Since there are so many new sports gamblers, addressing line moves is a good topic. A line move is defined by the odds or the spread of a game changing before the start of the game. Information such as injuries, opt-outs, transfer portals, and coaching changes will make the odds and spreads change. The fallacy of this is to believe the changes do not include this information already. So many gamblers like to follow this stuff, and rightfully so, but it should be used in the handicap of the game. This is public information, and the market has adjusted for these moves. If this information helps one find an edge, it should be acted on before the market knows about it, as the gained edge is substantial. However, once the moves are “baked in” to a settled line, one should look to other situations that have created line moves. I am trying to express that nearly everyone will be late on “public” information and that you should already build the new line into your handicap. If you adjust late, you will make the same adjustment twice, askew a proper handicap. An example would be finding information about Ohio University on a website such as this.
This shows Ohio University will miss significant starting players on offense, such as their quarterback, wide receiver, and running backs! This is excellent information to wager on as it will dramatically lower the value of output Ohio University will produce. However, let’s look at the line move for this game.
Ohio opened as a -1.5-point favorite, with a total of 54.5. After the information went public, the new line is Ohio +3.5, with a total of 49! If you were to make adjustments now based on the information, you would be moving the line twice, thus creating a mistake and causing a poor wager to be placed.
Now let’s talk about line moves another way. The common mistake is to believe the sportsbook adjusts the line to get 50% of the money on both sides of a game. Please do not believe that. Sportsbooks are grande places that are expensive to build and run, yet they never run out of money. The sportsbook has what is called risk. It means they will have more risk (money) on one side of a game than the other. Once the risk gets too high, they will move the number. However, the more common occurrence is to allow that risk to build so the sportsbook will make a large amount on that game.
Another issue is to understand why a line moved in the first place! Why did it happen? The possibilities are many but narrowed to just a few choices. Those choices include sportsbook risk, “sharp” and “heavier” money bets, a syndicate giving out a play that generated larger than regular action, and public information. Did you know that a sportsbook will open lines at low limits, raise them mid-weekly, and open them up for the weekend? This information is essential because the early line moves are based on “sharp money” wagering into the lines that help establish the market. Thus, the late moves are likely sportsbooks trying to hedge their betting odds to make profits. Keep in mind one serious thought. No matter how much they are wagering, the public does NOT move numbers! If you study why a line moved, maybe it was an injury, the weather, or a syndicate release, knowing the difference between the two will help you make winning wagers!
Good luck with your wagers!