Is chasing the sharp bettors the best choice for you?

Sharps and squares influence sports betting lines; understanding and tracking these movements may provide betting advantages.

The sports betting industry is dealing everyday with a number of different types of punters, who are either trying to make big money from their wagers or who are just more interested in having fun and excitement while watching their favorite sport. Broadly speaking though, the different types of punters fall into two major categories: the sharps and the squares. Or more simply, the pros and the casual bettors. 

In every MMA fight, bookmakers offering UFC betting in Germany or any other place in the world, will receive bets from both sharps and squares. There will be those bettors who will put their big money on one side of a bet, let’s say, because either they have some edge or they -for some reason – find much greater value on that side. And there will be those bettors who will put their money (not big money) on the side of the bet, which accumulates public preference. 

The sharps are choosing a side and they back this side with their bets. Now, typically the bets of the sharps are much larger than the bets of the casual, recreational bettors. 

So, once wagering they get the attention of the bookmakers. Bookmakers can tell the difference between the volume of tickets and the volume of money and they know that when big money comes in (without corresponding to a large number of tickets), it is the sharps that are making their moves. 

The bookmakers want to make sure that there is an even – as much as possible – distribution of bets on each side of a UFC bet so as to secure their optimal vig. So, when a lot of money comes in, backing one side and indicating sharps’ edge, the bookmakers move the betting line to make the other side attractive for more and more squares. They move the line so that the other side is a potentially lucrative option and this aims at getting the attention of the casual bettors

Now, this line movement – triggered by sharps – is something that many not so experienced bettors can’t really leverage. But if you pay close attention, you may be able to follow the example of sharps and go about searching whether the old line is offered or is available in other bookies. 

In short you go about searching whether there are still some betting sites that have not reacted. Should you find the old lines, you’d better pick the bet so as to be on the same side with those who have ‘sharper’ knowledge and an edge of the market. 

More on this, sometimes bookmakers don’t go with moving the line as to where it should go if more bets were on one side. Sometimes they do what is called reverse line movement, which means that they are going down the road of the sharps and they make the already attractive and popular side, even more attractive and popular. Sounds crazy, but it is often done by sportsbooks who respect and value the sharps’ skills and knowledge and they want to get big profits.

This reverse line movement could potentially be the most important thing for you to notice and act on, because it would give you an edge and a chance to be on the same side with the sharp, skilled bettors. 

But by the moment you notice a reverse line movement, it is probably too late -at least in most cases. You should instantly search -once again – for bookmakers that have not yet reacted to the sharps’ money on a bet and are still offering the same line as before. If you are lucky enough to do that, then you can most likely lock in profits. 
The answer, then, to whether chasing after sharp bettors is a good choice for you, depends exclusively on your willingness and commitment to continuously monitor and track how bookmakers respond to their skilled, professional customers. It is very difficult to tell the difference between bets made by the public and bets made by the sharp bettors, but if you manage to do it, it really pays off.