The world of online sports betting is often a confusing one, especially for the newest gamblers. There are many phrases and terms that seem foreign, and one of those is ‘push’. That’s the topic we’ll be looking at today, as we answer the question of what is a push in sports betting, plus delve deeper into the topic with examples and other handy additions.
Let’s jump straight in find out what exactly the push betting meaning is.
What is a Push in Betting?
A push in sports betting occurs when neither the customer nor the sportsbook wins a bet. This most commonly happens when two teams or players tie and the option to bet on a tie was not provided. It happens regularly in some sports, such as soccer, but less often in most US-facing sports, such as football and basketball.
You’ll also find a bet resulting in a push if an event is cancelled. For example, if you bet on a fight between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder and it’s cancelled at the last moment, all bets placed on the bout will be pushes.
But what happens in the event of a sports betting push? Well, as neither the player nor the sportsbook won, it’s only fair to return the wager to the bettor, just like the bet had never been made in the first place. Any good online sportsbook will return this money to your betting account almost instantly.
So, there you have it: when answering the question of what is a push in sports betting, it’s simply when nobody wins and the initial stake is returned to the bettor.
Examples of a Push in Sports Betting
Let’s look at a few examples of a push in betting. We’ll begin with a soccer push. Let’s imagine you’ve been given the choice between betting on Real Madrid or Barcelona to win a game – there is no option to bet on the tie. The game then ends 2-2, meaning neither the bettor nor the sportsbook has come out on top. In this situation, the bet would be a push.
Here’s another soccer betting example, based on the same game. But this time, there are three options: you can bet on either team to win, or you can bet on the tie. When the game ends in a tie, those who bet on a tie will win, while all other bets will be losers. There are no pushes when this happens. So, a push can only happen on a moneyline bet if the game ends in a tie and there was no option to bet on the tie.
You’ll also sometimes encounter a push during spread betting. Let’s say you pick the Chiefs at -7 to beat the Chargers, and the game ends 28-21 to the Chiefs. Once the spread has been applied, both teams are even at 21-21. In this situation, the bet would be a push, as neither the bettor nor the bookmaker won.
Incidentally, a push of the above type can only happen during spreads when the spread is a whole number. You’ll often see spreads featuring halves, such as 5.5 or 10.5, to ensure there’s no possibility of a tie once the spread has been applied.
Under/over bets can also end in a push, but only when the total is a whole number. Let’s say the bet is on whether there will be under or over 205 points in a game between the Lakers and the Knicks. The game then ends 105-100, meaning exactly 205 points have been scored. This would lead to a push, as neither betting option has been a winner.
Is a Push a Win in a Parlay?
Parlays are bets consisting of two or more constituent bets. In order for the parlay to be a winning bet, all the bets that make it up have to be winners.
But what happens if one of the parts of a parlay bet ends up being a push? Does this mean that you lose the bet? Luckily, it doesn’t. Instead, the bet featuring the push is simply removed from the parlay. The odds are then recalculated without that bet being included, and you move on as if the bet that ended in a push had never been made.
Here’s an example. Imagine you’ve placed the following parlay:
- Manchester United to win @ -144
- Chelsea to win @ -178
- Tottenham Hotspur to win @ -121
When you add all these together, the overall odds are +383.35, meaning you’d win $383.35 if you wagered $100 on the parlay.
Now, imagine that the tie wasn’t offered as a betting option and the game featuring Chelsea finished 1-1. This means the bet on Chelsea is a push and therefore the game is removed from the parlay.
The odds of the parlay are then recalculated using just the Manchester United and Tottenham bets and come out at +209.48.
If both Manchester United and Tottenham then win, you’ll win a prize at the odds of +209.48 – the game featuring Chelsea was simply removed, just like there were only two parts of the parlay in the first place. Of course, if one of Manchester United or Tottenham lost, the parlay bet would be a losing one.
Types of Sports Commonly Featuring Pushes
Push bets can occur in most sports, but it’s sports with lower scores that see them most commonly, as the low scores make it more likely for a game to finish in a tie. Soccer is the prime example of this – a large percentage of soccer games finish in a tie, and all these ties will be pushes, providing there was no option to bet on the tie.
American sports tend to see larger scores. For example, it’s not unusual to see football games with 60+ points scored, and basketball games regularly notch up 200 points or more. Simple math states that these higher scoring games have a lower chance of ending in a tie.