Sportsbooks may or may not frequently move betting lines on a given game throughout the pre-game market cycle.
This affords the opportunity for bettors to possibly “time the market” or hedge their bets in potential arbitrage situations.
Bettors should try and determine an early pattern of line movement and public betting patterns in order to place a bet at the most optimum time to receive the best line possible.
For example, if the line is moving higher on an early favorite and you are looking to bet on the favorite, a bettor should wager as early as possible to avoid having to lay a higher point spread or miss out on a betting opportunity because the line has moved to high.
On the contrary, a better that may be looking to back an underdog in the same scenario may consider waiting until near the end of the market cycle to place the bet in order to possibly get a better line than what was originally offered.
Also, bettors can use line movement to determine whether the public is heavily favoring one team over the other, or bettors may also be able to determine if there are sharp bettors wagering on a particular team.
For example, public percentages read that the favorite is attracting 75 percent of the bets, but the line has moved from (-7) to (-6) indicating sharp action on the underdog.
The bookmaker has moved the line in favor of the ‘dog despite the majority of tickets or money on the favorite.