for laying home win or higher than 1.25 for backing home win. 

What is a bet? The right way to look at a bet in sports betting  Photos  9 Bookmaker wrong odds

In this picture we clearly see that in order to get an overvalued bet, in this case a home win, the bookmaker would need to overestimate the probability of the contrary by a lot. They still do this, and when we find these kinds of bets we would have an edge over the bookie. This is what Trademate do for you, finding edges on thousands of events. To understand how this works, check out this article.  

What is a bet? The right way to look at a bet in sports betting  Photos  10 Tug of war

Key Takeaway

It is really important to understand that there are two sides to every bet and every bet should be looked at as a tug of war. The one who get the better value than the true probability wins in the long term, so be sure to be on the right side of the bet. Trademate provide you with all the right tools to do this.   

Do you know the different odds types? 

We have written articles explaining them: 

What are odds? The right way to look at odds for sports betting

If you still wonder what odds really are and how to really understand it, look no further. We will give you a walk through of what odds are and how this applies to betting in general.

Andrew and Bobby.

Andrew and Bobby.

In most places related to sports and betting you will see the odds of a team winning rather than the probability. The reason you will see odds instead of probability, is because the odds tells you how much you would be winning if you placed a bet on a given odds. E.g. if you bet 100 on 2.00 in odds, you would be returned 200 if you won. One could have used probability instead to describe how likely it was that you would win the bet. But then it would not be as clear how much you’d win if you bet $100. The relationship between odds and probability is that odds = the inverse of the probability (odds = 1 / probability). If one is betting on the true margin free odds of a bet with 2 outcomes, e.g. a coin flip, you would expect to break even in the long run independent of which side of the bet you chose. Let’s use an example to show that this is true. 

We use the example with Andrew and Bobby. Andrew (A) wants to bet with Bobby (B) if he hits the crossbar or not. Historically he hits 4 out of 5 times and misses 1 out of 5 times. This would give the corresponding odds of 1/(4/5) = 1.25 for a hit and 1/(1/5) = 5 for a miss. Andrew wants to bet 100 dollars on himself hitting the bar, so he then asks Bobby what odds he can give him. Bobby knows the math so he says he can give him an odd of 1.25. 

Andrew have now bet 100 dollars on the odds of 1.25 giving him potential return of: 125 dollars or a profit of 25 dollars. 

Bobby have now bet 25 dollars on the odds of 5 giving him potential return of: 125 dollars or a profit of 100 dollars.  

Andrew and Bobby with the crossbar.

Andrew and Bobby with the crossbar.

If they were to do this over a period of time, let’s say 5 times, based on the probability it should go like this.

If they were to do this over a period of time, let’s say 5 times, based on the probability it should go like this.

In a sample size like this of only 5 kicks to hit the crossbar, this would generally not happen because the variance (or standard deviation) is too high. But when you do this over a large sample size, say he is kicking the ball 100 000 times, the variance becomes smaller and the probability that is reflected in the odds correlates much better with the probability for the real events. If this is confusing you should read more about the law of large numbers.

It is important to notice that they would break even only for events where the odds and probability relates to each other 1 to 1.


Bobby gets a downgrade in IQ.

Bobby gets a downgrade in IQ.

Bobby now gets a downgrade in IQ, so he does not understand the math. Andrew then asks again what odds Bobby can provide if he wants to bet 100 dollars. Bobby says he would give him 1.5 for hitting the crossbar, essentially giving himself the odds of 3. These odds relate to each other 1 to 1, because the probability in total equals 1:


1/1.5 = 0.667 while 1/3 = 0.333

0.667 + 0.333 = 1


But, The odds do not relate 1 to 1 with the underlying probability. If the odds were to relate to the probability, we would give the odds of 1.25 and 5 as in the last example. Let’s see what happens with 1.5 and 3 in odds:


Andrew is still betting 100 dollars with a potential return of: 150 dollars or a profit of 50 dollars. 

Bobby is betting 50 dollars with a potential return of: 150 or a profit of 100 dollars.  

