What Should Basketball Line Movement Mean To You The Player?
There are numerous factors involved when the line on an NBA or College Basketball game changes. They are known in the industry as line moves. We will define why there is so much movement in the line and how it should affect you the player.
Historically there is much more line movement with College Hoops than there is in the NBA. There are several reasons why the betting line on a Pro or College Baketball game changes. It can move do to injuries to one or more players. It can move because the Sportsbook you are using has significant money on one side of the game. That Sportsbook will then adjust the line accordingly in an attempt to get the public to bet the other side of the game and balance his books. This can get a little dicey for the Sportsbook. Let me explain, let us say Maryland is a 8 point favorite at home aginst North Carolina. Because of the Terps recent success they have become what we call a public team. That means they have become a team that the public has fell in love with and will bet on more frequently than other teams. So now sigificant money comes in on Maryland and the Sportsbook decides to move the game to Maryland -9. The public unfazed by this continues to bet on the Terps. The Sportsbook moves the line again to Maryland -10 hoping to get some North Carolina money. The problem is that they booked Maryland -8 and now with the game up to -10 they will get Carolina money. If Maryland wins by 9 they would lose both sides. This happens more than you might think, however the Sportsbooks have all of that factored in and they are doing just fine. The lesson to be learned here for you the player is that you should shop for lines at as many Sportsbooks as possible. The more lines you get the better the chance of getting a line in your favor. Never under estimate how important getting a favorable line is. It can mean a WIN instead of a PUSH or a PUSH instead of a LOSS.
Another big reason why a line moves, and perhaps the biggest is because the "WISE GUYS" are on a game. From the mid 1980's into the late 1990's the "WISE GUYS" were both respected and feared in the industry. They had such a successful run in College Basketball that you would see basketball lines move 4 and 5 points at a time in games the WISE GUYS were on. After interviewing some local books and some offshore books for this article it has become apparent that the "WISE GUYS" though still around are not as highly regarded as in the past.
Next we have the high rollers. These are big money folks who want to bet a game at a specific number. Let me explain. Let's say Maryland is a 8 point home favorite over North Carolina. The high rollers love Maryland, but at -7 only. What they will do is bet enough money on North Carolina +8 that Sportsbook will move the line to Maryland -7. Now the high rollers unload on Maryland -7. Another words they give up the juice to get the number they want. And of course they bet much more on Maryland -7 than they did on North Carolina +8. And if Maryland wins by 7 or 8 the results will then be a WIN and a PUSH. What a Country.
Line moves do to injury are often times unwarranted. You see a star player out and the line can move significantly on that game. This is something I personally have tracked for a long time. What you should do here is PLAY ON the team with the star player out in the first game that he is out. The rest of the team feels bad for their fallen star and plays with emotion and purpose in the first game without him. PLAY AGAINST them after that as reality sets in and even with the lines adjusted the team without their star slips into a point spread slide.
In closing as I mentioned earlier I interviewed some local sportsbooks and some offshore sportsbooks. They all told me that with the modern technology available today that if your willing to pay for the service you can get the line moves seconds after they happen. My suggestion to you the player is to respect a Line Move but never make a wager because of it. In fact the only way to win in this business is handicap a game to the best of your ability and shop around for the best line available.
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