What is a Push in Sports Betting? – Push Betting Explained

Author photo

Written by Dan Fitch

Updated: 07:20 am EST, 02/07/2024

A push in sports betting is when a wager is settled with an outcome in which neither the bettor or the sportsbook wins. This could be a situation such as a tied game, when the bet was placed on the standard moneyline. Now that you know what is a push in sports betting, we will explain this concept in greater detail.

What Does Push Mean in Sports Betting & How it Works

In many betting markets there are only two outcomes to bet on. Yet there can be more than two possible outcomes. The bet could win, or it could lose, or it could be a tie.

With markets where a tie is not an option to bet on and the result of the settled bet is a tie, this results in a push. Neither the bettor nor the sportsbook has won the bet.

When a push occurs, the sportsbook returns the original stake to the bettor. Neither party is worse off. The bettor has the money back that they originally risked with their bet, while the sportsbook hasn’t lost anything either.

Example of a Push in Betting

Let’s give you an example to further explain the push betting meaning.

Ties are pretty rare in the NFL. At the time of writing, the last one occurred back in 2022, when the Washington Commanders tied 20-20 with the New York Giants.

With ties being rare, the option of a tie is not available as a bet on the moneyline. You instead bet on whichever of the two football teams that you expect to win. If there is a tie, then a push will occur.

So say that you placed $100 on the New York Giants at odds of +150. If the Giants had won, your bet would have been successful and you would have won $150. Yet had the Commanders won, you would have lost your $100 stake.

When the game was tied, this would trigger the push. The Giants failed to win, so your bet was not been successful. Neither did the Commanders win, so the sportsbook also failed to win their side of the bet.

With neither party being successful in their bet, the fair thing to do is to effectively make it void. That is where the push comes in. The original stake is returned to the bettor and though neither party has won anything, they also haven’t lost so much as a dime.

The Push in Sports Betting Wagers

To further explain the sports betting push meaning, let’s look at how the concept works in different types of bet.

MoneylineOver/Under TotalsSpread

As long as there is the possibility of a tie in the sport that you are placing your moneyline bet on, then there is also the possibility of a push occurring. If there are only two options to bet on, such as Team A winning or Team B, then a tie will result in a push, with the stake returned. If it is a three-way moneyline, where the tie is an option to bet on, then there can be no push.

Totals markets, which are also known as over/under, see a figure for a sporting statistic quoted and you have to bet on whether the total will be over or under that number. So, you might bet on the total number of points scored in an NBA game, for example. If the quoted number is 220 points, you will have to bet on whether the total points will be over or under that figure. If the score finishes 112-108 and comes to exactly 220, the bet will be considered a push.

With a spread, the favorite in a sporting contest is given a points deduction that they must overcome to win the bet. The underdog is given a points advantage and they must not lose by a margin over that figure. So if the San Francisco 49ers were given a handicap of -12 on the spread and they won by a 12 point margin, there would be no winner and the bet considered a push. To prevent the case of a push in both spreads and totals markets, oddsmakers also have half point options. If the 49ers are -12.5, there can be no tie in the market and therefore no push.

How Does a Push Work in a Parlay?

We’ve explained what is a push in sports betting when it comes to individual bets. In this section we’re going to reveal how it works in a parlay when you know what betting odds are and how they work.

A parlay is where you combine a number of bets together, which all have to be successful for your overall bet to win. That begs a question. If it is possible for one or more of your selections to become a push, what happens if a bet is tied and the push comes into play?

With a single bet, a push sees the bettor get their stake returned. When one or more selections in a parlay bet are a push, the push-leg will be removed from the parlay.

So if you have three bets in your parlay and one is a push, that push bet is removed, leaving you with a two-bet parlay.

What is a Push in Sports Betting Markets That Are Most Popular?

A push is a likelier occurrence in some sports than others. In the NFL ties are very rare, so the tie is not included as an option on the moneyline, which means that a push is a possibility.

If an MLB game ends in a tie, the teams play extra innings until there’s a winner. Similarly, in the NBA, extra periods follow if a game finishes tied. This means that there’s no possibility of a push on the moneyline for baseball and basketball.

Hockey is a lower scoring sport where ties after regular time are more common. Though NHL games go into overtime and a shootout to decide a winner, there is a three-way moneyline in which you have the option of betting on a tie.

For all of these sports, there are various spreads and totals markets available where a tie is possible as a result, which would see the bet become a push.

Pushes in Soccer Betting

Soccer is perhaps the sport where ties are most common. Depending on what type of market you bet on, a sports betting push is possible.

When you bet on a soccer match through betting sites, the main option is a three-way moneyline. A tie is an option to bet on, along with either team to win. This means that there is no possibility of a push.

However, if you bet on a market that is typically known as ‘Draw No Bet’, then the possibility of a push is a strong one. With Draw No Bet in soccer, there is only the two options of betting on either team to win. If there is a draw, your bet becomes void and the stake returned, which is essentially the same as a push.

Over the last ten seasons in the EPL, some 23% of games have ended as a tie. Therefore, there is a significant possibility of a push, if you use the right market.

Do I Want to Avoid a Push in Betting?

We hope that you enjoyed our guide to what is a push in sports betting. There is perhaps one more question that remains. Is a push a good thing, or something to look to avoid?

We’d say that at the very least, a push is nothing to be afraid of. You place a bet and if there’s a push, you have got your stake back safely. Nothing has been gained, but neither has anything been lost.

The worst thing that can happen when you place a bet is that it loses and you see your stake disappear. With a push, your stake is returned and you live to fight another day against the oddsmakers.


What is considered a push in sports betting?

Is a push a loss in sports betting?

Who wins a push bet?

Is a push the same as a tie?

What does no push mean in betting?

What happens if you push on a parlay?