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How To Bet A Ladder Play

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What is a Ladder Play?

A Ladder Play is simply betting on a prop at multiple lines with the odds getting progressively bigger the further up the 'ladder' you go.

You can bet them for game and team props but it's player props that have been especially popular recently.

An Example Ladder Play

Say you really like Steph Curry's matchup against the Kings and you want to bet on him to have a big night of hitting three pointers.

Usually you'd probably just bet him to go over his total, for this example let's say that total is over 2.5 threes made at odds of +130.

This is where the ladder comes in. Instead of only betting him to go over that one line, with a ladder play you bet on his alternate lines too, both higher and lower than the original one to give you a shot of cashing a bigger odds bet while also covering some extra angles on the lower end of the spectrum.

Here's an example in practice:

  • Curry 3+ threes made @ +130
  • Curry 4+ threes made @ +380
  • Curry 5+ threes made @ +1100

You'd place a wager on all three bets and we'll go into more detail on how to manage your bankroll for ladder plays next.

Here's an example of a ladder play which cashed every rung:

Ladder play

How To Bet A Ladder Play

Everything in this section is purely a suggestion and how it applies to you personally depends on a number of factors including unit size, risk appetite and what your weekly or monthly budget for placing bets is.

For the sake of this example let's say your unit size is $30, here's a suggested breakdown for how you can split that unit on a ladder play using the odds from the Curry example earlier.

  • $12 on 3+ threes made @ +130 would pay $27.60
  • $10 on 4+ threes made @ +380 would pay $57.60
  • $8 on 5+ threes made @ +1100 would pay $104

As you can see from this example, if only the bottom rung of the ladder play cashes then you win $27.60 and are down only $2.40 from your original $30 wager.

If the second rung cashes, that's when the fun starts and everything from here on out is profit.

Now, if the third rung cashes then you're really in business. This is the beauty of the ladder play and alternate lines because if you'd just bet Curry to hit the over on his standard line of 3+ threes you'd have won $69 from your $30 wager.

But the reason you bet the ladder is because you think the player has a really great chance of having a big night and going way over that line so you can cash some much bigger bets if they do.

Where To Bet A Ladder Play

To bet ladder plays you'll want a sportsbook that consistently offers alternate lines, especially on player props. Here's are the best places to bet them:

Player Prop Ladder Plays

bet365 are the standout option as they offer massive amounts of choice for alternate player prop lines on every major league game and they have their markets out very early.

They'll also give you a $200 Free Bet to play with when you join and bet $1!

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They are also the biggest sportsbook in the world and have one of, if not the, best site and app out of everyone.

The only downside to bet365 is that they're currently only available in New Jersey.

(New customers only. Make a qualifying deposit (min $10), place bets to deposit value, once they are settled, matched amount in Bet Credits available to use. Bet Credits risk excluded from returns. T&Cs apply. NJ Only. 21+)

If you live elsewhere then FanDuel are the only other sportsbook to offer a similar level of alt lines.

Game/Team Ladder Plays

This is much more open as every sportsbook has alternate spreads and totals available to their customers as standard.

However, we recommend using Caesars Sportsbook for these as they have great, dynamic sliding tool where you can choose your own totals and spreads super easily and quickly.

If you're in New York State or New Jersey, they'll also give you a Free Bet up to $1,500 when you join!

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Expanding The Ladder Play

As we referenced earlier, ladder plays can also be used for props like team totals and game totals which can be great to play if you're predicting a blowout victory or an absolute shootout.

With team and game props you can also do reverse ladder plays for unders if you expect a team to really struggle against their opponent or if you think a game will be particularly cagey and low scoring.

Depending on the sportsbook you use there may also be the option to add additional rungs to both ends of the ladder. Especially on the big games, there will be far more alternate lines available and this is well worth looking out for.

How To Find The Right Ladder Play

Not everyone has time to carry out detailed research to find players or teams with perfect matchups, great recent form and potential to go off on any given night.

That's where the FlashPicks team come in. We put the time and energy into finding the perfect ladder play picks and distilling the analysis down so you know you're getting a reliable and well-researched pick.

Make sure you're following @ryanpropz on Twitter and it's also a good idea to bookmark his page on our site to make sure you catch his latest ladder plays.

Always Bet Ladder Plays Responsibly

Ladder plays absolutely do not guarantee you to win.

This is obvious but also worth emphasising because the nature of the bet means you are covering more than one total which could be misunderstood to mean you're covering all angles.

You are not and you still need the player to hit at least the bottom rung (in our example earlier) to near enough breakeven from the ladder play.

The bottom line is always to bet responsibly.

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