What does reverse line movement mean and is it a profitable strategy to wager on games? This is a popular question that we get from inexperienced bettors.
It’s something that is brought up a lot around the industry. For those of you who are confused on it’s meaning, here’s an in-depth explanation.
Understanding Line Movement
In order to spot a reverse line movement, you have to have an understanding of how a ling should move based on action. It’s well know that sportsbooks want to have as close even money being wagered on both sides of any action.
They do their best to set an opening line that they feel will attract bettors to both sides. If they are getting uneven action on a game, they will move the line to try an get more bets (money) on the other side.
Let’s say a team opens as a 6-point favorite. If 60% of the bets are coming in on that team to cover, the books are vulnerable. The juice wouldn’t cover the loss if the favorite covered. That’s why they are quick to move the line. In this case you would expect the line to go up to -6.5 or -7.
Where to go to Find Reverse Line Moves
You might be asking yourself, how do you do which side is receiving the majority of the bets? There are several sites out there that will show you the percentage of bets being wagered on each side. One of my favorites place to check for this is the odds page at SportsCapping.
The key thing you have to realize, is the percentage is the number of bets not the amount of money.
Spotting Reverse Line Movement
It’s really easy once you get it figured out. Just because a team is receiving 60% of the action, doesn’t mean they are getting the majority of the money.
Let’s say there’s a 100 wagers that have been placed on a game. There’s 60 on one side (60%) and 40 on the other. If the average bet of the 60 is only $50, the total money bet would be $3,000. If the average bet of the 40 is $200, the total bet would be $8,000.
Even though one side is receiving 60% of the action, they are getting way more money on the other side. The spread on the team that is getting 60% is going to get better. If they were -4, the books are going to drop that down to -3.5 or even -3.
All you have to do is study the lines and betting percentages. If a team is getting 60% or more of the action and the line moves the other direction, this is what is known as a reverse line move.
Are Reverse Line Movements Profitable?
I’m guessing a lot of you right now are asking yourself if it’s profitable to follow. The answer is yes, but you have to trust it long-term.
The important thing to note is that reverse line movements are almost a result of sharp bettors. The public loves action and likes to bet on a lot of games. Their average bet size isn’t typically that much. Sharps on the other hand bet massive amounts on a select few games.
Almost every time you play a reverse line move, you are betting alongside the sharps. These are people who do this for a living and spend countless hours breaking down games.
I do want to point out that you do have to some research of your own. Not all line movement is a result of money being bet. You have to make sure that oddsmakers aren’t moving the line because of an injury or suspension.