If you want added security for your bet, or you are feeling more adventurous and feel like the favourites will win by a bigger margin than the sportsbook’s line suggests, top betting sites will allow you to pick an alternative point spread which then alters the odds.
Let’s say the Toronto Raptors are playing against the New Orleans Pelicans, and the bookmaker sets the Raptors as 5.5 point favourites. This would mean Raptors -5.5 and Pelicans +5.5 would both have odds of around -110.
You might think that the Raptors will comfortably win by more than 5.5 points, and want to give yourself higher odds, thus a bigger profit if you win. If you go for an alternative handicap of 12.5 points, backing Raptors -12.5 will give you odds of around +240.
Alternatively, you may agree with the Raptors being favourites and think they will win, but not by as many as 5.5 points. You could then change the spread to 2.5 points. On that basis, picking Raptors -2.5 would result in odds of approximately -180. More likely to happen, but less rewarding.