When reading bookie pay per head blog posts, you will often find the topic of line movement discussed. It is, after all, one of the most important aspects of being a bookie. When managing your sportsbook, you adjust your lines so you can get equal action on both sides of a bet. This ensures a profitable sportsbook operation. So the first set of odds you offer on a game, called the opening line, is not usually the same with the closing line, or the last set of odds you offer on a game.
If you are using a really good sportsbook pay per head provider, then line management will not be that big of a concern for you. But since lines move because of different factors, bookies are able to adjust their lines at any given time. Aside from external factors relating to the sport, your players are also a reason why you need to adjust your lines. If there are more players betting heavily on one side, you need to adjust your lines. This is done to make it more attractive for players to bet on the other side to balance your wager.
To explain further, your goal as a bookie is to maximize the potential profit in each game or sports event. You do this by trying to get an equal amount of wagers on both sides. With this, you minimize your risk. Meaning, you get to keep the vig, instead of using it to pay out your players because there were more winners than losers in a given bet. Let’s say there are wagers worth $1000 in one side of a bet. Then this side wins over a side that only has $500 in wagers. With this outcome, you will need to shell out the $500 to pay out your winning players.
You could be lucky to have the number reversed and get to keep the extra $500 on top of the vig. But that also means you risking to lose $500 of your own money. This is why as much as possible, you move the lines to get the wagers somewhat equal.
As mentioned earlier, there are game-related factors that can sway the direction a line moves. For instance, if a lineup in the roster of a baseball team changes, then the outcome will most likely change. If a quarterback suffers an injury in the NFL, then you’ll need to adjust your lines to reflect the possible changes. If a player in an NBA team gets traded, the team’s power balance changes. Then their futures wagers might need some tweaking. Most of the time, your sportsbook software will take care of this. But it always helps to stay on top of these things to make sure that you manage your sportsbook well enough to gain a decent profit regularly.