Each sports matchup that is placed on the board for a sports gambler is an opportunity to make a profit. The line on the particular contest serves as a reference point to see how the public feels about who will win. Serious punters know the significance that line movements can have on their long term profitability as well as the outcome of games. Knowing this, sportsbooks hire linesmakers and oddsmakers are hired to balance lines as a result of changes that occur when bettors begin to place capital on games.
Still, educated sports bettors can gain an edge with certain “soft” lines if they notice significant movements prior to the beginning of a game. Likewise, if their research, or a recent injury indicates that a particular line is off, bettors can grab an early line before the more investors catch wind of the discrepancy. This is how many successful sports bettors make a long term profit betting NFL or betting the NBA spread, among others.
The Difficulty of Handicapping
Oddsmakers are much more concerned with verifying all games on the given day and trying to create lines that will get equal attention and money on either side of the contest. You can imagine that with so many games, this can become a large and difficult task. Obviously, incorrect lines and line errors end up costing millions to sportsbook if they are not caught quickly enough. This danger is one of the reasons why linesmaking remains one of the most difficult industries to succeed in in the world. Still, sportsbooks have a history of being profitable year over year. There are however some tools that wagerers can use to increase their chances of being successful over time.
Just like stock market patterns, movements of a sports line are not easy to follow for several reasons. Some odds comparison sites take their opening lines from the same origin, while others create their own. Most of the time though, oddsmakers use a service that creates opening lines as their full-time business. Of course, in different countries and sports, different odds companies are used to create the odds. As a bettor, it is advantageous to get your hands on information online where they post the opening lines and the real-time line changes for games covering a variety of sports. It makes sense to track the line of a team throughout the week if possible to see how many points the spread moves as more volume comes in on each contest.
Public Betting Percentages
One of the first rules of sports betting is that the public loses about 2 of 3 times. The average bettor has a losing record, so when there is significant movement on a line, this rule can give sharp bettors information into which side the public is on. If the public goes hard on a line and make the favorite even more of a favorite, a linesmaker may make an adjustment to get the bet back to equilibrium. These patterns are normally quite conspicuous. Online websites that track these movements and explain the basics behind spotting line changes are the best way to glean critical information out of these circumstances.
Tracking Line Movement
Line movements are evaluated in various ways. The most important thing to remember is that movements are always representing money backing a particular side. A punter can interpret this in different ways by thinking that a dropping line means that the public is betting them. This scenario could also mean that smart bettors are seeing value in the favorite side. It is called a fade when you bet a team simply because the favorite is betting the favorite more than they deserve to be wagered on.
The second theory is that the sharp money is aware of the value in a matchup and moving the line themselves. If you are able to correctly notice this pattern, then you can jump on the correct side and make a profit. The term “steam” originates from this scenario where a bettor recognizes smart bettors gathering on one side. When a line is steaming it means that it is moving quickly in a particular direction. Making a late play like this can pay dividends.
Wrapping It Up
Make sure that you don’t use line movements as the sole criteria for predicting a contest. Today, there are plenty of sites offering some form of odds comparison. For a reference point, here is one dynamic example of an odds checker. When handicapping tennis matches, soccer matches, or any type of sport, you want to make sure that there are a number of factors and criteria that you use to evaluate and predict the outcome of the event. Use any real-time tools and quality information that you can to get an edge on the odds.