Sports betting lines are everywhere these days, but what do they mean? How do I read these lines? How do I make sense of all the jargon?
The line itself is pretty simple. It gives the odds of a particular outcome of a sporting event (e.g., the winner of the World Series). So, for example, if the Cleveland Indians are the favourites to win the series against the Boston Red Sox, the bookmaker may list 20/1 (or 200/1) on the Indians, with the Red Sox at 5/1 (or 5/1) or greater.
The line can be helpful when determining the strength of a particular team or the likelihood of a particular outcome occurring. However, it can be tricky to figure out exactly what the line means without having access to information about the other side of the wager (i.e., the bookmaker).
One of the best ways of determining the odds of an event is with the help of a computer. However, not every computer comes with access to the internet, so you’ll have to do a little research before being able to utilize the power of odds calculators.
What Do Bookmakers Want From Me?
The best way of looking at lines is from the perspective of the bookmaker. What do they want from you, the bettor? Simply put, they want you to bet on the events that they offer odds on. But, since you’re a rational person, you might ask yourself, “Why should I bet on these events when they are less likely to happen than some of the events that the bookmaker doesn’t offer odds on?”
The answer is: information. The more you know, the better. When placing a bet on a game, you need to know as much as possible about the outcome of the game in order to place a profitable wager.
What Do I Need To Know?
There are five things that you need to know in order to effectively read a betting line, and they are as follows:
The Date Of The Game
The date of the game is obviously crucial. You’ll need to check whether or not the game is still in progress (or if it has already been completed) when you read the line. For instance, if you’re reading a line relating to the outcome of a game that was played last week, you’ll want to know whether or not the game is still in progress today. If the game is over, then there’s no use in reading the line because you already know the outcome.
You can also use dates to figure out what day of the week the line is most likely to change. For example, Monday Night Football usually doesn’t change its line too much from one week to the next, so if you’re looking for a line on that day’s game, you can pretty much assume that it hasn’t changed.
The Location Of The Game
The location of the game is also crucial. You’ll need to check whether or not the game is taking place at a certain venue, or if it’s mobile. For instance, if you’re looking for a line on a game that will be played at a ball park, you’ll want to make sure that the venue you’re searching for is still in existence.
Mobile games can be tricky because you’ll need to factor in the possibility of noise and distractions. Typically, mobile games don’t come with the luxury of a huge TV screen and stadium-style audio system, so the betting experience on a smartphone might not be as good as that of a desktop computer or television. But if you’re searching for a game that will be played at a ball park, then you know that mobile is your only option.
The Season Of The Game
The season of the game is also crucial. You’ll need to check whether or not the game is taking place in the fall, winter, or spring. For example, NHL hockey is usually played in the fall, and American Football usually takes place in the spring. You can use this information to figure out what type of bettor you’ll be helping (i.e., in which season you should be looking for lines more likely to profit).
The Weather In The Area
The weather in the area is also crucial. You’ll need to check whether or not there is any chance of rain (or snow) at the time of the game. For example, if you’re looking for a line on a soccer game, you’ll want to make sure that the weather is fine (i.e., no chance of rain or snowfall). Otherwise, your bet will be ruined. When placing a wager on a sporting event, the last thing that you want to do is to ruin your betting experience due to bad weather conditions. This is why it’s important to check the weather before placing a bet.
How To Read A Betting Line
In general, you’ll want to read the line from right to left, starting with the most favourable odds (or vice versa). For example, if you’re searching for a game with the Cincinnati Bengals (or any other team with odds of 7/1 or greater), then you know that you’re more likely to win (i.e., the odds are in your favour).
In the example above, you’ll notice that the Cincinnati Bengals are the favourites to win the game. This is because the line begins with 7/1 (or seven to one) and goes down. What this essentially means is that the bookmaker thinks that the Cincinnati Bengals are more likely to win than you are. In other words, the odds are in favour of the Cincinnati Bengals.
When you’re placing a wager on a game, you’ll want to look for the most favourable odds. In most instances, this will be on the favourable side of the line. However, there are times when it can be beneficial to bet on the side of the line with the odds in your favour. For example, if you believe that the over/under on total points is too high, then you might want to bet on the under. (Or, vice versa.) When in doubt, bet on the side of less favourable odds.