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Reading Reverse Line Movement

April 17, 2015

During the past weeks, we've made several references to reverse line movement, but haven't really broke down what it is. We'll take care of that with this article.
 

 

When the sportsbooks post the opening point spreads/odds many times those numbers will change over the course of the entire day. Sometimes they can change by the hour or quickly as a minute.The primary reason for line movement is money wagered on one side.

 

For example if the Seattle Seahaws and the New England Patriots were playing tonight and the Seattle Seahawks were listed as a -6.5 favorite, the point spread will likely move to Seattle Seahawks -7 by the end of the day, as the sportsbooks are trying to balance their books by attracting bets on the Patriots. The point spread change makes the Patriots more attractive and the Seahawks slightly less attractive, which in theory, should bring in a few more bets on Patriots.

 

In analyzing a reverse line move, the opposite happens of what should, in that the point spread in our example above would move to Seahawks -6, even though the majority of bets are coming in on the Patriots.

 

In this case, the sportsbooks don't mind having the majority of bets on one side, and are actually trying to attract more wagers on that particular team (Seahawks) But while a sports bettors has to be correct 53-percent of the time to show a profit, sportsbooks only have to be correct 48-percent of the time to make money in the long run. If you haven't noticed Las Vegas is Las Vegas because of the won money from novice sports bettors and gamblers.

 

While the example we used above was for the point spread, reverse line moves also occur with the money line wagers as well.  We will use baseball for example, say for example the Dodgers are -130 against the Cardinals and the majority of bets are coming in on the Dodgers, you would expect to see the odds change to Dodgers -135 or Dodgers -140. In a reverse line move, the odds would instead drop and the money line would become Dodgers -125.

 

Using, BetLabs I was able to see that for football and basketball the reverse line movements have been correct roughly 57.18% of the time. If you know anything about sports betting thats more than enough to be able to do this for a living.

 

Reverse line movement should be a huge influence on your sports predictions It's one of those things that should be analyzed through out the day and incorportated into your sports handicapping. If nothing else, staying away from those games in which there is a lot of line movement will surely save you a lot of money as well. 

 

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