Atlantic City Sports Betting The Spread - Line Movement
Reading the Spread
Money Line Bets
Over/Under Bets
Proposition Bets
Future Bets
Parlay Bets
Teaser Bets
If Bets
Reverse Bets
Round Robin Bets
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How Bookies Profit
Creating the Spread
Line Movement
Parlay Odds
Teasers Odds
Sports Betting Terms
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How to Profit
Money Management
Keeping a Record
Betting Baseball
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Fantasy Sports
Home Field Advantage
The Super Bowl
March Madness
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Sports Betting 102 - Line Movement

Sportsbooks generally profit though taking equal action on both sides of a game. This means that they look to get the same amount of money bet on one team as the other team. The fee in taking the bets, either the difference in the money line or the vig in the spread (-110), is where they make their profits.

Line movement is essential to sports betting. It is a game that begins immediately after the line makers create the opening line (or virgin line).

The spread opens in Las Vegas and on the internet. This is when the game begins. Handicappers immediately start betting spreads that they see as weak. If a line is 3 and these early birds think that it should be 6 or 7, they will bet the favorite fast and hard.

Sportsbooks don't hope for, but expect, this early action to help firm the line. If this action is equal on both sides, the line is good and will not move. If the action is bias to one side, these handicappers will continue to bet it until the line is corrected or until they have reached they're limit of risk on that particle game. During this time, the line correction comes fast as the sportsbooks will adjust the spread on these early lines until they get equal action on both sides. A spread may move from 3 to 3 to 4 to 4 before there is an equal amount of bets coming in on both sides. Once the line is firmed up, it will not move much until game time, but it still can.

In football, sports bettors have a whole week to bet on games. This is a week in which new information becomes available daily. Sports Illustrated puts a team on their cover, injury reports are released, weather reports become more accurate, and paid handicappers release their picks to the public. All these things (and more) have an influence on the sides (and the over/unders) that are bet.

Similar to the opening line, if sportsbooks receive more money on just one side of the spread during the week, they will adjust the line. This is a much slower process as bets come slowly during the week, and sportsbooks don't like to move the line once it has been set originally. Unless a team has a major injury or venue change, the spread should not move at this point 95% of the time.

The last period is which the line can move is on game day. Big bettors that did not hammer the opening line often place their bets a few hours up to 15 minutes before game time. These players come with a lot of money and want to get the most accurate information available before the game starts. They don't have to depend on inaccurate weather or injury reports as they can see what is happening that day. This last minute action can be large enough to move the line right up until game time.

As you can see, the spread can move at any time, but the movement is much slower during the week. Early and late line movement is mostly attributed to action coming from expert handicappers while line movement through out the week is most probably due to public money. Once the game starts, the betting is closed and the line set.

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