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Basketball Betting - Line Moves in NCAA Basketball

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Basketball Betting - Line Moves in College Basketball

Sports bettors, both novices and veterans alike, would benefit greatly by taking the time to study line moves each day. The various sportsbooks spend a great deal of time and money creating odds on sporting events, so line moves are generally viewed as a mistake on somebody's part. Either the oddsmaker, the person setting the odds, or the sports bettors causing the line to move, are going to be wrong.

There are three primary reasons why the line will change on a basketball game:

The amount of money bet on one side

When the sportsbooks are getting a lot of action on one team, they will change the line to attract money on the other side to help balance their books. Lines can be moved in terms of the point spread, for football or basketball betting, or the odds will be adjusted for baseball and hockey betting. If the sportsbooks get the same amount of money wagered on each side in a contest, a profit can be assured.

Who bets on one side

Somebody known by sportsbooks to be a winning bettor can cause the odds to change even with a small wager, while somebody unknown to the sports books can make a much larger bet and not affect the odds.

Team personnel movement

The odds will also change if a player, or players, will miss a game and it wasn't factored into the opening line.

Late injuries, suspensions, and illness are the main culprits here.

The Key NCAA Line Movements

There are two line movements college basketball bettors should give extra consideration to. The first is the opening line movement when bettors wager into the opening numbers put out by the bookmakers. Pay extra attention to movements in games between smaller, lesser-known teams. A line movement of several points in a game between Iona and Sienna is generally more meaningful than the line movement in a game between Kentucky and Florida.

The second line movement basketball bettors should be on the watch for are those that occur between 6 and 7 p.m. EST, especially when they involve small schools on the East Coast.

As a general rule, college basketball has been more popular on the East Coast than on the West Coast. There doesn't appear to be one primary reason for this, but instead is probably a combination of several factors, including the time difference, as many college basketball games begin at 4 p.m. PST, while people are still at work; and the weather, as winters on the East Coast tend to keep people indoors more. There are likely other contributing factors, as well.

As a result, college basketball bettors on the eastern side of the country are generally more knowledgeable than basketball bettors on the west, especially in those games involving teams from the East Coast. The illegal bookmakers typically open for business at 6 p.m. EST and as they receive bets from their clients, they will lay-off (bet with other bookmakers, thus eliminating any risk) those wagers from bettors with a history of winning, or on those games where they are getting a lot of money on one side. This will eventually change the point spreads offered in Nevada and by the offshore sportsbooks.

Many years ago, a basketball bettor could show a healthy profit simply by following all of the line moves that took place within 45 minutes of the bookies on the East Coast opening for business. The proliferation of Internet gambling has diminished its success a bit, not to mention that the Internet has made sports bettors, and oddsmakers, smarter as a whole.

But there is still plenty of value for a college basketball bettor to spend a bit of time each day and follow the line movements. Anything a sports bettor can do to help get the edge over the house is time wisely invested.

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