Line Moves in NCAA Basketball

Sports bettors, both novices and veterans alike, would benefit significantly by spending their time studying line moves each day.  Sportsbooks spend plenty of time and money making odds on sporting events, so line moves are normally viewed as a mistake on someone’s part. Either the oddsmaker, the player setting the odds, or the sports wagers causing the line to move, will be wrong.


There are 3 main reasons why the line changes on a basketball game:

How much money bet on one side

When the sportsbooks get action on one team, they adjust the line to appeal money on the other side to balance their books. Lines are moved regarding to the point spread for football or basketball wagering, or the money line odds will be changed for baseball and hockey betting. If the sportsbooks get the same money bet on each side in a contest, a profit can be ensured.

Who bets on one side

Someone known by sportsbooks to be a winning wager can cause the odds to change even with a small bet, while somebody unknown to the sports books can make a much bigger bet and not influence on the odds.

Team personnel movement

The odds will be adjusted if a player, or players, misses a game and it was not factored into the opening line. Late injuries, suspensions, and illness are the primary culprits here.

 Key NCAA Line Movements

There are 2line movements college basketball wagers should pay attention to. The first is the opening line movement when wagers first bet into the opening numbers put out by the bookmakers. Take notice of the movements in games between smaller, lesser known teams. A line movement of somepoints in a game between Iona and Sienna is normally more meaningful than the line movement in a game between Kentucky and Florida.

The second line movement basketball wagers should be on the watch for are those which happen between 6 and 7 p.m. EST, particularly when they involve small schools on the East Coast.

As a basic rule, college basketball is more common on the East Coast than on the West Coast. There does not seem to be one main reason for this, however, instead is probably a combination of some factors, including the time difference, as many college basketball games start at 4 p.m. PST, whereas people are still at work; and the weather, as winters on the East Coast intend to make people stay indoors more. There are likely other elements, too.

As a consequence, college basketball wagers on the eastern side of the country are normally more knowledgeable than basketball wagers on the west, especially in those games involving teams from the East Coast. The illegal bookmakers open for business at 6 p.m. EST and as they get bets from their players, they will lay off (bet with other bookmakers, therefore reducing any risk) those bets from bettors with a history of winning, or on those games where they get much money on one side. This will finally change the point spreads in Nevada and by the offshore sportsbooks.

Many years ago, a basketball wager would show a healthy profit simply by following all of the line moves which took place within 45 minutes of the bookies on the East Coast opening for business. The proliferation of Internet gambling diminishes its success a bit, not to mention that the Internet make sports wagers, and oddsmakers, wiser as a whole.

But there is still a lot of value for a college basketball wager to spend time each day following the line movements. Anything a sports wager can do to help get the edge over the house is time smartly invested.


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