Sports Betting Tips
Line Movement - What it Means and Why You Need to
Depending on how long you've been in the sports betting
game, you may or may not have heard someone refer to line movement. This
means exactly what it sounds like--the line (spread, total or moneyline)
opened at one number, and has since moved to a different number. There are a
wide variety of factors that can trigger line movement and it is important
for the sports better to check out line moves when doing research--it only
takes a moment and can offer some valuable insight. In this article, we will
share some tips for tracking line movement, what it means and when you
Sharp Money Pounces Early
While the average sports better is still sweating out the final scores from
their games of the day, the sharp better is already scouting tomorrow's
matchups and eagerly awaiting early lines from their sport books. Having
been around the block several times over, these guys know the real
importance of a half point here and a full point there--it can make all the
difference between winning and losing, so when the books first release their
lines, the sharps usually jump in right away. The sport books, no slouches
themselves, are quick to adjust to whatever position these sharp betters
take, typically resulting in line movement. If they post a line at -3 and
the sharp betters unload on it, they will very likely move the line to -3.5 or
even -4. While this half point or full point may not seem like much to
you, trust me: these subtle moves that can have an enormous impact on your
The Public is Unfashionably Late
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The average sports better will mostly focus on games taking place that day,
rather than do a little more advanced scouting. In terms of line value, this
can be a bad thing as the sharps have already identified the soft lines and
forced the sport books to adjust, this removing any initial line value that
may have existed. The betting public, being late to party, can see where the
sharp money has gone and then decide to follow them. The problem, however,
is that the public isn't getting the same line that the sharps bet on, and
they do not have the same advantage as a result. This public action can
often result in the line moving even further away from it's opening
position--lets say the line now moves to 6 or 7--and it is this late
movement that often opens the door for the smart sports better to jump in on
the other side.
Here's a simple concept to keep in mind: if the general public won more than
they lost, sport books would cease to exist because they would be losing
money. This concept of reverse public opinion is one that I will definitely
expand on in a future column, but for now here's a little tip: when the line
moves more than a couple of points in one direction, it actually gives value
to betting on the other side. Remember, linesmakers are incredibly sharp. If
they posted a line at -3, then they had a good reason for it. If the sharp
money forces them to adjust a little, that's fine, but when the public jumps
on the bandwagon and they further adjust the line, it can often lead to a
scenario where the opposite side now offers serious value. In fact, it is
not uncommon at all for the sharps to monitor these late line moves and
actually jump in on the other side as game time approaches if they feel the
line has moved too much.
Monitoring line movement is a subject that will hopefully generate more
articles around here. It is an advanced concept with many subtleties. For
now, pay attention to what a line opened at, where it first moved and at
what time it moved. If a line was posted at 10pm and moved within an hour or
two, you can be sure that is where the sharp money went. If the line
eventually makes it way back to this opening number, it might be a good
betting opportunity for you. Alternatively, if the line moves too far in one
direction, it could present some value in betting the opposite direction. As
always, shop around your various sport book accounts and review the
lines--the extra half point you find could mean the difference between
winning and losing.
Check out more of our sports betting tips articles to become a smarter
sports better. Knowledge is power, folks.
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