Why Lines Move 

Similar to how stock prices change throughout the trading day, lines for sports games can move between the time the line opens and closes. What are the factors that make it move? Continue reading below to learn more. If you have further questions, please email us at [email protected] and we will connect you with one of our Sports Investment Consultants

Back to Sports Investing Guide

Line Opening
The opening line is set by the odds makers based on a number of factors. They are the experts and keep a close eye on what’s happening in sports and each game (momentum, injuries, history) and set a price. From there, the market opens up to supply and demand.

Supply And Demand
For the most part, sportsbooks will tell you that their goal is to get even action on both sides of a game. Sportsbooks earn money from each sports wager placed through their commission. That means that supply and demand comes into the play here, which means that will affect the line movements. Let’s use this as an example:

  1. Green Bay Packers -10.5
  2. Cleveland Browns +10.5

For example, 10 people come in and place bets on the Packers. The sportsbooks may move the line to make the Browns more attractive to generate some action on that side. The sportsbooks might move the line to +11 or +12. The lines may move up and down multiple times between when the line opens and the start of the game.

Supply and demand is one key factor as to why the lines move.

Sharps Move Lines
The other key element to this equation is what the sharps are doing. Sharps are known as professional bettors and ones who have a strong understanding of what’s happening. When they place their bets, the odds makers pay attention because those are the players that win for a living. Their opinions are respected a lot more. Although the goal of the sportrsbook is still to get 50/50 action on both sides, sharp money is weighed more heavily into the equation than the public.

Other Factors That Move Lines (Injuries, Weather, Changes)
There are also other factors that may move lines. In baseball, you might see a line change if a starting pitcher gets scratched and someone else has to step in on short notice. In football, you might see a huge line move if snow and wind enter the forecast of a game that was previously supposed to be clear. In the NBA, you might see a big jump in a line if a head coach decides to rest his stars last minute. All of these are other examples of why a line might move.