When it comes to sports betting, reading the line is most often described as one of the most critical skills to have. Many bettors (also known as sports betters) consider it one of the most important things they need to learn and master before they can begin placing bets and winning money. If you’re new to sports betting, it might seem overly simplistic to learn and follow such a straightforward approach. However, just because something is simple doesn’t mean it’s easy. In fact, many successful sports betters will tell you that there is a lot of technique and art to properly reading the line.
Know What To Look For
One of the first things you need to do before trying to read the line is to know what to look for. There are six common stats that you need to keep in mind when trying to decipher the meaning of a line in a sports bet. These stats are commonly known as the x-stats or the numerical stats.
The first and most important of these stats is the point spread. The point spread is the number of points that a team is laying (taking) or betting (making) against the other team. In other words, the point spread is the expectation of victory for one team over the other. You can learn more about point spreads and how to use them wisely in betting on sports at this link Betting Terms.
The second and third stats on the list are the number of points scored in the first half (00:00 – 01:00) and the second half (01:00 – 02:00) of the game. The idea behind these numbers is to determine how the game is going. If your line is a minus number, you’re definitely going to want to bet on the under or against the spread.
The Psychology Behind The Line
It’s important to understand the psychology behind the line as well. When people hear the word ‘line’ they might think of a physical barrier they have to cross to enter a park or stadium. While that is certainly one meaning of the word ‘line’, it’s not the only one. A line in sports betting can also mean the line that the bookmakers have placed on the odds of a particular game or event happening. More often than not, bookmakers will put a line on the odds of something happening or of a certain team winning or losing a game. These lines are constantly changing, so it’s crucial to constantly check for the latest lines before placing any bets.
Key Metrics To Look Out For
The following are some of the most important metrics you need to keep an eye out for when trying to decipher the stats behind a line in a sports bet:
- Odds – The odds of the event (game, etc.) you are interested in happening
- Moneyline – The moneyline is simply a measure of how much money you’ll win or lose if the odds come true
- Settling Pointspread – This stat indicates how far the line has moved in favor or against the spread. If you are reading the number on a television or computer screen, then the settling pointspread will always be in the right-hand column. If you are reading the line in a newspaper then the settling pointspread will usually be in the middle of the article
- Total Wins – This stat represents the total number of wins the team has registered in the current league season (or in the entire history of the team if the season doesn’t end yet)
- Total Losses – This stat represents the total number of losses the team has registered in the current league season (or in the entire history of the team)
- Net Wins – This stat represents the total number of wins (or losses) the team has tallied (net of the pointspread)
- Point Differential – This stat is exactly what it sounds like: it’s the difference between the number of points scored by one team and the other team. For example, if a team scores 28 points and the other scores 24 points, then the point differential is 4 points. This stat can either be good or bad, depending on whether you’re rooting for the team with the higher score or the lower score!
- Yards Per Game – This stat represents the average number of points scored per game by the team. It is important to keep in mind that this stat can vary widely from game to game. If you’re looking to bet on sports then this stat is one you will want to keep an eye out for.
- TDs Per Game – This stat represents the total number of touchdowns (touchdowns) scored per game by the team. As the name implies, a touchdown is scored when a team reaches the end zone (the area in front of the goal posts where the flags are placed after a touchdown is scored). When you see this stat you’ll know exactly how successful the team is at putting points on the board. It can vary widely from game to game, so you’ll want to keep an eye out for this stat as well.
- Rushing Yards Per Game – This stat represents the total number of rushing yards (running yards) per game by the team. Just like the previous stat, this one can vary widely from game to game, but you’ll usually want to see a lot of yards before you start worrying about winning or losing with this stat. If you’ve ever seen the movie ‘Draft Day’ then you know exactly what kind of a role this stat can play in determining the outcome of a football game. The reason why this stat is so important is because often times coaches will give players specific plays to runs based on the down and distance.
- Passing Yards Per Game – This stat represents the total number of passing yards (play passes) per game by the team. Just like the previous stat, this one can vary widely from game to game, but you’ll usually want to see a lot of yards before you start worrying about winning or losing with this stat. You might see a lot of play-action on a given play, which could lead you to believe that the team is trying to trick you into thinking they are going to run when in fact they are passing. As before, this stat can vary widely from game to game, but you’ll want to see a lot of yards before you start worrying about winning or losing with this stat.
- First Downs Per Game – This stat represents the total number of first downs (attempts to gain momentum by gaining possession of the ball at the start of the play) per game by the team. Like the previous two stats, this one can vary widely from game to game, but you’ll usually want to see a lot of yards before you start worrying about winning or losing with this stat. It’s essential to understand what a first down is before you can begin to bet on football because if you don’t know what a first down is then you might just keep on losing even when you are winning. A first down is just what it sounds like: the first down. This stat can be a good indicator of how effective the team is at getting the ball into the end zone to start each game. If you want to make money at the game of football then this stat is one you will want to keep an eye out for.
- Second Half Shutouts – This stat represents the total number of games (including playoffs) in which the team scored at least one touchdown in the second half. If the team accomplishes this feat then it is considered a perfect half and these games are often considered ‘sibling-locks’. When a team has a sibling-lock in the second half of a game then it means there is absolutely no chance of the other team scoring a touchdown, or the game ending in a tie. In this case, it’s essential to bet on the under (or against the spread)
- Turnovers – This stat represents the total number of times the team gave the ball away (including interceptions and lost fumbles). A turnover can occur in a number of ways. Sometimes a team will simply give the ball away when they have it. Other times, a team will lose the ball and another team will take the opportunity to score. Finally, sometimes a team will throw an interception and give the ball right back to the person who originally threw it in the first place. This stat can be particularly important in the playoffs when you have home field advantage and the opportunity to control the flow of the game. If you’re looking to place a wager on football then this stat is one you will want to keep an eye out for.
With all of that said, now that you’re equipped with the necessary knowledge of what to look out for when trying to read the line in sports betting then you can get started on your quest to master this important skill. Remember: simpler might not mean easier and straightforward might not mean obvious. Sometimes it just takes a bit of extra work to figure out the right answer.