If you have been betting for a long time, the chances are you know what a reverse line move means and the profits it can lead to. For those of you who don’t know what a reverse line move is, I am going to take some time to explain how you can use this information to help you handicap not only baseball, but every sport.
Simply put, a reverse line is when the betting public has loaded up on one team, only to see the odds go in the opposite direction. Going into more detail, say you have a favorite who opens up at -150. The betting public quickly sees this as a strong play and 60-90% jump on the opportunity. Normally, you would expect to see the odds for the favorite jump up to -160 or possibly even higher, but instead the odds fall to -140 or lower.
The line has moved in the reverse direction, which may lead amateur bettors to continue to load up on the favorite. I’m going to explain why this is a bad move, and something you want to avoid in the future.
The oddsmakers’ goal is to get even money on both sides. This allows them to make a nice profit no matter who wins the game. When you see a reverse line movement, that means the experts, commonly known as “sharps”, have loaded up on the other side. Experts tend to place much larger bets, which is why you see the line move in what appears to be the wrong direction. Oddsmakers must lower the odds to try and get even more money on the favorite to even things out, or they simply respect the experts’ opinion more than the general betting public and are willing to let the public keep pounding the favorite.
Now, you might consider yourself to be a pretty solid handicapper, but if you routinely find yourself betting against the “sharps” you are going to lose a lot more than you are going to win.
In baseball, the betting public almost always sides with the favorite on the money line, and it’s pretty easy to see why. The favorite is the team that is supposed to have the advantage. This means the “sharps” will be laying their money on some pretty big underdogs. Experts will usually hit around 55-60% in football and basketball, but they are more likely to hit closer to 50% in baseball. While this may seem like a big drop off, profits are actually higher in betting reverse lines in baseball because you get that extra value on the underdog. In football and basketball, the majority of the bets come in on the spread, where you usually see both sides at -110 juice.
If you aren’t taking the time to look over the lines before you make your bets, I strongly hope this article will change your ways. I know plenty of people who simply wait for these reverse line moves and instantly bet against the public. Not to mention, they make some pretty good profits doing so.
I want to make one thing clear – just because the experts have loaded up on one side and caused the line to move in the opposite direction, doesn’t mean that the betting public is automatically going to lose the game. More times than not they will, but nobody is perfect, especially when it comes to handicapping sports.