There are Different Reasons For Different Odds

Published on October 19th, 2020 9:03 am EST
Written By: Dave Manuel



Money moves the lines in the game of sports betting. Let's say that you want to bet on the New England Patriots vs Denver Broncos game.

Sports betting is now legal in your state, so you decide to put some money down on the game.

You investigate the different available sports book options, and notice two different odds for the same game.

One sports book has the odds listed like this:

New England, -2.5
Denver, +2.5

While another sports book has the odds listed like this:

New England, -3
Denver, +3

This is actually a very big difference. If you take Denver +2.5 and they lose by three points, you will lose your bet. If you take Denver +3 and they lose by three points, you will get your original wager back, as the bet will be declared a "push".

Why is there a difference between the two sports books?

There are multiple reasons as to why this might happen, including:

1) Big bettor at one sports book moves the line temporarily.

Let's say that I walk in and place $1,000,000 on the Patriots -2.5 at Sports book B. As a result of this wager, the sports book moves the line to -3 for the Patriots.

Sports book A won't know about this movement for a little while, so they will leave their line at -2.5.

Money moves the lines, and one big bet can move the line at an individual sports book.

2) Sports book targets recreational bettors, purposely has less competitive lines.

Let's take a look at a real life situation.

There is a major offshore sports book that also has a poker and casino offering. This sports book has been in business for over 20 years.

This book has many thousands of recreational bettors that don't shop for lines. They will bet on pretty much any line that the book offers them.

For this reason, this sports book purposely offers less competitive lines, as they will make more money. Their customers don't care.

3) News that hasn't caught up to all of the lines.

Let's say that there is a piece of breaking news that impacts the game that is being wagered on.

Somebody sees this news and gets down a large wager before the game is taken off the board. This would cause the line to move before it is taken off the board.

This situation does happen, though sports books are usually pretty quick about taking games OTB (Off the Board).

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