Screen Shot 2019-08-12 at 9.24.38 am.png

As we can see A wins, while B loses in the long term. This is because the odds of him hitting the bar is overvalued (or the underlying probability is undervalued) while the odds of him missing is undervalued (or the underlying probability is overvalued). When the probability is undervalued it means that the event happens more often than the probability suggests as reflected in the odds

How overvalued and undervalued odds and probability works together.

How overvalued and undervalued odds and probability works together.


But then you might want to ask: But no sports match is the same, so how is this applicable to the real world? Well, over a vast amount of games there is large evidence for the probability to be reflected in the odds. If you want to read more about it, check this article out


Key takeaway

Odds and probability are in theory really just two sides of the same coin, but in practice the case is different. This is because (soft) bookmakers usually offer unfair odds, which do not reflect the underlying probability. This is the way the bookmakers make money, so it is important to understand that the odds at the bookmakers almost never reflect the underlying probability.   

Do you know the different odds types? 

We have written articles explaining them: 

What is the Point Spread in Sports Betting and How You Can Bet on the Spread

Do you want to bet on the superior team in any matchup? Do you want to bet on teams such as the Golden State Warriors, The New England Patriots or the Clemson Tigers? For that to happen you must understand the Point Spread in Sports Betting.

In this article, you will learn and understand a different angle to sports betting you might not have thought about before.

The Point Spread and the Moneyline:

Imagine a game of any sport. It could be football, basketball, baseball; you name it. Looking at the matchup, one of the two teams immediately jumps out as being the favorite to win the game. Let’s name this “Team A”. The opposing side to Team A would be the underdog, named “Team B”.

The Moneyline (betting strictly on which team wins the game) would normally favor Team A to win the game, as they are seen as the superior team (To get a better understanding of the moneyline, you can watch this video). Betting on Team A would result in a lesser return, due to a lower odds when the probability for a win is high.

At the other hand, the moneyline would indicate that the probability for Team B to win is lower than Team A. The odds would therefore be higher, and would result in a greater return on your bet.

The Point Spread evens out the moneyline:

To even out the odds in bets, the bookmakers give a disadvantage to the favorite to win, Team A, and give an advantage to the underdog in the matchup, Team B. This situation is an addition to the already given moneyline, and aims to balance the odds of the particular game.

This is commonly known as being the Point Spread. Just to clarify, the Moneyline, is the Point Spread which is the closest to 50/50 win probability or giving 2.0/2.0 in odds on each of the two teams.

The Point Spread in an example:

Let’s look at a hypothetical example from a game between the mentioned Team A and Team B in basketball;

Learn how to understand the Point Spread in Sports Betting.

Learn how to understand the Point Spread in Sports Betting.

Team A is predicted as the favorite to win the matchup, due to a number of factors, such as form, home-field advantage and injuries to the opponent’s top player. We imagine the odds for a win for Team A to be 1,50. This means that if you win, you get back what you initially put on the game, in addition to 50% of what you originally betted.

The odds for Team B would be much higher, at a level of 2,50. Here, if you win, you would get back what you initially put on the game, in addition to 150% of what you originally betted.

However, when the bookmakers seek to even out the odds, they set up a Spread on the game.

This means that they create a chance for people to bet on the game with a handicap, meaning that Team A has to beat Team B by a certain amount of points, scores or goals, in this case points.

If we say that Team A has a Point Spread of -7,5 it means that they are favored to win by this amount of points. For you to win betting on this Point Spread, Team A must win by 7,5 points or more, practically meaning that they must win by 8 points.

By betting on a Point Spread of -7,5 the odds have risen to a 2,00, because they have to do more than simply just win.

The Point Spread for Team B would be at +7,5. This means that they have been given a head start of 7,5 points, and that they “win” as long as they don’t lose by 8 points or more.

When a team is given an advantage like this, the odds will drop accordingly, and in this case it drops to a level of 2,00.

As it is impossible to score half points, this bet would either be won or lost from a bettor’s perspective.

The Point Spread with even numbers:

If the Point Spread is at an even number, for example -3 for Team A and +3 for Team B, one more outcome would be possible. If Team A defeats Team B by exactly 3 points, and evens out the Point Spread, the game would be a no-contest, and your initial investment in the game would return to your account.

