As you will see, there are ways to predict which way the line will move, and when you should place your bet. These lines can change drastically between the time they are initially set by the sportsbook up until when the game actually begins. In general, sportsbooks like to have as close to an even amount of action on each side of a bet. This means that regardless of who wins, they will make a profit on the commission they charge, which is the cut the sportsbook takes of every bet before it is paid out.
If there is way more action on one side of the bet, the sportsbook risks losing money when that side of the bet ends up winning. The way that the sportsbook can encourage an even amount of money being bet on both sides is by making the less popular side more attractive. This is done by changing the payout odds or shifting the point spread or total. Basically, any time you notice that the odds, points or totals in a bet have changed, that means the line has been moved. Line movement can occur at any time, and it occurs as a reaction — usually to a majority of money being placed on one side of the bet, but also to external factors such as injuries or suspensions.
Generally, once the betting lines are opened there is a flurry of bets from the public which indicates which side of the bet most people like. After that initial flurry, it is common that the lines will be moved. The Chiefs started out as favorites, with When the line moved they became even greater favorites, moving to -5 points.
Conversely, the Ravens became an even bigger dog. In this case, it is likely that a lot of people bet on the Chiefs when the line opened. This leads the sportsbook to give more points to the Ravens, to entice people to bet on them and balance the action. Another way the line could move is that the odds change on the money line, without the point spread being considered.
That could look like this:. By making one side of the bet more appealing, the sportsbook can entice more people to bet on it. As we have seen, generally lines move because a large majority of money has been placed on one side of a single bet. In the example above, the Chiefs started out as favorites and attracted a lot of bets. This would have made the sportsbook concerned that they would lose money if the Chiefs won. In response, they gave the Ravens even more points so that more people would bet on them.
The most common reason for line movement is that the vast majority of public bettors are betting in one direction. Generally, the highest number of people betting on one side means that that side has the highest amount of money. Another possibility, particularly when the line moves erratically or unexpectedly, is that a lot of money has been placed by a small number of bettors.
This tends to take the form of reverse line movement. Reverse line movement is when the line moves in contradiction to the public betting percentage. That is, even though most people are betting on one side, the line moves to make that side more attractive. This tends to indicate sharp money. Lines can also move based on external factors separate from the betting. For example, if three key players from one team are suddenly injured a couple of days out from an important game, that is likely to be reflected in the betting lines.
Other factors like this include suspensions, team selection, tactical announcements or weather. Remember, sportsbooks are not always trying to set lines that they think are fair or even. The bottom line is that with the exception of player and team factors, sportsbooks move betting lines because they think it gives them the best chance of making money. There are lots of different sports betting strategies that let you leverage your knowledge of line movement.
Another strategy for using line movement is to observe how the odds change to give you an idea of where the best value is. If you are sure which side you want to back, all you need to worry about is getting the best price or point spread. One good rule of thumb is that if you want to bet on the favorite you should bet early.
Line movement can be erratic, but generally, favorites are more popular with the public, and so the line tends to move against them after the betting line is opened. They simply bet on the favorite as soon as the line is released. Over time, the line tends to move against the favorite, making them a less attractive bet. Conversely, if you like the road underdog it is often worth waiting a few days after the line is released. Generally, the public bets on favorites which leads to line movement in favor of the underdog.
This is known as betting against the favorite, and you can read our guide here. Line movement is also very important for hedging. If you get in early and the line moves so that your side of the bet comes down in odds or points, chances are you can bet on the other side to reduce your risk.
This is only possible when the line moves in your favor. One more technique to use if you know which side you like: decide on a price that works for you and wait to see if the line moves onto your price. Well, line movement can help you pick. Take this example:. This line movement indicates that a lot of money has been placed on the Celtics in a short space of time. Although movement does tend to go against the favorite, it is often quite gradual. A big jump like this suggests that the smartest bettors with the most money or sharps think that the original line offered by the sportsbook was very good value.
If you spot a situation like this, a good move will be to quickly check other sportsbooks to see if the Celtics are available anywhere else at Since sportsbooks react to the bets they receive themselves as opposed to bets received by other sportsbooks lines move at different speeds in different books.
Once you have an idea of the value from the line movement of one book, you should shop around with others to find the best price. As you gain more experience in sports betting, you will become more familiar with the way the lines move. Both the direction of the line movement and the timing of the line movement gives us information. Dramatic movement over a short period of time indicates big money from clued-in bettors.
Gradual movement in one direction indicates public perception. Depending on the kind of bet, line movement will look different. Basically, the sportsbook decides on the most likely margin of victory and gives each side a points handicap accordingly. If you bet on the Colts, they need to win by four points or more for you to win.
Here, the line has moved so that the Colts are even bigger favorites. Now, if you bet on them they will need to win by 5 points or more for you to win your bet. Line movement in point spread betting is all about sportsbooks making the suggested margin of victory more attractive or less attractive. If you notice the numbers in a point spread bet getting higher over time ie, more points between the teams , it means the majority of money is being placed on the favorite.
If the numbers are getting lower, the majority of the money is going on the underdog. Key numbers are significant for moving point spreads. You can read our more comprehensive guide to key numbers here. If you see a spread moving on or off a key number, it is worth considering how this could affect a bet. Moneyline bets are probably the simplest form of betting. In this case, the sportsbook makes up for the difference in quality between the two teams not with points, but with odds.
Betting on the underdog will win more than betting on the favorite. If the values get larger then the majority of money is being placed on the favorite. If they get smaller, then the majority is going on the underdog. Point total bets involve betting on the total number of points scored in a game.
