How do Sportsbooks set lines? Sportsbetting Money Line Guide
Last Updated on:
Passion for soccer but also an expert on most sports markets
Passion for soccer but also an expert on most sports markets
A New York native, Thomas Chambers has had a passion for sports for as long as he can remember. During an eclectic career as a freelance journalist, Thomas has covered all manner of sports – but soccer is his biggest passion. After freelancing for GamblingGuy for several years, we finally convinced him to join us permanently as an editor in 2015. He is an industry-leading expert on everything sports betting.
You may have questions like: “How does betting work?’ or ‘How do sportsbooks make money?’
We’re going to answer some of those questions for you. Specifically: How do sportsbooks set lines? And what is a sports betting money line?
Sportsbook Lines: How Do They Work?
If you are new to sports betting and the money line, there are probably a few things that you need to know. We’ll be investigating what a money line is, how to find the best lines, how to get the best odds, and the questions, ‘How do sportsbooks set lines?’ and ‘How do sportsbooks make money?’
One of the main types of wager in sports betting is the money line. They are known as either the money line or American odds.
In the broadest terms, a sports betting money line is a type of wager expressed in terms of a $100 bet. If you see a negative number, then that’s how much you wager to win $100. If you see a positive number, that is your potential winnings on a bet of $100.
Most of the top bets at a sportsbook have lines that are expressed in this way.
Betting sites will have different lines to give you the best odds. For example, in sports betting, the best odds might be on lines known as point spreads. When you bet on these lines, you are betting for or against a specific team to win by a certain amount of points.
Others may argue that the best odds for lines in online sports betting come from the plain old-fashioned money line. When you bet on a sports betting money line, you are betting on whether a specific team will win. If you’re right, you win. If not, better luck next time.
So how do sportsbooks set lines? This involves algebra, calculus, and public opinion – sounds like high school to me.
Before you start participating in sports betting on the money line, let’s have a closer look.
A sports betting Money line, also known as American odds, is a type of bet that works on basically the same concept as an algebraic equation. For those of you who were secretly dreaming about Saturday’s baseball game during algebra class, the number one rule of an algebraic equation is that both sides of the equation need to match.
Newton’s law is a more apt description when it comes to sports betting and the money line: For every action, there is an equal but opposite reaction. We hope this helps you find the best odds and lines at your betting site.
If you’re interested in legalities, look at our articles about the legal age of gambling, and gambling, winning, and tax.
How Do Sportsbooks Set Lines #1 – Probability and Statistics
The best sportsbook odds and lines are set statistically. Oddsmakers agonize over past performances of teams for days and weeks before a specific game. They’ll look at the previous results of games when two teams have played, and so on.
This information goes a long way towards the initial setting of the money line. It’s not the actual probability of a win or a loss that the oddsmaker looks at, though, it’s the probability that people will bet either for or against a specific team.
A team’s past wins, and losses, will influence the general probability of people betting for or against that team. That being said, many bettors will remain absolutely loyal to their team of choice, irrespective of their past performance.
Bookmakers take all of this into account before setting the initial lines. They then try to set a balanced range that will equal out between the favorite and the underdog.
How Do Sportsbooks Set Lines #3 – Following the Crowd
While you’ll never hear it openly admitted, sportsbooks are somewhat dependent upon one another. One of the ways that they employ to help determine their odds is to keep an eye on the other sportsbooks to make sure they aren’t too far off the mark.
How Do Sportsbooks Set Lines #4 – Monitoring the Team
The last way, but not the least important, that bookkeepers determine the odds in the time leading up to a match is to keep an eye on the teams themselves. Injuries that are sustained by critical players can affect the odds drastically.
Therefore, bookmakers watch all key players in a team for any significant events and adjust the odds and money lines accordingly.
Sports Betting & the Money Line: How Bookmakers Make Money
How does betting work? Bookmakers offer you a service, but in the long term, the goal is not to make you a profit. In fact, the only goal of a bookmaker is to make a profit for themselves.
They accomplish this by adding a certain amount to each bet. This minor extra fee is known as the juice or the vin. For example, instead of paying $100 on a $100 bet, you spend $110 on a $100 bet.
If you win your bet, the bookmaker uses someone else’s $100 wager to pay you your winnings. They get to pocket the $10 on both bets. So, whichever way the game goes, they win. It’s obvious, therefore, that bookmakers are not skewed toward any one side, but their goal is to get as many people to bet as possible. You’ll find more info like this in our 1.01 betting explained and value bet explained articles.
Favorite GamblingGuy Betting & Strategy Guides To Try!
In addition to our articles about the sports betting money line, and answering the question ‘How do sportsbooks set lines?’, we offer many other articles.
We also have a vast array of articles for serious bettors. You’ll have no questions after reading our articles about 1.01 betting explained, matched betting explained, value bet explained, and pick 3 betting explained. If you want to know even more about betting, we also have articles about how to register at a sportsbook.
Whichever way you wish to charm Lady Luck, we’ve got the articles that will help you do it.
We hope that you’ve learned one or two things about how sportsbooks set lines, as well as gambling, winning, and tax from our article. Try to keep these tips and tricks in mind moving forward – whether you are professional or not.
Bookmakers are not on anybody’s side; they try to get bettors to place an equal amount of bets on each side. To accomplish this, they use probability and statistics. They are influenced by bets placed, and they keep an eye on the key players of each team.
All of these things affect the odds. The odds themselves are also not a sign of who’s likely to be victorious.