What Is a Push in Sports Betting?

Cincinnati Bengals head coach Zac Taylor.
Cincinnati Bengals head coach Zac Taylor. / Kareem Elgazzar via Imagn Content

Have you ever bet on a spread in a game and the team won by that exact amount? 

That’s what is called a push. Your team doesn’t win the bet, but you also don’t lose it either. 

Let’s break down everything you need to understand about a push in sports betting. 

What Is a Push in Sports Betting?

In sports betting, if there is a tie between the bet and the sportsbook, it results in a push where the bet is refunded. 

If you bet $10 on a game and the outcome ends up pushing, you would receive the $10 bet back. 

There are several different ways that a bet can push, whether it be on a spread, total, moneyline or prop bet. 

Let’s use the odds from WynnBET in Super Bowl 56 for the spread example:

Push Example on a Spread in Sports Betting 

In Super Bowl 56, the Los Angeles Rams are four-point favorites over the Cincinnati Bengals. 

If you decide to bet on the Bengals at +4, and the Rams end up winning the game 24-20, then your bet would push and the original bet would be refunded. 

  • Bet: Bengals +4
  • Final Score: Rams 24, Bengals 20
  • Outcome: Push

You can only push on a spread when it is a whole number like this game. If it is 4.5 or 3.5, there is no way to push on the point spread since games don’t have half points.

Push Example on a Total/Over/Under in Sports Betting 

For a push to occur on a total or over/under (including props) you once again need a whole number such as the total at 218 in the Miami Heat-New Orleans Pelicans matchup.

So, for this bet to push, the total points in the Pels-Heat game would need to land exactly on 218. 

  • Bet: Heat-Pelicans OVER 218
  • Final Score: Heat 118, Pelicans 100
  • Outcome: Push

Push Example on a Moneyline in Sports Betting

There are two things that need to happen for a moneyline bet to be a push. 

First, there needs to be a tie in the game. Secondly, there couldn’t be an option to bet on the game ending in a tie. 

This usually comes into play when betting on soccer, where a typical moneyline bet offered by the sportsbook includes an option for each team, as well as the draw. This is called a three-way moneyline. 

Is a Push a Loss or a Win?

The answer is neither. 

For any bet that pushes, the bettor receives their original bet back as if the wager was never placed. 

If you are listing your win-loss record as a sports bettor, a push would be listed third (10-8-1).

Learn more about sports betting in the US in our Sports Betting Education guide.