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Understanding Line Movement in Sports Betting: Everything You Need to Know

One big difference between casual bettors and professional bettors is that the latter ones are paying much attention to something that the first ones might totally neglect or ignore. We are talking about line movement and the importance of being able to recognize (or at least speculate) why lines are moving and what does this tell you about your betting choices. 

First, let’s see what we mean by line movement and how all this fits to betting. 

Every game or match that is scheduled has an opening and a closing line. Bookmakers and of course the best betting site in Bangladesh, launch the market with an opening offer, which in the vast majority of cases (not to say in all cases) continues to shape and adjust up until the game is finally on and ready to begin. This change in the bet offered by sportsbooks is actually a move up and down the line. 

Bettors will most likely find different odds and/or lines for a game when it first appears on bookies and different ones when the game is about to begin. This is called line movement and it can take the form of changing the odds, changing the points spread or changing the totals. 

As the betting market is volatile, the line movement only represents how dynamic it is. 

What causes lines to move?

Line movement does not happen on its own. The betting lines are not self-regulated. It is the bookmakers that move the lines and in pretty much most of the cases they do so in order to make sure that they are not going to lose money. 

Let’s make things more clear. An opening line of an upcoming game, eventually generates a lot of interest to the one betting side. This means that the majority of money has been put on one side and therefore, sportsbooks are running the risk of losing profits if they don’t do something to restore some balance. They want money to be put on the other side of the bet as well, so as to make sure that they will maintain the desired level of profitability. 

To restore or establish balance in the first place, bookies change the offerings – they move the lines. They can do that by making the other side of the bet – the one that has been less popular up to now – far more attractive. 

Why? Because they want to secure money placed on this side too. Giving better odds, more favorable lines they entice bettors to choose these bets, so that they will end up with an ‘equal’ distribution of money on each side. 

Simple as that, line movement is driven by sportsbooks’ need to secure profits. But it is not only an inside thing. 

Line movement can be “forced” by exogenous factors as well. In an upcoming football match for example, one of the defensive players of the favorite team is seriously injured and the manager will have to replace him. 

This will cause an instant line movement – orchestrated by bookmakers of course – because the dynamics of the forthcoming match have now been vastly changed. The favorite might not lose its status as a favorite, but the odds might change or the totals might change, because now we have different circumstances. 

Another example is the weather. We can have lines moving in an upcoming tennis match due to weather. We can see lines moving when it is a known fact that one tennis player is uncomfortable with playing in high humidity. If there is a weather broadcast that gives high humidity levels, then the line is most likely going to change for that match, in order to reflect the reviewed, adjusted chances each player will have to win the match.

Watching how lines are moving can give bettors a critical advantage. For one thing, they get to have a stronger understanding of how the market is moving, what bettors have wagered on the most, which side is more popular and so on.

For another, they get to accumulate experience -which comes along with looking at the line movement and becoming more and more familiar with it – that in the end can help them make wiser bet decisions that signal the difference between a good bettor and a pro bettor!