How Betting Lines are Set

NFL Football betting lines are created by oddsmakers, who analyze a team's (or player's, in some cases) past performance as well as such variables as the weather, injuries, home field advantage, and anything else that might affect the outcome of the game. Statistics, and any patterns or trends the oddsmakers discern from the statistics, form the basis for the betting line. Typically, this basis determines the opening line of the football game.

I'll give you an example. Team A is strong on defense and Team B has a strong offense, an oddsmaker might look at how effective Team A has been in containing other teams with similarly strong offenses, as well as how Team A has performed in the past against Team B. Virtually every aspect of a game is taken into account, from location to time to mental distractions, along with the aforementioned injuries and past performances, in determining how a given team will perform.

Adjusting Football Lines

Betting lines in Football are usually adjusted many times between the posting of the initial line and the time the football game begins. There are two main reasons for adjusting the spreads or odds in football: First, injuries, weather, and other factors can change hereby changing the statistical outcome of the football game, so oddsmakers will adjust their lines to reflect those changes. Second, no sportsbook wants to risk it's own money on any given sporting event. Sportsooks make their money from the commission (called juice) that they charge on the bets placed, so their ideal situation is to have approximately the same number of bettors (at least dollar for dollar) on both sides of the line.

The sportsbooks will adjust the line to entice bettors to sway to one side or the other, in an attempt to even out the line. That way, the money from the losing bettors goes to pay the winning bettors, and the sportsbook still gets the juice.

Locking in NFL Lines

In general, your betting line is locked in at the time you place your wager. Sometimes, you'll get better odds by placing your bet early; other times, it might be to your advantage to wait. This is where the knowledge of football and the way sportsbooks work comes in. If too many people are betting on the favorite, the sportsbook will likely adjust the betting line to encourage more people to bet on the underdog. When this happens, the underdog will often get better odds than it deserves from a strictly statistical point of view, so in this case, it would be better to place your bet closer to the start of the football game. On the other hand, if you are set on betting the favorite, you would have been better off placing your bet as soon as the football lines were released.

In understanding the way sportsbooks work, you can make an informed decision on when you bet on the specific football game. You give yourself an edge by placing your bets at the correct time.

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