I know what you mean.
There is also another more fundamental reason why I play ML over spread, I am crap on spreads.
I'm not ashamed to say it, but my figures say over the years say I hit over a season 50-55% on spreads, and 72-77% on ML. That's picking every match over a season.
So even though we all obviously pick and choose our spots and don't play every match, I know that I'm obviously not good enough picking spreads. So leave them.
Also, the numbers for ML teams priced at 1/3 or lower are pretty exceptional, and that's the kind of range I play mostly.
In the cases where you like the underdog in a matchup do you take the points or take the ML?
If the points are in my favour, then I'll take the points. For example if I think an underdog will win and they are getting 6 pts, I won't risk the ML, because underdogs will rarely produce a blow out win, so you're going to have to sweat the comeback by the fav, so best take the points incase that comeback turns into a 1-3pt win for the fav.
If the underdog is only getting say 1 or 2 pts, then I am more likely to play ML on them. 3 or more and I'll take the points.
On the opposite side, I'll take a fav on the spread if they are -1, because there is no risk there in terms of them winning, they have to win by at least 1 pt so at worst I'll get my stake back (if they win).
Anything more though, and I play ML, because as I alluded to, I'm crap on spreads and I like to bet straightforward. I am not really a fan of taking handicaps in any sport NFL, tennis, football.....because you are going against what the intention of the team or player you are backing have.
They just want to win, a 1pt win is the same as a 20pt win at the end of the day, and I don't want to concern myself with a team scoring a garbage time TD and screwing up my spread bet.
That's my philosophy anyway. If I was good enough on spreads, my philosophy might have been different.