What to do on huge line changes? Take the dogs...
In recent years "Vegas" has vastly improved setting the betting lines. One of our best tools for nullifying their edge is playing the line shifts.
Initial lines are based mostly on computer projections. They factor in: injured players, trends and public hysteria. Let's look at an example:
New England Patriots (with Tom Brady) at Cleveland Browns (any year).
Initial line is Patriots -12 with an over/under of 34. Vegas assessment would be a final of Pat's 23 - Browns 11. Once that line is published, we all look at it and think "Patriots are going to bash them" so everyone jumps on the Patriots and the line then moves to Pat's +12, 13, 14, until the betting action stabilizes with equal money bet on the Pat's and Browns (Vegas primarily wins on the juice, not on taking risks). Lets' say the line moves to Pat's -16. As a bettor, believing in the initial line is critical as those lines are set on statistics, not on hype or on evening out the betting action (with one exception to discuss later).
If the betting line shifts by 1.5 points on NFL games, you win betting against the line shift about 90% of the time. In the example above initial line was -12 and it shifted a whopping 4 pts to Pat's -16. In this case the clear choice is to take the Browns at +16. If you can't stomach that choice, then do not bet on the game.
Here is that exception I mentioned. It concerns over/under betting. People tend to take the over bets, by a pretty large margin. The underlying reason is, when watching a game it sucks to hope no one scores (every basket made causes you to be more depressed). Vegas knows this so all over/under betting lines are artificially inflated on the initial lines to try to even out the initial betting action. Do not get sucked into betting on LeBron on an over line. That will cost you a lot of money. His record covering the over is dismal at best.
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