The sportsbook sets a number on which they suggest there is a fifty-fifty shot of the total points being either over or under. The line might look like this:. In this case, if you bet the over you will win if there is a total of points or more scored in the game. If you bet the under, you will win if there is a total of or fewer points scored. If a lot of bets came in on the Over in this case, the points total might rise to entice more bets on the Under. In this case, if you liked the Over, you would have been better to bet early before the line moved.
However, if you liked the Under, you will have gotten a better price by waiting. Of the three types of movement here, totals are the most affected by factors like weather and injuries to creative players, since these can have a major effect on the number of points scored. All of the above examples are different forms of the same activity from sportsbooks. The books move the lines because they want to make one side of the bet more attractive, whether that is through points, odds or totals.
Watching how these numbers change gives you information which you can use to time your bets effectively. One of the classic ways to take advantage of line movement is by using a strategy called betting the middle. The situation only arises once in a while depending on line movement, and when it does you have the chance to bet on both sides of a game with a chance to win both bets.
Now over the course of the next few days, a lot of people bet on the Patriots, so the sportsbook changes the line. Now it looks like this:. This opens up the possibility of a middle bet for you. This leaves you in a situation where you will win both bets if the Patriots win by 5 or 6 points. If they win by 4 or 7 points you also get one of your bets back as a push, while winning the other. The worst-case scenario, in this case, is you win one of your bets and lose the other. Successfully betting the middle depends on you getting in on the right side of action early.
Key numbers are important to watch out for when looking for middle bets since they can be very influential in the final result. However, middle bets do not require a specific points differential. They are available any time you get in on the action early, and the team you backed is eventually given fewer points when the line changes. In that game, the Pittsburgh Steelers opened up as 3.
Before the game, the spread shifted to 4. Anyone who bet early on the Steelers at When the game finished to the Steelers many sportsbooks had one of the worst days in history as bettors won big on both sides. Live betting is becoming increasingly popular, especially as both betting and mobile technology improve. But while these early line moves may show where the public money is initially going, it does not obviously tell the whole story until we can see where the closing odds end up.
It is important to realize that a lot of movement can happen on sporting events, especially with football since there are so many days in between games, giving bettors plenty of opportunities to get action on different numbers. The goal when following line moves is to always try to get the best of the number you are looking for, whether you are interested in wagering on the favorite or the underdog.
That can be much easier said than done, though, because the opening number may be the lowest you will get on a favorite before the public hammers it and makes it too high. But while there are advantages to jumping on a line early, there can also be advantages to sitting back and watching to see how the line moves. That can definitely be the case if you are more interested in betting on the underdog, as you may be able to simply wait and watch the value grow. Overall, line movements can be fairly predictable.
Many lines remain fairly stagnant, eventually moving a half-point or so against the favorite as the public bets on the favorite , and then perhaps coming back to the original line after the underdog bettors get their action in. For example, when a line increases by a full point or more, the key is to watch how quickly this movement takes place. If a team opens at On the other hand, if a team opens at You might expect the New Orleans Saints to be huge favorites this week, and when they open at -2, something does not seem right.
If the line does not move or goes the other direction against New Orleans to Regardless, it is always extremely important to follow line moves carefully and use your gut feeling on when to jump in and place a bet on the side you want before it becomes too late. Need more winning picks?
William Hill. Cantor Gaming. Rotation Number. Open - Spread. Live - ML. Open - ML. Line Move - Spread. Line Move - ML. Best Bet Rating. Total of Public Tickets - Spread. Total of Public Tickets - Moneyline. Total of Public Tickets - Over. Total of Public Tickets - Under. Total Games. Current Year Net Units. ATS Record. ATS Units. Over Record O - U - P. Under Record U - O - P. Cancel Add Settings. College Football Line Movement Explained College football line movement occurs when money comes in on one side or another in any given game.
Bowl Game Consensus Picks. Bets based on Hottest Trends Bets based on Hottest Trends Recommended bets that also have performed well historically. Also, as lines are released, the public could see one side as a great value and place heavy bets on that side. Sportsbooks will need to adjust to encourage more people to bet the other side or risk taking a big loss.
The Super Bowl has not seen much line movement so far, as most people see it as an evenly matched game and there have been no notable injuries to monitor. The game is taking place in Miami, so snow or heavy wind is unlikely to impact the high-powered offense of the Kansas City Chiefs and give an advantage to San Francisco's strong running game and defensive line. Plus, the Matchups page shows betting history on ATS results.
In the sports betting world ATS stands for Against the Spread , which measures the profitability of a team for bettors in terms of the point-spread. The Total result Over-Under shows the combined points scored in the game while the Cover result shows how many points the team exceeded the spread by.
Along with Cover, you could see the word Push and that means that neither team won against the spread, rather they tied. Plus, you can get an informative Recap too. If you are in a state where sports betting is legal, please check out our online sportsbook directory to find the best and most secure places to make football bets.
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The site is not associated with nor is it endorsed College Football Championship. The handicapping, football betting lines movement odds information bet to college football playoff betting next season's by any professional or collegiate. Using this information to contravene. Total of Public Tickets. PARAGRAPHRegardless, it is always extremely important to follow line moves carefully and use your gut province to province and country in and place a bet. Line Move - Spread. OddsShark does not target an audience under the age of for entertainment purposes only. Total of Public Tickets. Total of Public Tickets. Line Move - ML.After oddsmakers release their opening lines at sportsbooks, the betting public a lot of movement can happen on sporting events, especially with football since. Remember the “vig” is the premium % you pay to bet on sports. However, to remain profitable, sportsbooks want to encourage equal betting action on both. Reverse line movement refers to betting line movement that contradicts the public betting percentages. For example, consider Indianapolis Colts vs. Oakland.