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You may have noticed that after the opening lines are released in lots of spots, the odds might actually change as the game gets closer.
Understanding WHY this happens is really important in sports betting and it can reveal valuable betting opportunities if you know what to look for.
In this video we’re going to explain line movements and what they mean in detail.
We’ll explain why it happens and how you can use it to your advantage right now, so let’s get started.
UNDERSTANDING LINE MOVEMENT
You’ll see lines move in all major sports but it’s by far the most common in the NFL.
With so much time between games a lot can happen to make the sportsbooks adjust their lines.
We’ll get into the reasons lines move in a second but first let’s go over some basics about what usually happens and how you can cash in on it.
Generally when lines do move, they move in favor of the underdog. What we mean by that is if the opening point spread for next week’s game had the Chiefs at -9.5 and the Browns at +9.5, it’s more likely that the Browns will receive more points in their favor as the week goes on.
That means if you like the opening numbers on the favorite, it’s usually a good idea to lock in your bet early.
If you’re planning to bet on the underdog, however, it can pay to be patient and wait a few days to see if the line moves.
Your patience might pay off with better odds and a better bet.
In addition to point spreads changing, you’ll also see the odds on other bets like moneylines and over/unders change too.
WHY BETTING LINES MOVE
Injuries and other team or player events can defnitely cause lines to change but the most common reasons for line movement has more to do with how people are betting on the game.
It all comes down to how sportsbooks work. Some people think that when you lose, the sportsbook wins, but that’s not exactly true.
If everyone in the world bet the opposite way you did and you win, it means everyone else won and the sportsbook would be out of business.
Sportsbooks actually try to balance their action on both sides of every bet.
Since they charge a 10% commission for taking your bet, if the action is balanced they’re guaranteed a profit regardless of who wins.
BALANCING THE BOOKS
Let’s go back to our example from before with the Chiefs and the Browns.
Let’s say the sportsbook releases their lines for the games with the Chiefs listed at -9.5.
The betting public know the Chiefs are a lock and everyone puts their money on them to win.
Now the sportsbook has a problem. If they don’t get the same amount of action on the Browns, they might take a big loss if the Chiefs win.
One way they can get more people to bet on the Browns is by moving the line to offer better odds.
HIGH ROLLERS AND SYNDICATES
When you see betting lines changing slowly over the course of a few days, it’s usually because more of the betting public is taking one side of the action over the other.
When you see faster and more drastic changes, it can mean high rollers or a betting syndicate has bet a big amount all at once.
This is especially true when the line moves in the opposite direction to what you were expecting.
In these situations, consider following the smart money and putting a bet on that side too, even though the line has already moved and the odds are a bit worse.
BETTING THE MIDDLE
One of the coolest tricks for taking advantage of moving lines is called betting the middle and it actually lets you put action on both teams to win the same game.
To learn how to profitably bet the middle check out our comprehensive guide and video, available for free on WSN.com.
Thanks for watching and good luck.
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