What Does “Betting Lines” Mean?

The term “betting line” has been around since the 17th century, but it wasn’t until the 1950s that lines were established to facilitate sports betting. Prior to that point, people had to place their wagers in person at a bookmaker’s place or they could not participate. Nowadays, anyone can place a wager from their smartphone, thanks to the legalization of online sports betting in the United States.

Online vs. Offline

Depending on where you are located, you may be used to making your wagers either online or offline. If you’re in the United States, for example, you’ll usually find online bookmakers for major sporting events like the Super Bowl and the World Cup, and most states have passed laws to allow for the legality of online sports betting. In Italy, however, people still tend to place their bets in person at a betting shop. 

Types Of Sports

Anyone who’s ever watched sports on TV knows that there are quite a few different ones. If you want to place a wager on sports, you’ll have to decide which ones you’re going to bet on. It’s usually best to start with the biggest games first, and then work your way down from there. This way, you’ll be sure to get your money back if the event you’re betting on ends in a draw.

Lines Are Typically For Bettors

While you might be tempted to use lines for other purposes, like making an investment or a charity donation, the truth is that they’re usually designed for sports betting. If you’re not familiar, lines are essentially what you get when you buy a baseball ticket from the seller rather than the team. They’re essentially an insurance policy, in case your favorite team wins but the odds of them winning are not favorable. In this case, the seller of the ticket would make up the difference in order to keep your money in good standing.

The “Dog” Or “Bear” Rating Systems

Most bookmakers have some sort of rating system for their sports bets. This could be based on statistics, gut feel, or a combination of the two. The most common type of rating system is known as the “dog” rating system. If you’re unfamiliar, the “dog” system rates teams based on their past performances. A team with a history of winning is given a “dog” rating, while a team with a history of losing is given a “bear” rating. The goal is to have as many dogs as possible, since this will increase your chances of winning. The opposite is true for a bearish team.

The Wisdom Of The Ancients

Since the inception of lines, sports betting has been the subject of much controversy. Many people, like Bill Gates, believe that it’s a corruptive influence, while others argue that it’s a way for the common man to express his love for sports. Still, no matter what your opinion is on the matter, there is one thing that nearly all people can agree on: Lines are cryptic. They purposely obscure the game and the scoring so that the layman has no idea how a game will turn out. This helps to keep things interesting, but also makes it harder for the average person to participate. Only the most determined and experienced bettors can succeed at getting an edge on the betting lines.