When It Comes to Betting, All News is Good News

We live in an era with a 24/7 news cycle. That’s why the printed newspaper is nearly obsolete. By the time an article goes to print and gets delivered, it is hours behind the latest online news. In the world of sports betting, acting quickly on the latest information can lead to great value.

We live in an era with a 24/7 news cycle. That’s why the printed newspaper is nearly obsolete. By the time an article goes to print and gets delivered, it is hours behind the latest online news. In the world of sports betting, acting quickly on the latest information can lead to great value.

What’s the first thing you thought when you learned that Adrian Peterson was in trouble? How did you react when Jameis Winston had his half-game suspension against Clemson extended to the entire contest? Did you act when the Bengals announced A.J. Green was out against the Panthers, or when Arizona named Carson Palmer their starter versus Washington?

While most of us are not able to be on Twitter all day long with our sportsbook accounts open, if you hear of a big story, it is a good idea check whether line movement has taken place. If you can get a bet in before sportsbooks adjust, it may be worth your while.

Anytime you can get the better of a line, even if you don’t like the side you are wagering on, it is good value. The reason it makes sense is simple. If you are able to bet on a line before it moves, it gives you multiple favorable options.

Let’s take this week’s Monday night game between Houston and Pittsburgh as a hypothetical example. The Steelers are 3.5 point favorites and you have no strong opinion on the game. In the days leading up to kickoff, you read that Ben Roethlisberger was injured during practice and his status for the game is in doubt. (REMEMBER, THIS IS A HYPOTHETICAL. AS FAR AS I KNOW, BIG BEN IS FINE.) If Roethlisberger doesn’t play, Bruce Gradkowski will get the start for the Steelers. If you are able to get Houston +3.5, you should bet it and bet it hard.

As sportsbooks learn about the Roethlisberger news, they are going to do one of two things. Either they’ll take the line down, meaning no more bets can be placed on the game, or they’ll adjust the point spread. If they take the game off the board, it will return with a proper line once the injury news is clarified. (This is what happened to the upcoming Notre Dame-FSU game when Jameis Winston’s status became unclear.) If it seems likely Roethlisberger will miss the game, the line will go down to something like Pittsburgh -1.

Since you already bet the Texans at +3.5, you now have lots of options. You can hold the ticket you bought and know you are getting 2.5 more points than the actual line, or you can wager on the Steelers -1 and be certain you’ll win one of the two bets while hoping the game ends with Pittsburgh winning by two or three. If this occurs, you would win both bets.

The best part of betting a flawed line is, even it adjusts, your risk is minimal.

Say you bet the Texans before the line changed but didn’t jump on an opportunity to middle the bet. Then, on Monday afternoon, it comes out that Roethlisberger actually will play. In this situation, you can still cut your loses. If the spread goes back to Houston +3.5 and you don’t like the bet, you can eat the vig, wager on Pittsburgh, and take a very small loss.

For each time you are forced to eat 10% because the line ends up the same as it originally was, you’ll get significant value five or ten times. Beating sportsbooks isn’t easy. When you get an opportunity to swing the odds in your direction, take it.