NFL Betting Tips: Tracking Football Betting Line Movements

Football betting line movements

One of the most unique aspects of betting on football is the amount of time between when the oddsmakers first release the betting lines and the actual kickoff of the games. When it comes to the NFL, most of the betting odds are posted on Monday for that Sunday’s games and just about every major Las Vegas or offshore sportsbook will have a complete set of odds on their board a good five days before the games actually get underway.

Point Movement

This extra amount on time can provide a huge edge to bettors if they are vigilant in tracking any movement in the betting lines as the week wears on. Once a pointspread is posted for a game, the sportsbook will sit back and react to the early money coming in from the betting public. Their goal is to even out the money wagered on either side of a particular matchup so the betting line will often times move in an effort to push bettors one way or the other.

A half point move either way can make all the difference on the world and millions of dollars can be won or lost on a single game depending on the actual outcome. You should always avoid the temptation to be swayed by these movements when it comes to your actual picks. The best betting strategy is to handicap a game based on the opening spread and then look for the betting lines that move in your favor.

Keep in mind that that the betting public tends to gravitate towards the favorites on the betting spread and the “over” on the total line. This effect is heightened when it comes to games involving high-profile teams such as Dallas, New England and Green Bay so the line movement in many of these matchups will create a built-in edge for the underdog on the betting line and the “under” on the total line.

Shopping For Football Odds

The other betting strategy you should employ when it comes to NFL line movements is to shop your odds. Each sportsbook will tend to make adjustments based on the money coming into their own house. While one book might raise a pointspread by a half point to make an adjustment based on its action, another book might hold tight on its current spread. This is not to say that you should have a betting account with every sportsbook on the board, but you should have the flexibility to take advantage of these kinds of discrepancies when the fall in your favor.

Integrate It With Handicapping

Tracking line movements is a vital part of the overall handicapping process. Over time, you will be able to fine-tune your own handicapping skills by gaining a better understanding of how the sportsbooks try to manipulate the betting public in one direction or the other to balance things out. Always remember, that sportsbooks make the bulk of their money on the 10 percent commission bettors pay to book their bets.

Once you do fine-tune your handicapping skills, you will be able to distinguish movements that can be directly attributed to action coming in by the betting public verse certain movements that might be caused by some heavy action from a few sharps or betting syndicates.

The main goal of tracking NFL betting line movements is to create an edge. The NFL is by far the most heavily bet league in all of professional sports and when the oddsmakers first release their betting odds for any football game you can rest assured that they are extremely sharp. Line movements are a bettor’s best tool to create that much needed edge as long as you understand how to make them work for you.