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.