What is the Betting Line?

While it is always exciting to make predictions about the future, in this article we will focus on what line holders (bettors) need to know about betting on sports and other events.

Common Betting Lines

Most people who follow sports know that the line separating the two teams ahead of a game is often quite low. For example, to make a winning bet on an NFL game, you would need to lay (bet) only 3 points (in other words, a touchdown will give you a payout of 8 to 1). If you are looking for a safer way to bet, you can always lay odds of 1.5 or 2.0 (a field goal or extra point will give you 1.5 to 2.0 odds).

Other types of sports action also have low betting lines, such as the NBA and the NHL. In the NBA, you can generally get 2.0 to 1.0 odds (you have to lay 1.0 to win), and for NHL games, 1.5 to 1.0 (you need to lay 1.0 to win).

Betting On Futures & Presets

While it is exciting to make winning wagers on the outcome of sporting events, doing so is often quite risky. After all, you never know if the game you are watching is going to end in a tie or a huge upset. To alleviate some of that risk, many sportsbooks will offer betting on the future (also known as pre-determined matches) or preset games. Wherever possible, sportsbooks will try to avoid setting up these types of bets for users because they are rarely desirable from the standpoint of the sportsbooks. But for the few people who want to take the risk, betting on futures or presets is often the only way to go.

How To Interpret The Line Movement

One of the primary reasons why sports offer such low betting lines is because they want to encourage wagering. To that end, many sportsbooks will not change the line in the game significantly, if at all. This is usually the case when a team is playing badly and the line is moving in the wrong direction. From a sportsbook’s standpoint, if you are moving the line in the right direction, then they take that as a sign that the bettors are experiencing buyer’s remorse and are changing their minds about what they originally put down. Consequently, the sportsbook may well the line in the opposite direction to get more action or at least to even odds (3 to 1, etc.).

In Conclusion

Making winning wagers on sporting events is exciting, but always risky. Fortunately, most sportsbooks will offer some type of coverage where you can lay your wagers and remain somewhat competitive without worrying too much about the downside. Wherever possible, sportsbooks will avoid offering betting lines below 3.0 or so because they do not want to attract only high rollers who are willing to take that risk. But for the few people who are willing to take that risk, betting on sports is still an exciting option. Just make sure you are aware of all the implications before putting down your hard-earned money.