What is a Betting Line and How Bookmakers Form it in 2023

Learn how bookmakers form betting lines. Learn how the line can change before a match, how to identify key factors such as player injuries and insider information that can affect betting odds.

betting line for bookmakers

Line in Online Sports Betting: How to Read and Understand the Bookmaker's Line Correctly?

There is quite a large amount of theoretical information on the Internet about how a bookmaker’s line is formed and on what principles it is built. But in this article, we would like to talk about something else.

About how most bookmakers, including those where we place bets daily, actually form a line. In reality, best online betting sites in South Africa 2023 work completely differently than what is written in all theoretical publications about betting.

How Should the Line Be Formed?

Theoretically, each bookmaker should draw up its odds and offer it as an item for accepting bets between players. Only in this case the bookmaker will remain in the black regardless of the match’s final result.

But the key point in this process is that each bookmaker should, in theory, assess the probability of outcomes and, based on this, offer a line. In reality, most companies are far from such an approach to line formation because this is very risky and labor-intensive.

To do this, you need to have a very high-class specialist in each sport who can most accurately assess the probability of victory for one of the opponents and, at the same time, correctly assess in what proportions the money will be distributed for the outcomes.

All this requires large costs and risks, which bookmakers do not take nowadays. This approach may have occurred in reality before, but now, in the Internet era, everything is much simpler for bookmakers.

How a Line is Formed in Reality

The vast majority of bookmakers simply "rewrite" each other's line. In other words, instead of thinking and evaluating each team’s chances, bookmakers simply use the work of other bookmakers.

Of course, there are situations when the bookmaker is forced to create his line. Still, this usually happens when you need to set a line for some internal unpopular tournament that takes place in the country from which the bookmaker himself is.

Tracking the Movement of the Line

From the moment the line for a match appears on the website until the match is released live, the odds for the match may undergo significant changes. For example, a key player of one of the teams will not be able to participate in the match, as a result of which there will be a significant decrease in the quotes for the opposing team.

Players will begin to bet on the favourite of the match in a huge stream; as a result, bookmakers will be forced to lower the quotes to minimise the risks in case of their loss. This is called loading. They most often happen on the day of the match or already in life when the largest flow of bets begins.

Loads indicate that a super popular team is playing, which most people love to bet on, or that insider information has appeared and the previous line for the match is untrue. Of course, the majority may be wrong, but loading in the line often indicates that the bet will enter the loaded market.

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