Line betting is known by many different names throughout the world. Here in Australia, many sportsbooks tend to call it either line or handicap betting. In the United States, the term point spread betting is more popular. Whatever you choose to call it, this form of betting is one of the most popular at online sportsbooks everywhere.
This is due to the fact that they play a big part in building a consistent winning betting strategy. Punters crunch the numbers and should they be correct with their calculations in addition to being lucky, they are promised a very pretty payday. So, read on in our guide to learn why you should be placing line bets online.
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How Does Line Betting Work?
Our guide’s basic definition for line betting is a bet in which the punter wagers on one team performing better than expected. Essentially, sportsbooks will set lines based on how they expect two teams to perform in a particular match up. Bettors then select a line detailing how they feel the team will perform in the match up.
Without a concrete example, this all may seem very confusing, but it really isn’t. For example, let’s say Richmond is going to play the West Coast Eagles in the next AFL round, and Richmond is heavily favoured to win. Sportsbook will set a line which suggests just how much they expect Richmond to win by. This could be by any number of points.
So, let’s say the sportsbook believes that Richmond will win the match by 4.5 points. This means that if bettors take a line bet on Richmond, the team will need to beat the West Coast Eagles by at least five points in order for the bet to be successful. The score could be anything as long as Richmond wins by five points. Alternatively, if you place a wager on the Eagles, you just need them to lose by less than five points for the bet to pay out.
Now, to many new sports bettors, line betting can seem both exciting and terrifying at the same time. However, once you get the hang of making these bets, they’ll become a strong part of your betting portfolio.
One thing to keep in mind though, is that these require a lot of research and number crunching for bettors to make educated predictions. Thus, we recommend that if you’re new to sports betting, you stick to moneylines until you’ve learnt all the factors you need to take into consideration when making these bets.
Line Betting Strategy
Although the basics of every betting strategy is to spot value and exploit it, there are definitely a few tips and tricks you can use to ensure that you get more wins in future. Some such tips include the following:
- Exploit Line Movement – it is important to remember that betting lines are always shifting in the lead up to a match. Before you place a bet, you may want to monitor the line you would like to bet on, so that you can make an accurate prediction on whether or not it will move due to any number of reasons. You may be able to place a bet on a line that no longer represents the upcoming game.
- Calculate Your Own Lines – one of the best things you can do to determine whether or not something is a value bet, is to calculate your own lines and then compare it to the sportsbook. The only thing to keep in mind when doing this is not to let the sportsbook’s line affect your opinion of the game as this could lead to you making some lines that match the sportsbook’s due to bias.
- Pay Attention to Public Opinion – it is important to pay attention to how the public may feel about a particular game. Their opinion will generally swing the odds in a certain direction and it is important to capitalise on this. In general, the public will decide on a particular game closer to the end of the week. This is a good opportunity to place a sharp bet on a team that the public has severely undervalued.
Advantages of Line Betting
There is a load of different advantages associated with choosing to place handicap bets on your favourite sports. Some of most popular include the following:
- Handicap bets allow you to bet on teams you think are going to lose a particular matchup. Sometimes, you have a favourite team you would like to bet on, but they lose quite frequently. With handicap bets, you can now bet on them. Just make sure that you aren’t making uninformed bets just to place bets on your favourite team.
- An additional advantage of being able to bet on teams that are going to lose, you begin to paying attention to trends in the teams’ performance you may be able to capitalise on. Although you’ll never be able to know that the next game will be a sure win for any side, more often than not, you are able to see when a team may get a win some time soon.
- It is easier to find value bets when making handicaps. The reason being is that sometimes sportsbook statisticians also get it wrong. You may be able to capitalise on a team you know has what it takes to beat a weak spread! Bear in mind though, that you always have to be on the lookout for such opportunities.
Disadvantages of Line Betting
There are a few disadvantages associated with handicap betting. There are two major turnoffs that may make punters think twice before making these bets, and they are the following:
- When you can always bet on your favourite team, it becomes easy to be ruled by emotions and lose a lot of money in the process. In general, if you are serious about sports betting, we recommend staying away from betting on your favourite teams, so that you don’t let your love for the team affect your logic. However, if you’re just betting for fun, then we say why not?
- Line betting isn’t available for every single sport. In general, it tends to be limited to team sports. This means that if you want to bet on something like a boxing match or MMA fight, you won’t be able to make a handicap bet.
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