Odds Movement Tracker
Whether you bet on the NFL, NBA, MLB, or college sports, odds movement is a big part of the betting landscape that is often overlooked.
It doesn’t matter if you prefer wagering on favorites, underdogs or longshots. There are games and matchups in which the odds and betting lines are going to appreciably move in one direction. As a bettor, it is important to quickly spot these market-moving trends, determine why they are occurring, and know how to take advantage.
Paying attention to odds and line movement, whether it be before a big race or on an NFL Sunday, allows bettors to gain more insight into a specific race or game and extract maximum value from their wagers.
Why is Odds Movement in Sports Betting Important?
A significant shift in betting odds in a particular sports event can be a signal for many things, both good and bad. Having the ability to read the market and it's movement is an invaluable tool to success in sports betting. Odds movement is not an anomaly. They occur on just about every slate of football or basketball games. Pro or college football teams that opened as a tepid two-point choice can be favored by a touchdown or more at kickoff. This is due to either the public or sharp money pouring in on one side of the wager.
The significant odds movement is based on the amount of money wagered on a specific team, prop, or point total. Generally, there are logical reasons for these significant moves (several are outlined below). From a value standpoint, bettors gain their biggest advantage by spotting these market movers early and getting the best price. Of course, while deriving value is a key to betting success, it doesn’t guarantee victory.
You'll often see a team open as a -180 favorite and close at -115. The smartest thing to do in this case it wait as long as possible to ensure you pick up the best price. The reason the number dropped on this team is due to the amount of money placed on the opposite side of the bet. This means you would be going against the public money, which is typically a good sign. You can check out our NFL consensus odds, NBA consensus odds, and MLB consensus odds for more information, as there are big differences on how to read this information depending on the sport you're betting.
When the odd movement goes the other direction, that means either the public or sharp money is all over that particular team. For example, let's say the New York Jets open as +140 underdogs and close as -110 favorites. That would mean a ton of betting action came in on the Jets early and bookmakers are looking to even out their action by moving the odds. Do yourself an advantage in these spots and place your wager early, ensuring you won't be paying the increased odds closer to gametime.
A sleeper is a betting entrant that is under-the-radar or not regarded highly by the betting public.
For example, the young and rebuilding Miami Marlins were considered a sleeper team in MLB betting to make the 2020 postseason, and managed to earn a wild-card berth. Likewise, the lightly-regarded San Francisco 49ers were projected to win only eight games in the 2019 season in NFL futures odds but won 14 and reached the Super Bowl. Sleeper selections are common in Daily Fantasy Sports leagues, where owners seek inexpensive, lesser-known players or rookies to provide better-than-expected production.
What Causes Odds Movement?
Strength of the Market: Just how significant Is the wagering on a specific horse or team? Big wagers that lowered the starting price of a horse or spread in a Saturday college football game by several points are worthy of attention. Smaller moves can easily be reversed. While bettors don’t always need to wager on or against market movers, it’s helpful to know where the betting money is going.
Timing: Odds and lines can move at any time, but the biggest moves tend to be early in the betting cycle, when a large wager can have significantly more impact and set the betting tone for a game or race.
Form: A team that has won three consecutive games against sub-500 teams may appear in good form, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be competitive against a first-place team next time out. Form is an obvious factor in determining a horse’s odds. Horses that consistently run first or second tend to be well regarded by the public and sent off at lower odds. But form may not be as applicable to horses stepping up in class, who simply aren’t fast enough to compete, no matter how impressive their recent form. The same applies to sports betting.
Health: Perhaps the most common influence of market movers. Bettors are usually correct to steer away from horses coming off an injury or look dull or lathered up before a race, causing their odds to rise. Similarly, NFL odds and NBA odds can move drastically when bettors learn a team’s key player may be sidelined, benched or compromised by injury.
Betting Patterns: Publicly-loved teams such as the New York Yankees or Dallas Cowboys are often overvalued because fans like to bet on them. Oddsmakers are aware of this and may set their betting lines accordingly. Smart money takes this into account and you should to.
