To spot a reverse line movement, you must have a keen understanding of how a line should move based on how much action it receives. It’s well-known that sportsbooks would ideally have even money being wagered on both sides of any action. As a result, sportsbooks will set an opening line that they feel will best attract bettors from both sides. To illustrate how reverse line movement works, if a team opens as -8.0 favourites but 60% of all bets have been coming in on the team to cover, the sportsbook may feel vulnerable since the juice wouldn’t cover the loss in the event that the favorite covers. With this information in hand, the sportsbook will be quick to move the line to go up to -8.5 or -9.0 to try and attract more wagers for the underdog.

Finding Reverse Line Movements

In order to determine which side is receiving the majority of bets, there are several websites that provide this information in the form of the percentage of bets wagered on each side. One of the best websites for this is the odds page at SportsCapping. However, when looking at this information, it’s important to understand that the percentage of bets placed on one side of a bet does not equal to the amount of money being placed.

Spotting Reverse Line Movement

Spotting reverse line movement is quite simple once you have it figured out. Just because a team is receiving 60% of the action, this doesn’t mean that they’re receiving the majority of the money. If there are 10 total bets on an event and nine of the bets are for $100 on one side but a single bet is on the other side for $100,000, it’s pretty evident that even though one side has received 90% of the bets, the majority of money has been placed on the other side. While this is a far-fetched example, it allows this point to be illustrated clearly.

In a more realistic example, let’s assume that 100 wagers have been placed on a game – 60 for team A and 40 for team B, representing a 60/40 percentage split. If the average amount wagered for the 60 bets is $50, the total amount wagered for team A is $3,000. If the average amount wagered for the 40 bets is $200, the total amount wagered for team B is $8,000. While team A has received 60% of the action, there’s actually a lot more money coming in for team B, albeit having received only 40% of the action. If team A’s opening spread was at -4.0, this figure could potentially drop to -3.5 or -3.0 with hopes of attracting more money to come in for team A. From this example, it’s essential to study the lines and betting percentages. If a team is receiving 60% or more of the action but the line moves in the opposite direction, this is referred to as a reverse line movement.

Profitability Of Reverse Line Movements

Is it profitable to follow reverse line movements over the long-run? The answer is yes. The thing to note is that reverse line movements are almost always a result of wagers from sharp bettors. The public loves action and likes the idea of betting on a lot of games with lesser amounts. On the other hand, sharps place massive amounts on a few select games where they feel they have the edge. Every time you play a reverse line movement, you’re betting alongside the sharps, who do this for a living and spend countless hours breaking down and analyzing games.