What is a Push in Sports Betting?

April 27, 2023

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • A “push” is a bet in which neither the gambler nor the sportsbook wins or loses.
  • If the bet is a push, the sportsbook will give you back the money you put down.
  • Most spread and total bets end in a push but can happen elsewhere.

What is a push? 

A bet is a “push” without a clear winner or loser. Outside of soccer, ties aren’t common in team sports, so a “push” usually only affects spreads and totals when the result is right on the sportsbook’s line. Here’s what a push looks like:

The L.A. Rams are favored by three points over the Chiefs:

  • To cover the spread, Los Angeles needs to win by more than three points, like 28-24 or 31-21.
  • Kansas City covers if they lose by less than three points, like 35-34, or if they win by any score.
  • If Los Angeles triumphs by exactly three points, such as 27-24, 22-19, etc., the spread is a push.
  • Because of this, there is no winner or loser in the bet.

When you bet on a spread or sum that is a whole number, you always have the chance of a push. Because of this, many game lines end in.5, which makes a tie impossible.

If you want a precise result when betting on totals or spreads, you shouldn’t bet on lines that don’t include the half-point. Bets on whole numbers can work for people who don’t mind being pushed sometimes or who want a small safety net.

In soccer, draws happen often. The biggest bet is a “three-way moneyline,” which lets you bet on either team to win or on a tie. “Draw no bet,” on the other hand, means that the bet is a push if the game ends in a tie.

Are a push and a tie the same thing?

Yes. Regarding gaming, a push means that the bettor and the sportsbook both lost. The bet doesn’t have a winner or a loss. The result is the same for games that end in a tie, like an NFL regular season game that isn’t decided in O.T. If you bet on the moneyline, your bet is a push, but if you bet on the spread, there will be a winner.

If it’s a push, do you lose your bet?  

No. When a bet ends in a “push,” there is no winner or loss. So, you will keep the money you put in the beginning. The push is just how the bet is scored, like when a bet wins or loses. For keeping track of your betting scores, you can think of a push as a tie.

How do sportsbooks handle a push?

After the games are over, internet sportsbooks rate everything that happened. They pay out bets that win and keep track of bets that lose. Sportsbooks will also give you your original bet if the game ends in a tie. When you look at the results in your account, the sportsbook might say that it was a push, a tie, or a loss.

Example of a push in sports betting

A push usually happens with spread or total bets but can also occur with other types of bets. Here are some more instances:

Spread: It can push when a line is a whole number, like 3 or 7 points.

Example: 

  • The Golden State Warriors have a -3 advantage over the Boston Celtics.
  • The bet is a push if Golden State wins by exactly three points.

Total: The number on the total line is always a whole number, like eight runs or 45 points.

Example: 

  • Over/under 8 for New York Mets vs. Boston Red Sox.
  • For your bet’s outcome, the total number of runs must be more than or less than eight to win or lose. The bet is a push if the sum is precisely eight, like 5-3 or 6-2.

Moneyline: A regular-season NFL game that is still tied after overtime.

Example: 

  • It only happens sometimes. Last year, only one of the 272 games played during the regular season finished in a tie.
  • The NFL playoff games keep going until there is a winner.
  • The other major leagues escape ties by playing extra innings, overtime, or, if that doesn’t work, a shootout.

Props: A prop bet is an over/under with a whole number line.

Example: 

  • Tom Brady has thrown for a total of 280 yards.
  • If he throws exactly 280, it’s a tie.

The push could also change a deal. If one of the outcomes is a tie, most bookmakers will remove that bet from the equation and settle the wager based on the results of the other phases. Most two-leg parlays will push if one leg pushes and the other leg wins. Check out the house rules for more information on how your sportsbook manages things.

How should a push be managed for your records? 

 

If you keep careful records of your bets, you can count a push as a tie when figuring out your total record of wins and losses. If you don’t keep track of your results, add this step to your practice. It will show you your skills and weaknesses and how much money you’ve made or lost betting on sports.

Each push is a betting event that breaks even on its own. You get your stake back and can bet another day, at least with other betting units of the same value.

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