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The importance of proper line tracking

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The importance of proper line-tracking

 

Tracking the lines properly is quite probably the most important aspect of reverse handicapping and therefore it is a key issue for all those who are successful at sports betting. Good old-fashioned straight handicapping is necessary of course, but reverse handicapping is really where the value is spotted. Straight handicapping doesn’t help you spot value in the match-ups offered by the bookie, or it might but not in a direct way. It is rather when one combines straight handicapping with reverse handicapping that the value is revealed.

 

 

Why exactly do the lines move?

 

 

The problem is that there can be several reasons that warrant line movements. Side notes represent the most obvious reason. A team having its top players suspended, running into unexpected coaching problems or getting snowed in at some airport will always generate a movement of the line. The problem with such movements is though that they never hide any kind of value. The movement is but a reflection of the change of pace that takes place on the field/court, which is as real as possible. Obviously, side-notes do indeed alter the equation that the matchup is for the bookmaker and for the bettor alike.

 

 

Line movements that savvy bettors are interested in are the ones caused by incoming money on one or the other side of the matchup which generates an abundance of funds on one side and a shortage on the other.

 

In order to understand how such incoming funds work towards unbalancing the matchup, you need to understand what the bookmaker aims for in every one of the games he offers odds on. The goal of the bookmaker is to get approximately equal numbers of bettors on both sides of the matchup. Why does he need to establish such a balance? The answer is simple: only this way can he generate revenue without any sort of risks involved. This way, he can pay out the winners with money dropped by the losers and keep the juice for himself. The interesting thing about this setup is that it works even when the balance is far from perfect. Still, there has to be some sort of balance and when a disproportionately high number of squares decide to get their monies in on one side (usually on that of the favorite) things go haywire, and the bookmaker is forced to take action. That action will either see him covering the majority of the square bets from his own pockets (obviously not the ideal choice as far as the bookie is concerned), or moving the lines in an attempt to reestablish the balance. That line movement is what hides the value because there is no other reason behind it than the bookie trying to protect his interests.

 

 

Such line movements are always much smaller than the ones caused by side notes. A side note related line movement is generally around 2 to 3 points big – so it’s a rather large swing indeed. A “value” line movement is much more likely to be the 0.5 point-range.

 

Tracking the lines is by no means easy. On games that take place on a daily basis, it is actually quite a challenge for a beginner. Therefore, if you know you're not exactly a sharp to begin with, you're much better off sticking to weekly games. Such games give you enough time to track the line and to draw your conclusions from the line movements.

Another reason for the moving of the lines can be the incoming smart money. Such movements are extremely difficult to spot though, so as a beginner shouldn't really even attempt to make heads and tails of them.

 

 

 

 

 

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