Understanding Line Movement

Learning how and why odds change is a key factor in establishing prolonged betting success

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Line movement occurs when odds move in one direction or the other. 

One of the most important tools we offer here at BetQL is access to live sharp betting data. Sharp bettors can be considered pros or experts due to the fact that they typically wager the most money and are responsible for moving lines. Sharps typically get heavy action on their targeted bets soon after lines are released. Therefore, having access to their preferred wagers is extremely powerful. Our sharp picks dashboard is extremely easy to use and understand.

Oddsmakers move lines for a variety of reasons, including betting activity, strategy against the public, injuries, scratches, weather and more in order to make the game enticing to bet for both sides, which is their ultimate goal.

MLB Betting Line Movement

Betting line movement is one of the most important aspects of baseball betting. MLB line movement occurs when money comes in on one side or another in any given game. These bets can be on the spread, the money line, or the over/under — it doesn’t matter the bet type because all baseball betting features line movement. 

The line movement is tracked from where the line started — the “opening odds” — to where the line either currently sits or where it finishes — the “closing odds”.

Example: The New York Yankees have a +1.5 run line against the Boston Red Sox and bettors think it will be a close game and take heavy action on the Yankees. That leaves the sportsbook exposed to lose a lot of money. To entice new bettors to bet on Boston, the sportsbook might move the line from -1.5 to to -.5, which would make the Yankees now +.5. 

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NBA Betting Line Movement 

Betting on the NBA in today’s day and age requires a lot of attention to line movement. Injuries, load management and other factors commonly create opportunities.

Example: The Thunder are +9 against the Clippers (-9) and news comes out that Kawhi Leonard will be sitting the game out due to load management. Further, sharp bettors had been hammering the Thunderat +9 all morning. The sportsbook moves the line to Thunder +2.5 after the news breaks and the heavy sharp action, which then makes the Clippers -2.5. By moving the betting line, the sportsbook attempts to entice new bettors to play their tickets on the Clippers despite the fact that their star is sitting out. If you forecasted that Leonard would sit, jumping on the Thunder at +9 before that news officially dropped would be a smart move. Our dashboards update in real time to identify the best bets, even as lines move.

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NFL Betting Line Movement 

Using BetQL you are able to see the entire line movement of every NFL game from open to close. If you aren’t interested in betting a full game and you are looking to find 1st half line movement or 2nd half line movement, you can click over to our pages that focus on each. 

Example: The New York Jets are playing the New England Patriots in New England and the line is set at +/- 14 with the Patriots as the large favorite. Since New England are the favorites, their odds are -320 and the underdog Jets are +280. Throughout the week, there has been speculation on the New England quarterback’s recent ankle injury and, in typical fashion, the team has been quiet. Due to the uncertainty, bettors have been heavily targeting the Jets and on Saturday, it is confirmed that Brady will miss the game. As a result, the Jets become less drastic underdogs +140 while the Patriots become less of a huge favorite -180. 

Before the QB’s injury was confirmed, betting $100 on the Jets would have earned you $280 in profit if they won, but after the news was released, betting $100 would have earned you $140 in profit due to the line movement.

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NHL Betting Line Movement 

Line movement also occurs in the NHL. 

Example: The Bruins (-120) are home favorites against the Rangers. News breaks that Boston’s starting goalie and first-line center will both miss the game, thus making Boston slight underdogs (+115). Since both of those players are key members of Boston’s team, the presumed impact of their absence played a major role in the line movement. 

Click here for more information about NHL line movement.

College Football Line Movement 

Tracking college football betting line movement can be advantageous to you as a bettor because you can find the most opportune time to place a bet. 

Example: You are betting a college football point total and you are tracking the line movement. After it was announced that conditions will be extremely windy and could have an impact on the passing game, it would be the perfect time to jump on the under due to a perceived uptick in running plays which keeps the clock moving. Observing line movement and tracking the best time to place your bet based on line movement is a crucial part of being a successful sports gambler. 

Click here for more information about NCAA Football line movement.

College Basketball Line Movement

Like all of the aforementioned sports, keeping tabs on college basketball line movement is a very important aspect of finding prolonged success. Using our model’s live dashboards to help you do so is extremely helpful, especially due to the fact that there are 351 Division I teams in the NCAA (and slates are typically large).

Example: A talented, undefeated Mid-Major (+5) is taking on a Power 5 opponent (-5) and news breaks that the Power 5 team’s leading scorer has been suspended by his coach for breaking team rules. The spread moves in favor of the Mid-Major (+1), which makes the power-five school one-point favorites, essentially altering the entire pre-game situation.

Click here for more information about NCAA Basketball line movement.

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