How and Why Oddsmakers Set and Move Sports Betting Lines

You may not have heard of Las Vegas Sports Consultants, but if you have ever looked up sports betting lines, online or off, then you have been the recipient of their work. The company supplies sportsbook lines on all the major sports leagues for over 90% of the Las Vegas brick-and-mortar casinos, which then publish that information on their websites. And while many Internet sportsbooks may create their own lines, they draw their information from established betting line creators like LVSC and others. A recent interview with a senior oddsmaker at LVSC shows exactly how and why sports betting lines are made and moved, and the information might just surprise you.

Usually, there are anywhere from 3 to 5 oddsmakers per betting line management company assigned to create sportsbook lines for the eight major sports that are wagered on the most frequently; NCAA and NFL football, NCAA and NBA basketball, the NHL, MLB, golf and boxing. This adds a lot of variety, as everyone has a different opinion, but there is no haphazard method in place here. Millions of dollars ride on the creation and maintenance of each and every one of the sports betting lines that these dedicated oddsmakers issue, so research and trends weigh heavily on the minds of these number crunchers. And while the average fan believes that sportsbook lines reflect the true difference in talent between two particular teams in a contest, that is usually not the case.

The LVSC spokesperson made it very clear that, "The #1 thing for us is to make a line for each game that creates good two-way action." He went on to explain that this is done by originating sports betting lines from looking at the past contests between the two particular teams involved, applying them to current situations, and then factoring in public opinion. This means that point spreads almost never reflect an oddsmakers actual belief in how many points the favorite team will win by. In actuality, profitable oddsmakers do not want the Against the Spread (ATS) point spread to correctly match the projected outcome of a particular game. If that happens, that is fine with the bookmaker, as long as the sportsbook lines they created and moved resulted in even money wagered on both sides of the contest.

Oddsmakers like LVSC first create their opening sports betting lines, and then send them out to virtual and physical sportsbooks. That is why if you observe the opening lines at multiple Internet sportsbooks, and then watch them move up until kickoff, tip-off or the opening pitch, you will in many cases see drastically different numbers. This is because each sportsbook is monitoring the amount of money wagered on each team in any particular contest every second of the day up until game time. They are trying to manipulate the action by lowering or raising the line so that 50% of the money wagered will be on team A and 50% will end up on team B when the game or contest takes place. This evenly divided action guarantees a profitable outcome for any sports betting website or casino, as all virtual and physical sportsbooks charge a fee to you, the bettor.

In almost all cases this juice or vigorish is typically $11 wagered to win $10, which means that if $100,000 was bet on Team A and $100,000 was bet on Team B, the net result would be a 10% take ($10,000 profit) from the losing gamblers, whichever side of the wager they were on, favorite or dog. This is why sports betting lines are almost never the same right before a sporting contest starts as they are when the line was first released. Oddsmakers are yanking and pulling the line in any direction that is required to hopefully even out the number of bets on either team. That is why if you have an intimate knowledge of the talent levels of two teams involved in a sporting contest, you can quickly identify and use "out of whack" sportsbook lines to your advantage, and profit by the very method with which these sports betting lines are created and maintained. You can check out the latest odds and betting lines at any of our featured USA sports betting sites.

One advantage that players have nowadays is the ability to use the mobile sportsbook versions of the sites allowing you to never miss a line moving in your favor.