When a wager is placed on the favorite in a sporting event which includes a point spread, the bettor is "laying the points." A player lays the points because in hypothetical terms, the points are subtracted from the scoreboard before the game even starts.
In order to win a point spread bet on the favorite, the team must win by more than spread. For example, if the New York Knicks are 7.5 point favorites, it would be listed as Knicks (-7.5). For the purpose of the wager, the Knicks are starting the game down 7 points. If the Knicks win the game by 8, the wager wins, but if they only win by 7, or lose the game outright, the bettor loses the wager. Laying the points is common terminology at all levels of sports gambling, from the big sportsbooks inside casinos to a friendly wager between friends.