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The margin of victory refers to the difference between the winner and loser in a sporting event. It can be applied to a wide range of sporting events and is measured in different ways. In football, for example, the margin of victory will be the number of goals the winning team scored when compared to the losing team. In golf, it will be the number of strokes between the first and second placed player and in a game of snooker the difference between the number of frames won by the winning player when compared to the losing player.
It’s possible to place a bet on the margin of victory in a wide range of sporting events. Bets of this kind are usually made in one of two ways. If a bettor thinks that Manchester City will beat Leicester City by more than two goals they can place a bet directly on this result, accepting the odds the bookmaker is giving. Alternatively, the bookmaker might offer a range of margins, i.e. 1-2 goals, 2-3 goals etc. each with different odds.
Another way of betting on the margin of victory in an event is spread betting. This involves the bookmaker setting a range which they feel the margin of victory is likely to fall into, and the bettor deciding whether they think the actual margin will be higher or lower than this range.
A bookmaker might offer spread betting on the margin of victory in the final of a snooker tournament. They might choose a spread of 6-8 frames. This means that the bettor can buy at 8 if they think one player will record a victory of more than 8 frames, or sell at 6 if they think the result will be closer. If the margin of victory turns out to be 4 frames, then the payout from a bet of £50 will be as follows:
Bought at 8 – the bet has lost. The margin of victory was 4 less than 8, and so the loss on the bet will be £200.
Sold at 6 – the bet will have won. The margin of victory was 2 less than 6 and so the profit will be £100.