When to use the Point Spread?

Consider using the Point Spread when a team has a monumental advantage over the opposition, and that this advantage outweighs the disadvantage given by the bookmaker. It is also effective in the opposite situation, where the advantage given by the bookmakers for the underdog outweighs the difference in quality between the two teams.

The Point Spread is therefore an opportunity that should be taken advantage of by bettors, and should be considered an alternative to betting strictly on the moneyline of a game.

Click here to watch our videos on the Point Spread.

Do you know the different odds types? 

We have written articles explaining them: 

How Does it Work to Bet on the Point Spread in Sports Betting?


How does the Spread Bet or Point Spread work in Sports Betting? Marius from Trademate Sports explains Spread Betting using the NBA final between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers. 



We explain the difference between the point spread in American Odds vs Decimal Odds (European Odds).

What is Asian Handicap? | Sports Betting For Beginners

Let's say Liverpool play against Leyton Orient in the FA Cup. Liverpool are clear favorites, and you are looking to place a bet on them to advance to the next round. However, when you find out that the odds on a home win is only 1.1, you are reconsidering your initial decision.

In games where there is a clear favorite, the odds might be unfavorable. Therefore, bookmakers offer a handicap in order to create desirable bets on both the favorite and the underdog.

In the example above, the odds book could look something like this:


Liverpool -1.5  (1.90)   |   Leyton Orient +1.5 (2.10)


When determining the outcome of your bet, 1.5 points will either be added to Leyton's score or subtracted from Liverpool's. If the final score turns out to be Liverpool 2-0 Leyton Orient, a bet placed on Liverpool will result in a win. If the final score is 1-0, the bet on Liverpool is lost.


Full, Half and Quarter Goal Handicaps:

The Asian handicap can be divided into three categories, depending on its value. The full goal handicap consists of only whole numbers, for example +1, +2 or +3. This means that a draw is still possible, and in this case, your stake will be returned.

The half goal handicap could look like +0.5, +1.5, +2.5 etc. This eliminates the possibility of a draw and reduces the number of possible outcomes from three to two.

The quarter goal handicap is nothing but a mix between the full and half goal handicaps. Let’s take an example of +1.25. In this case, your money is split in two: One-half goes to a bet with the handicap of +1. The other half goes to a bet of +1.5.

With the quarter goal handicap, your bet can end in more ways than two. Consider a handicap of either -0.25 or +0.25, and the following results:

Asian Handicap Table

Asian Handicap Table

You placed a bet on handicap +0.25, and the game ends in a draw. Half of your bet(placed on handicap 0) is lost, while the other half(placed on +0.5) is a win. This is known as a half win. In the opposite case where a handicap of -0.25 is followed by a draw, your bet would result in a half lose.

In another example, consider the handicaps of -0.75 and +0.75:

Asian Handicap Table

Asian Handicap Table

This time, the half win is achieved if you place a bet with handicap -0.75, and your team wins by 1 (The half on -1 is lost. The half on -0.5 is won). The half lose comes into play if you place a bet with handicap +0.75, and your team lose by 1 (Half on +1 is won, half on +0.5 is lost).


Do you know the different odds types? 

We have written articles explaining them: 

Odds notations


When someone says they will give you 2-to-1 they are saying, I’m giving you an odds of two. If you have 2 in odds for Liverpool to win and they do your return will be your stake multiplied with the odds. This is known as decimal odds If you put $100 on Liverpool you will get $200 back, your initial $100 and $100 in winnings.

Different countries have different ways of displaying odds. The most common one is the decimal way explained above. In UK fractional are more common, it’s also common in horse racing. Fractional odds is shown as 4/1, this does that you will get $400 return on a $100 bet. You will get back a total of $500(including your stake). 4/1 is the equivalent of 5.00 in decimal odds.

Moneyline odds is given as a positive or negative number(also known as American odds). If the number is positive it’s quoting how much money that will be won on a $100 wager. If the number is negative it shows how much that need to be waged to win $100. 4/1 and 5.0 will be quoted as +400. ¼ or 1.2 will be quoted as -400

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Do you know the different odds types? 

We have written articles explaining them: