What Is a Backdoor Cover in Sports Betting?

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Kentucky forward Jacob Toppin (0) defends as Vanderbilt guard Jordan Wright looks to indound the ball during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in the quarterfinals of the Southeastern Conference Tournament, Friday, March 10, 2023, in Nashville, Tenn.
(AP Photo/John Amis)
Chase Kiddy @chaseakiddy Dec 11, 2023, 12:17 PM

In online sports betting, a backdoor cover is the act of winning a bet with a late or last-minute score that ultimately cashes the ticket. 

The term backdoor cover is especially appropriate if a particular bet looks bad for much of the game but ultimately cashes in garbage time at the end.

As an example, let’s say Kentucky men’s basketball is playing Vanderbilt, and the Commodores are 6-point underdogs. And let’s say Kentucky dominates Vanderbilt throughout the entire second half, leading by double digits the entire time.

If, in the final minute, both players dump their benches with Kentucky up by 11, and Vanderbilt hits back-to-back three-pointers to close the final margin to five points, that would be a backdoor cover. 

Backdoor covers generally refer to point-spread bets.

Can a Team Lose & Still Cover the Spread?

Yes, a team can (and often does) lose a game while still covering the spread.

Any point-spread underdog that loses by a smaller margin than their point spread is said to have covered the spread.

Visit the sportsbook for updated odds, the best sports betting promos — including BetMGM’s welcome offer — and more.

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About the Author

Chase Kiddy

Read More @chaseakiddy

Chase Kiddy is a writer for BetMGM and co-host of The Lion's Edge, an NFL and college football podcast available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and everywhere else. He has also written for a number of print and online outlets, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Washington Post, Daily News-Record, and HERO Sports. His first novel, Cave Paintings, is in development.

Chase Kiddy is a writer for BetMGM and co-host of The Lion's Edge, an NFL and college football podcast available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and everywhere else. He has also written for a number of print and online outlets, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Washington Post, Daily News-Record, and HERO Sports. His first novel, Cave Paintings, is in development.