In sports betting, a sharp is referred to as an individual bettor or a betting syndicate who is taken very seriously by the sportsbooks. Essentially, these bettors wager large sums of money on games and view their wagers as investments rather than casual bets. As a result, when the term, sharp money, is used, it refers to the side of a game that the experts are betting on. As a result, knowing how to follow sharp money can be extremely beneficial over the long-run. Here are some tips to following sharp money.
Know How Sportsbooks Operate
In order to follow sharp money, it is important to understand how sportsbooks operate. The belief among the general public is that sportsbooks aim to receive an equal amount of wagers on both sides of the game. However, this is simply not true. At the end of the day, sportsbooks are looking to make profits – large profits to be exact. Oddsmakers are well aware of the tendencies of casual bettors – they like to bet on favourites as well as the over on game totals. As a result, sportsbooks will provide more favourable lines for the side that they believe the public will be on to entice more wagers from the public.
NFL Sharp Action
— The Greek Sportsbook (@BetTheGreek) November 25, 2018
Track Line Movements And Betting Percentages
It would be prudent to track the opening lines, current lines, and betting percentages for each game that you might be interested in betting on. The opening line and current line should be used as a comparison in order to determine which direction the line will be likely to move towards. Additionally, as a clarification, betting percentages refer solely to the number of wagers placed on one side of a game, not the amount wagered. As a result, if 75 people placed wagers on Team A and 25 people placed wagers on Team B, the betting percentages would be a 75% to 25% split. However, the total amounts wagered on both teams may be completely different.
Look For Reverse Line Movements
Sometimes, line movements do not go in the direction that you expected. For example, if Team A is a –4.0 favourite and 75% of all bets have already been placed on Team A, the expectation is that the line will move towards –4.5. However, this is not always the case – the line will sometimes move in the other direction, to –3.5. This is known as a reverse line movement. When you dig deeper underneath the surface, the reason for this reverse line movement is due to the fact that although a greater number of bets are being placed on Team A, more money is actually being wagered on Team B (the underdog on the +). As a result, the sportsbooks will be forced to adjust the line in order to try and entice a large percentage of bets on the other side.
Learn the basics of reverse line movement: https://t.co/VcQqaEvMA2
— Pinnacle (@PinnacleSports) September 3, 2018
Look For Steam Moves
Steam moves require constantly tracking line movements and occurs when betting syndicate groups strike all sportsbooks at once, forcing all sportsbooks to adjust their lines at once. You can typically see a big jump in a line but if there’s no injury news or significant change, usually it’s a big bet. That’s especially true if the bet is placed close to game time.
Bet Early And Bet Late
Most experts tend to place their bets early, right when the lines are released, and late, right when the lines are about to close. Betting early allows an individual to take advantage of initial numbers that have not been affected by other bettors. Other times, experts will allow the public to shift the line in their favour, placing their own wagers right before game time. An example can be used to highlight this strategy. If I placed an early bet on Team A at –3.0 and closer to game time, the line for Team A rises to –5.0 (correspondingly Team B +5.0), I will be able to take both sides of the game so that in the event that Team A wins by four points, I will cover on my Team A bet at –3.0 as well as my Team B bet at +5.0.