Line movement only happens few and far between in sports betting. For some, a change in line might as well be the end of the world as weeks of research spiral down the drain. While on the flip side, other bettors see this as just another opportunity to earn more money, having wagers greater than what was initially offered. And whether you’re an avid or noob bettor, I’m sure you’ve already experienced this type of change at least once. Leaving one big question looming: Why do betting lines move?
Before knowing the reasons why it happens, let’s first dive into semantics and know what line movement refers to. Line movement is the change within the odds or point spreads before a game is played. As mentioned earlier, bettors almost always see line movement as a treat for the best possible wagers.
There are numerous causes why betting lines move. But, for the better part, it is due to a particular reason: the wager is unbalanced. The reason is pretty straightforward, for most of the time. Suppose bettors have deemed one side of a bet as a surefire profit. Such a scenario could result in an unbalanced bet where no to little bet has been placed on the flip side, thus, potentially causing sportsbooks to lose a great deal of profit.

For example, the No.1 ranked Kansas City Chiefs were slated to play the No.32 Jacksonville Jaguars on a Monday night at Arrowhead Stadium, the Chief’s home court. Most bettors would see this as a betting lock resulting in quick profits. Even though upsets exist, the chances of the higher-ranked team winning will always be greater. These outmatched games usually see betting line movement as bettors would try to make bank by betting on the clear favorites. For this reason, sportsbooks would intervene and move the lines in order to mitigate their losses.

Besides minimizing losses, the betting lines also move in case of a substantial roster or personnel change, injuries, and though rarely, a change in the weather. Putting it into perspective, if a star player gets injured and ruled out of the game, the lines for that game would either be greatly or subtly tugged towards the opposing side. And for weather changes, games that are played outdoors or in open domes are greatly known to be immensely affected by the weather. Sometimes, to an extreme extent where the outcome solely lies in the hand of the sky.
Now that you’ve learned the “why,” it is time to know “when” and “how” should a bettor like you use this to your advantage. For the aspect of when, the rule of thumb is that you should bet as early as possible. If you get to wager before any chance of the line moving rises, you could already set up a plan to your delight and advantage in the scenario that it actually takes place. On the side of “how”, bettors need to be patient and be up to scratch with the latest news and happenings surrounding the teams playing. Additionally, the type of bet where the line movement happens is also considered as a key factor.
Line movement being a good or bad thing heavily depends on whether a bettor is cerebral with his bet. If you’ve already learned the answers as to how, when, and why it happens, it gradually gets easier to know what to do. Knowing all of this, it is advisable to check your sportsbook and search for line movements that you could wager on and ultimately turn into quick cash. Like any other thing in the sports betting world, line movement is just another way to profit.
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