What Does Line Mean in Sports Betting?

When you place a wager on sports, odds are you’ll eventually come across the term ‘line’. What does that mean? In this article, we’ll examine the different types of lines you may see and how to read them effectively.

Paydays And Line Movement

When you place a wager on sports, there are a few terms and phrases you’ll encounter frequently. One of them is ‘payday’. That’s when the betting venue credits your account with money, based on the wager you made. The other is ‘line movement’. That’s when the line in question moves in your favor. Let’s take a look at how these two concepts work together.

The Money Line

If you’ve ever placed a wager on sports, you might be familiar with the ‘money line’. That’s the line that determines the winner of the game. So, in other words, it’s the line that determines whether or not you win money. The oddsmakers will generally set the money line at an attractive amount, which means if you want to place a wager on the game, you’ll need to make the right bet to leave money in your pocket.

To create an opportunity to win money, the sportsbooks will make a profit off the difference in the money line between when they win and when they lose. When they win, the line moves in your favor and you’ll earn money. When they lose, the money line moves in the opposite direction and you’ll lose money. Typically, the money line will be within range for a home-team advantage proposition, so long as you know how to read it effectively.

The Total Line

Another common line in sports betting is the ‘total line’. That’s the aggregate of the scores of the game. For example, if you bet on the game’s final score, you’ll be betting on the total line. The total line is generally used when a team is listed as an underdog or when the game is in question until the end. That way you can make sure you’ll win or lose as per the status of the game. If the game is close at the end, it’s often beneficial to bet on the total line, since you can still win or lose, even though the margin might be close to nil.

One important thing to keep in mind with the total line is that you’ll need to pick your poison. If you want to bet on the underdogs, you’ll need to do so wisely, since most bookmakers will only take such wagers in small doses. Similarly, if you want to bet on the home-team, you may need to wait several hours before the game starts, so as to ensure you’re accepted at the betting venue, or better yet, bet one-off games on your mobile phone, if you want to keep your odds of winning intact.

The Spread

In most sports books around the world, you’ll see the lines separated into ‘dogs’ and ‘gamblers’. The ‘dog’ lines are the ones set by the bookmakers to entice people to place wagers on them. They are generally set very wide and are intended to be challenging propositions. So, while a typical ‘dog’ line might be priced at -120, this effectively means you’ll need to wager at least $20 in order to win $10.

The ‘gambler’ lines, on the other hand, are narrower and are generally intended to be more achievable propositions. For instance, a Washington Redskins -7.5 point spread might mean you’ll need to wager $7.50 in order to win $7.50.

Understanding the different types of lines used in sports betting can help you place winning wagers with ease. You need to know the odds of each and how to read them effectively. In addition, if you do happen to lose a wager, you’ll know how much you risked and whether or not you should try and place another or if you need to walk away.