You’ve probably heard of the expression “betting line,” as in “he’s winning big on the betting line,” but did you know what it means?
Simply put, a betting line is the betting market for a particular sports event. For example, if you’re reading this in the United States and a football game is on, the betting lines for that game are displayed below.
As you can see, there are two teams in a very competitive race, and you’ll often see different oddsmakers’ opinions of which side will win. A line that’s even or positive means the bookmaker thinks there’s a good chance that team will win. A line that’s odd or negative means there’s a chance the bookmaker thinks the opposite.
Nowadays, you’ll often see betting lines for almost every major sporting event, including the Super Bowl, the World Cup, and the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship. They also appear in horse races, dog races, and even car races!
Why Use A Betting Line?
There are several reasons why a sports bettor would want to use a betting line. First, it provides information about the odds of winning a particular matchup. Second, it can give you an idea of how much you’re betting, which in turn helps you keep track of your wagers. Finally, using a betting line can potentially lower your betting action (also known as “stepping”) because there’s more information to go over before placing a bet.
Now, let’s examine each of these reasons in more detail.
Need For Odds
The first, and perhaps the most important, reason why you might want to use a betting line is to find the odds of winning a particular game. When you understand what these odds are, it’s easier to get a sense of whether or not you should be wagering any amount on a particular game.
To give you some perspective on these odds, let’s take a look at some general odds for different events:
- Odds of winning the Super Bowl: 28-1
- Odds of winning the World Series: 30-1
- Odds of winning the NCAA Tournament: 250-1
- Odds of winning the Spanish Liga: 5000-1
- Odds of winning the French Ligue 1: 50-1
- Odds of winning the English Premier League: 100-1
- Odds of winning the English Championship: 300-1
- Odds of winning the UEFA Champions League: 300-1
As you can see, depending on how you look at it, you can make a case that either winning the Super Bowl or the World Series is virtually impossible, while winning the NCAA Tournament or the French League is very likely. This kind of information can be helpful in deciding what types of sports wagers to make.
Another advantage of using a betting line is that it allows you to track your wagers easily. Knowing how much you’ve wagered on certain events makes it simpler to keep track of your finances in real time, as opposed to keeping a tally afterwards. For example, if you’ve wagered $100 on the Cowboys (Dallas) to win the Super Bowl, but then the Eagles (Philadelphia) win the big game, you’ll know right away that you’ve lost $100 because there was no way the Eagles could beat the Cowboys in the Super Bowl.
Even better, if you put a note in the margins of your betting slip to indicate that you’re tracking your wagers, the bookmakers will give you a small discount because they know you’ll be keeping careful records. It’s a small price to pay for being able to keep track of your betting action in real time. Most sportsbooks also provide a handy history of your wagers, which you can access by clicking on the “stats” link on their website.
Lower Stepping Action
The third reason why you might want to use a betting line is to lower your betting action. Basically, if you’re familiar with the way betting lines work, using them can make it more likely that you’ll win because there’s more information to go over before placing a bet. In other words, since there’s more opportunity for information to leak out, your odds of winning will increase.
This is essentially using a form of DVR for sports. If you watch a game and then immediately place a wager based on what you saw, there’s a chance you won’t win because there was already a lot of information released about the game (i.e., a lot of people knew what was going on). However, if you use a betting line, there’s a chance you’ll win because the information hasn’t properly settled in yet. Or, to put it another way, the game hasn’t really started yet.
To wrap things up, let’s review what we’ve discussed so far. A betting line is simply the betting market for a particular game or event. You’ll often see different types of odds, such as money-line odds, spread odds, and prop odds, which provide you with more information about how likely it is that you’ll win or lose a wager. Finally, using a betting line can potentially lower your betting action (also known as “stepping”) because there’s more information to go over before placing a bet.
Hopefully, this article has helped you understand what a betting line is and why you might want to use one.