Sports Betting Line

By | September 29, 2014

Sport betting is popular word wide but it is not easy to for new punters to get into it without first understanding the basics of money lines and point spread and how they move.

Sport betting line basics

A sports betting line is of two types money line and point spread. A money line depends on the result of a match alone whereas in case of point spread the margin of victory matters. When the bookmakers start accepting bets on an upcoming match, they set the initial odd which is nothing but the sports betting line.
For example in case of a match between Team A and Team B an odd in terms of a money line will look something like this
Team A +120 (2.20)
Team B -150 (1.67)

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If the bookies introduce a point spread the betting line will be something like this
Team A +2.5 -150(1.67)
Team B -2.5 -150(1.67)
This first or initial line is called the opening line based on the match statistics and is set by the expert sports book folks. However, the opening line is not exactly in sync with what the computer algorithms of the bookmakers predict. Bookmakers change the odds so that their profit margins increase and then set the opening line. Hence, no punter should take the odds set by the betting sites at face value. Compare the lines in different sites and then choose the line which looks more accurate giving you a higher profit margin.
Some people will bet on the opening line itself and some prefer to see how the line moves.
When does the sport betting line move?
The betting line moves when the bets start pouring in. The bookmakers see which direction the tide is flowing. If all start betting on the favourites, the line moves in the direction of underdogs by changing the point spread or the money line amount. In some cases, a reverse line move also can happen wherein the bookies encourage bets on the preferred team to continue as long as their margins are safe. If the line moves by significant points, it indicates that the bets are being placed by professional punters. It is a safe idea to place your bet in such a case as professionals would have usually studied about the match and then come to the conclusion that the sports betting line is an attractive one.
Bookmakers move sports betting line to prevent all folks from betting on one team. If all bet on the favorites, in case of a favorite win, the bookmakers will have to pay back to all winners. Their profits will be less. So once the line moves in favor of the underdogs, if people start placing bets on underdogs, the bookmakers account gets balanced. In this way they try to ensure that their profits do not suffer.
There are many betting portals which now offer live streaming of line data. Punters can monitor the various sports betting line moves and see the latest odds. Then a site by site comparison shows the line movement trend and a punter can decide the safest bet. Ensure that you have understood the point spread and the money line basics of sports betting line before selecting a final odd.