Sports Betting – Analyzing Line Movements

Sports betting is not easy, if it was, we wouldn’t lose so often. A lot of times bettors get blinders and can only see their recent losses. The difference between winning and losing at sports betting is a mere percentage points in your winning percentage. It only takes a slight shift in mindset to make a difference, and knowing more about line movements and what to look for will help. Let’s take a moment and analyze line movements.

Movement in betting lines is a constant seismic shift by sportsbooks in an attempt to get an even amount of money on both sides. While point spreads are most commonly associated with line movements, both moneylines and totals operate in the same manner.

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For this article we are going to focus on point spreads, specifically why they move and what to look for. Know that there are a lot of different views on line movements, and there is not one steadfast rule. Each game/situation can be different, but you will be handed a bunch of information. Your job is to interpret it and act accordingly.

When sportsbooks release their opening line, in most cases, you can quickly see which side the public is on depending on which way the line moves. There are a lot of different ways bettors decide which side they will bet, but some will side with the public while others will fade them. Important to remember is until the closing odds are posted, there may be many shifts, and in my opinion these shifts are where you find your value.

What you need to be aware of is no matter the number of bets on one side, the key indicator to line movements is the amount of money on each side. For example, if 5000 bettors wager $50 on one side ($250,000) and one bettor wagers $500,000 on the other side, the line will side with the 1 bettor.

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This is where things can get tricky, because some handicappers and more importantly groups of handicappers treat sports betting and line movements like stockbrokers treat the stock market. They will manipulate the line in order to get a better one on the opposite side.

Your job is finding out where the smart money is. This is going to take some homework, including creating reports with data to help back up any theory you may come up with. Finding a pattern is possible, but be sure to remember that your goal is to extract as much value as possible.

Football season is drawing near, and monitoring line movements has major significance here because lines are released a week before most games. Lines have a lot of time to be influenced. Don’t forget that lines move for two reasons, smart money and public money. Take some time to learn what a reverse line move is, because they are usually caused by smart money.

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A reverse line move is where the movements go in the opposite direction of what logically should happen. This most often happens because the smart money went against the public and bet the underdog heavy. Do not use line movements as the “end all and be all” to determine which side you are going to bet. Usen them as one more tool to help you get the best value for any bet you are going to make. Handicap games as you normally would, and grab the line when it reaches the best value for you.

Although knowing some of the signs associated with line movements, recognizing patterns can be difficult. Lines move for all kinds of different reasons, so don’t waste your time trying to analyze them to figure out why. Use line movements to get yourself the best value.

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