Is it Possible to Predict Odds Movement?
It’s possible with research and knowledge. You may think a key player who hobbled off the field the previous game may not be 100%, even though the team says the injury is not serious. Or an inclement weather forecast is likely to limit the number of points scored in a totals wager. In horse racing, you may have noticed a horse who was bumped or broke slowly during his most recent race, an incident that doesn’t show up in the form comments but compromised the horse’s chances.
Another way to spot market movers is to compile your own power rankings. If you’ve done your research and believe the odds movement on your horse or team is not accurate, so might other “sharp: bettors, whose money will move the market. The linemakers at the sportsbooks are good, but they’re human and make mistakes.
CHECK OUT: Our Sports Betting Guides Can Help You Improve Your Chances At Profit
How to Stay on Top of Biggest Odds Movement
The best way is to be attentive and constantly seek out information and clues. When the betting pools open for a specific game, check where the early money is wagered. Keep track of these odds and you'll shortly see which way the money is moving. Take notice of betting lines when they are released and hours afterward, when the biggest moves often occur. Monitor injury reports. You can also find or subscribe to services that will alert you to significant line or odds movement, and also bookmark this page. If a line has moved significantly, find out why.
Should you Always Follow the Public Money?
If the sharps were right all the time, pari-mutuel and sports betting would be easy. Just follow the smart money. That’s not the case. Horses bet down below even money and football underdogs that become betting favorites often lose. So how do you know when to follow the crowd?
This is why knowledge and research matter. If a line has moved significantly and you can’t identify (or disagree with) the reasons why, that’s a market mover to avoid or consider taking the other side. If the reasons for the line movement are valid, then following the sharps may make more sense. You might have missed the early line move, but a winner is still a winner and any profit is better than a loss.
Our experts have you covered for each of the main sports in the United States. That means free NFL picks, free NBA picks, and free MLB picks all at the click of your finger. You can expect all sorts of bet types to be covered, not just point spread or over/under bets. You'll see unique parlays and prop bet picks as well.
One potential advantage of following and anticipating significant line moves is the potential to “middle” a sports bet. For example, you place a wager on the New England Patriots when they open as 10-point favorites over the Miami Dolphins. By late in the week, the line has jumped to 13. By then placing an equal bet on the Dolphins, the bettor has both sides.
The most likely outcome is the bettor splits the two bets and drops only the vigorish on the losing ticket. But the three-point spread between both bets gives the bettor a realistic chance to cash both tickets.
In the end, blindly backing odds movers, or always betting against them, is not sound strategy. But being aware of these plays gives you important insight and helps you maximize betting value.
Market Movers FAQs
When are market movers updated?
In sports betting, market movers are updated not long after the betting line comes out. If you notice significant line movement in a game, that team may be an early market mover. If the trend continues in that direction, the move is confirmed. Horse racing market movers will sometimes occur just before a race. At Bookies.com, you will see market movers appear on this page once the line or odds have shifted.
Why do positive market moves occur?
Positive market movers occur because sharp bettors have spotted a weakness in the pari-mutuel odds or in a sports betting line, or due to injury, pre-game coaching decision or weather forecast.
How important are market moves?
Market moves are important because they provide insight into a particular game or race. There must be a reason why there are significant moves in odds. That doesn’t mean the move is right but alerts you how the sharp money is being wagered.
When does a market move occur?
When the odds move significantly down on a horse or specific player or team. If a horse is 6-1 morning line and is being sent off the 1-1 betting favorite, that’s a big market move. Similarly, if a 3-point NFL underdog becomes a 3-point favorite, a market move has clearly occurred.
Is betting on a team with increased odds good idea?
There are no guarantees in sports or pari-mutuel betting. Steamers are generally backed by sharp bettors for specific reasons. If you believe those reasons have merit and agree with the selection, then consider placing a wager and following the sharps. If not, then take a pass or bet the other side, which will offer added value.