The odds and spreads of a sporting event typically aren’t set in stone – in the case of most sports such as the NFL, the NBA or MLB, the odds and lines will move up until the game starts. The reason that a line might move can vary. It might be because a key player is injured or suspended, impacting the expected outcome of the game. Or the line might change because of a “money move” where the sportsbooks react to a large amount of wagers on one side by changing the line to encourage action on the other team in an attempt to get equal money on both sides.
As a bettor, you can get an advantage if you are able to place a bet at the right time. Of course, you’ll never truly be able to know exactly what the “right time” is to make a bet as you can’t really predict where a line might move. That’s why it’s important to understand what you think a good number is for a game before the line is set and then monitor the line continually to see if it moves in that direction.
As a general rule, the odds on the favorite will increase throughout the day, as the public tends to be on favorites more than they do underdogs. Many online sportsbooks now show you betting percentages; how many bets are coming in on each team, so if you see a favorite that you like and they are getting a high percentage of bets, you may want to act quickly as the line may increase. You may want to hold off on the betting the underdog as the line could move in your favor.
If you see that a line opens in your favor – such as the favorite not having to give up enough points – you might want to jump on right away before there is a chance for adjustments to happen. Or, if you don’t like the line, you might wait as long as possible to see if the line moves. Patience and research will help you to have a better feel for when it is the right time to bet.