The original lines are put there by professional oddsmakers – experts who know what they’re doing and have been doing it for years. It can be nerve-wracking if you haven’t been moving lines as a sports bookie for very long. But realize there are a few positive points to adjusting your lines.
Not moving your NFL lines might seem the safest path to take, especially if you highly regard these professional oddsmakers. But not moving lines is riskier than adjusting them. Here’s what I mean.
What Happens if You Don’t Move Your Lines?
If you have too much money on one side of a bet and don’t move the line to compensate, you risk losing a lot of money.
Let’s take an Against the Spread bet.
If the Kansas City Chiefs were -7 and the Cincinnati Bengals were +7, that means that if you bet on the Chiefs, they would have to win by more than 7 points to win your bet. Now, what if many people think Kansas City will win that ATS bet and put a total of $10,000 on the Chiefs, while only $5,000 gets placed on the underdog Bengals to win outright (or lose by no more than 7 points)? If Kansas wins, you’ll be out of pocket a good deal of money.
So, what do you do? You move the lines. Maybe you change the odds to Kansas City -8 and Cincinnati +8. The Bengals can lose by more points and still win the bet. Will that cause more money to come in for the Bengals? You’ve got to understand money and numbers like an accountant to work your bookie business, but you also have to understand the fine art of moving the lines to adjust which side of the line money will flow to.
Benefits of Moving the Lines
That’s why you have to move lines. But are there any benefits to moving lines?
Let’s say the original line for the Chiefs vs. Bengals game showed up on Sunday, and you haven’t had to move the ATS line at all so far because you haven’t got many bets in. There’s roughly $1,000 on each side of the line, and the weekend is almost here. Then a sharp player comes along and puts $5,000 on the Bengals.
What do you do? You move the line, of course. How drastic the change will depend on how much time you have before the game. If players are checking out sportsbooks and comparing odds, they’ll look at your line and see it as a value bet. They have a better chance of winning because the other sportsbooks have your original line.
Let’s say the original line is Chiefs -7 and Bengals +7, but you’ve had to move it to Chiefs -9 and Bengals +9. That should jumpstart money coming in. If you can bring in $5,000 for the Chiefs, you can adjust your line to its original setup.
You’ve brought in more money which is more profits, but you’ve also potentially brought in more ongoing clients. Moving that line is like a regular business having a sale. It will pull people in. So you move the line to make it more irresistible to go there.
It’s like having two buckets on the ground and the hose above to fill them up. You’re trying to fill those two buckets evenly so when you carry them, you won’t feel off-balanced. The problem is that it’s windy outside, so you must keep moving that hose to adjust for the wind.
As a bookie, you’re trying to do the same thing, fill each side of the line evenly while the opinions and preferences of bettors keep changing.
It’s too risky for a betting agent not to ever change the NFL lines. Even the professional oddsmakers who get together to come up with the NFL lines each week are making educational guesses on the score for each game (or other available odds). Being a sports agent is an ongoing job of moving lines to ensure you take the lowest amount of risk in your business.
Leave the Risks to the Bettors
But make sure you also have a layoff account in case you cannot bring more money into the other side to balance it off. You always want to try and level the playing field organically because that’s how you make the most money. But when you can’t, you want that safety net of a layoff account to take out any risk. You might not make any profit from using that account, but at least the risk will be gone.
If your pay per head betting software company doesn’t have a layoff account, check out BossAction. You automatically get the use of one once you sign up with us. We give you all the tools to minimize your risks and maximize profits and growth. Our goal is to make you a Boss bookie.
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