If you have bet on sports for long enough than you have probably heard the phrase “sharp money” used at one point or another. While you might not be a professional gambler, it might be worth it to understand what sharp money means and how it impacts the betting industry. Here is a breakdown of what sharp money means in the sports betting world.
Understanding The Term
The term “sharp money” is used to describe the money that professional bettors wager on sporting events. In order to understand the term, you need to understand the difference between a professional and an average bettor and how their bets move the sports betting lines for certain events. An average bettor is the type of person that bets on games simply to get in on some action, to make the event more exciting from an entertainment perspective or simply to try to make some money quickly. A professional bettor takes a stricter approach with the intent to consistently build up their profits to the point where they are able to rely on betting on sports as a livelihood. There is an obvious difference between the opinion of somebody that is betting on a sporting event as entertainment and somebody that is doing it for a living. The professional bettors are known as “sharps”, which is how the term “sharp money” came to be as a term to represent where they are betting their money.
Applying Sharp Money Concepts To Betting Scenarios
Once you understand the intent of the sharp money bets you can then apply them to your own individual betting scenarios. For example, let’s use a scenario where Team A is playing Team B. 53-percent of the total money bet on the game is wagered on Team A. However, the majority of the “sharp money” has been placed on Team B. What does this mean? While the average bettors have committed to betting on Team A for one reason or another, the professional bettors have selected Team B as their educated decision on which team will win the game. Perhaps you might still bet on Team A based on your individual research. However, at least now you understand what the betting percentages represent and why it might make more sense to stick with the sharps and bet on Team B.
How Sharp Money Drives Betting Lines
Once a line for a specific event has been established it will take a large amount of money for that line to change. In certain situations, significant line changes could depend on the sharp bettors wagering substantial amounts of money. Let’s use Super Bowl LII as an example with the New England Patriots listed as 5.5-point favorites against the Atlanta Falcons. If the betting public is on New England to cover, it might not move the line significantly unless a substantial enough amount of money is put on New England. What happens if a sharp bettor puts a significant amount of money down on the Falcons? Well, in this situation a significant enough wager from a sharp bettor could move the line from Falcons plus-5.5 to Falcons plus-4.5. Sportsbooks, like The Greek, respect the opinions of the sharp bettors and will react to their wager decisions. It’s important to pay close attention to significant line moves in order to get a better understanding of where the smart money is being bet. If you want to be on the same side as the sharps, look for significant line moves close to the event and try to follow their changes. You might not be a professional bettor, but following their leads could result in you making a substantial amount of money in a short period of time.