Your Best Bet,
You spent the last two hours handicapping a football game that is now approaching kick-off. Your efforts tell you that the Green Bay Packers should win the contest by at least three points. At the time you started picking apart this Monday night game, stat by stat and injury by injury, your sportsbooks were offering a tasty -3 +105, BUT the line moved against you while you were checking your almanac. Your bookmaker is now asking you to give up -3.5 points at -110 for a play on the cheese heads. If you don’t have access to a bookie who is still hanging the -3, you are either forced to pass on the event or go for it, risking more than you know you should. Many of us are action junkies and would lay the extra half point, although betting in this manner will eventually eat away at our bank roll.
Handicapping an event and forming an opinion is only part of the battle. Every profitable gambler and bookmaker knows that line shopping, and more specifically, line movement is the key to a player’s success. Following the path of changing odds offers an enormous advantage over the long haul. A NFL bettor may follow football lines all week in order to gauge the right time to strike as betting lines gradually move in and out of his favor.
We have all pushed on a play where we would have won had we put more effort into getting that half point.
For most gamblers, sitting in front of online betting screens all day is not a realistic option; although many of us will not hit the magic winning percentage of 53% without at least tracking the quick moving odds right before the game. If you are on the verge of understanding the importance of paying less and obtaining the better line, but do not plan on wagering for a living, the half time bet may be a valuable option for you.
Following Line Movement
Halftime odds offer you the ability to get a fresh line and follow it until it comes off the board. Without going into another article about line movement, watching a normal line through its lifespan is something that can take anywhere from half of the day to a week. A 2nd half bettor watching multiple books is able to get a great feel on which way the line is headed and pounce on the offering that suits his play. He may use the same techniques in a span of only 5 minutes.
A soft line is one that deviates from the consensus. Bookmakers only have a short span of time to take in action, and on occasion will stray from the pack in order to take the bets it desires. Other bookies will consistently be the last one to move their numbers which offers value when it has changed against you at most other sportsbooks.
In the course of setting full game odds, bookmakers will frequently peek at what one another are offering. Many will base their odds on what their neighbor is doing and go from there.
During halftime there is little opportunity for them to consult with others. Out of five sportsbooks at least one book’s opinion will likely drastically differ from the rest. This line will adjust quickly as people bet into it, but this initial soft line offers the occasional shot at an extra two points you may not see offered again during the intermission.