Online Betting » Betting Guide » Everything You Need to Know About Line Movement: Expert Guide for 2024

Everything You Need to Know About Line Movement: Expert Guide for 2024

Dave Kuzio
Fact checked by: Jim Knight
Publish Date: 01.07.2024

You will regularly see betting odds move up and down from the time they have been issued until the start of the event. This is called line movement. During this guide I will explain the full extent of what line movement is and why it happens in betting.

I will also cover some of the key terms that you will hear when it comes to line movement and how it affects your betting journey.

What Is Line Movement?

You will hear the term ‘lines’ a lot in sports betting. Line movement is the idea of a betting line moving from the minute the odds have been released until the start of the event you are betting on.

Line movement is caused by punters placing more bets on a certain outcome which will see bookmakers adjust their odds, or dramatic team or injury news that has the potential to affect the outcome of the game. This is a move by the bookmakers to try and get you to back the less popular bet and basically offset their liability for that particular match. It also reflects the implied probability of that bet.

If you are able to predict line movement at an expert level, then you have a slight advantage and this skill can help you get favourable odds.

What Are Betting Lines?

A betting line can be a number of markets relating to a certain soccer match. This could be a full time result, double chance and both teams to score. These three markets have the potential to move ahead of kick-off. Studying them intently could put you ahead of the pack if you spot a direction move in your favour.

Bookmakers will release odds before every soccer game. Let’s take a look at how the betting lines would be displayed for Liverpool versus Newcastle United in the Premier League.

  • Liverpool to win 9/20
  • Draw 10/3
  • Newcastle United to win 6/1

Why Do Line Movements Happen?

There are a number of reasons why the betting line will move ahead of kick-off. Team news is a massive reason, if you discover a star striker or goalkeeper is missing then this would see the line move. The same goes with suspensions. The line will also move depending on the amount of bets that have been placed on each market. As bets are being placed, the line will adjust which is a way of giving the bookmaker an advantage.

To break it down, here is a brief list of the main reasons line movement happens:

  • Betting Interest
  • Team Information
  • Market Factors
BetOriginal OddsTeam NewsNew Odds
Liverpool to win9/20Goalkeeper and striker out injured10/11
Newcastle United to win6/1Four key players return. Striker scored four in two games before injury.9/4

How To Use Line Movement Betting

Knowledge is the bomb in line movement betting. Knowing the right time to strike in terms of the odds changing in your favour is crucial. You will already have an idea on who you want to back in your bet, the key is waiting for the odds you think are worth it.

Have a look around and have a figure in mind. Do not back the team in a bet if you think they deserve better odds, the chances are those odds could move before kick-off when more money is placed on different markets.

What Does The Term ‘Sharp vs Public Betting’ Mean?

You might come across the term ‘sharp’ in betting. A sharp is considered to be a person who bets heavily and takes it seriously by using data and analytics to help make their decisions.. The ‘public’ on the other hand are regular punters looking to bet as a way of entertainment rather than an occupation.

If you are clued up and know what you are doing, you can use this to your advantage. The public will more likely be betting on what they want to happen rather than what they think will happen. They will jump on the favourites as soon as the odds are released and this means the odds for the underdog end up being more favourable.

Obviously, they are favourites for a reason and more often than not they will win, but if you are smart you can work it to your advantage. This is where your research comes in.

What Is Late Movement?

I am not suggesting here that you sit at your computer or mobile phone and constantly watch the odds move around until you are happy, but sometimes catching the odds shortly before kick-off could work in your favour.

In the hours or minutes before an event starts, the movement of the line could work in your favour. The team news will be in by then and if someone key to the team you are considering backing is out injured, the odds may move more favourable to the opposition, meaning you change your way of thinking.

It doesn’t always work out well, but keeping an eye on the odds just before kick-off instead of betting days in advance could be beneficial in the long run.

Making A Steam Move

Another term you will hear a lot of when studying line movement is a ‘steam move’. This is when a lot of money is wagered on one particular team. If this occurs and that is the outcome you are backing then you will need to act fast, if you are going against that outcome then it makes sense to wait.

The best way is to keep track of the odds in the build-up to kick-off to see what movement is taking place. The majority of bookmakers will change their odds accordingly, but some might be slow off the mark and the odds might not have changed. This allows you to make your steam move and get decent odds.

On the other hand, blindly chasing a steam is a bad idea. This is a way of getting hurt in betting terms. Make sure you know exactly what you are doing before considering going down the steam route.

Line Movement Betting Pros And Cons

  • Odds can move in your favour
  • Late decision can be beneficial

Final Say On Line Movement Betting

It is important to understand line movement in order to get the best odds for your bet. Hopefully this guide will have explained everything for you.

Reading the line movement and being able to act quickly is the key to getting the best odds. You do not have to be glued to a screen watching every little move, but it will be beneficial to keep a close eye on it and act accordingly.

Don’t be hasty when it comes to placing your bets. Be patient and use the information you have at your disposal to make the right call. You will know when it is right to pull the trigger in choosing your odds.

Line Movement Betting FAQ

❓ What is a betting line?

A betting line is the odds set by bookmakers on a specific soccer match or tournament. These odds determine who the favourite and underdog will be for that certain game.. 

📈 Where is Line Movement Betting?

Line movement is the changing of odds before the start of an event. Bookmakers adjust them based on a number of factors. 

〰️ Why Do The Lines Move in Betting?

Line movement occurs for a number of reasons. Odds will change when a lot of money is placed on a certain team, it will also move once the team news has been disclosed.

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