Everything You Need To Know About Super Bowl Line Movement
Super Bowl LVI is right around the corner, and we have you covered with everything you need to know to bet on the big game. In this article, I’ll take a look at the conversation surrounding line movement. As we get closer to the Super Bowl, you may be wondering how you should react to the odds changing on the game. Let’s break down the concept of line movement and discuss how to shift your decision-making based on the changes you see in the market.
Los Angeles Rams Vs. Cincinnati Bengals Betting Lines
What is Line Movement in the NFL?
In basic terms, line movement describes how the point spread or over/under total changes leading up to the game taking place. In the NFL, line movement can happen rapidly and drastically if a key player is ruled out. For example, if Joe Burrow were to be ruled out of the upcoming Super Bowl, you could expect the spread to be favoring the Rams by quite a few more points. As the point spread changes, so does the Moneyline for the game.
How Should I Read Line Movement?
Line movement most commonly takes place due to what side the sports betting market is placing money on. If a significant amount of money is being placed on one side in the game, you can expect the line to move to more accurately reflect what the market believes the odds should be. That money may be coming in due to a strong public perception surrounding a team, often due to recency bias, or potential injuries that may affect the game more than the sportsbooks initially accounted for when setting the line.
When you read about sports betting, you might find discussion on the public market vs the sharp market. The easiest way to differentiate here is by seeing how much volume (total amount of money) is on one side versus how many bets are placed on that side. Sharp bettors, typically the bettors with more information and stronger analytic tendencies, place larger bets and can shift the market even if the public doesn’t agree with their view on the game.
What is Closing Line Value?
Another important sports betting term to understand is closing line value. This refers to the value of your bet when you placed it versus the value when the game begins. The opening line reflects the bookmaker’s best estimation of what will take place in the game, but as more information and wagers pour into the market, that line will often change leading up to the game. Spread betting is the easiest place to see the importance of closing line value, but with teams often covering the spread by multiple points, CLV doesn’t always end up being all that important.
What Line Movement Has There Been for Super Bowl LVI?
Before the Conference Championship Round, the look-ahead line for a potential Rams vs. Bengals matchup had the Rams as 3-point favorites. Following those games, when Caesars Sportsbook published its line, the Rams were favored by 3.5 points. However, the current line for Super Bowl LVI has the Rams favored by 4.5 points. Sharp action has pushed the Rams’ line higher throughout the past week, and it’s possible it could move even further before the game begins. A $180,000 wager on the Rams -3.5 at Caesars the day the odds were posted pushed the odds to Rams -4. Later, a $522,000 wager on the Rams sent the line to -4.5.
Does the Difference in Spread Really Matter?
If you’re an experienced bettor, you already know the answer to this question. The 3-point threshold is the most important marker in the NFL. From 2003 to 2020, 14.8% of NFL games were decided by 3 points, the most common margin of victory. If the Rams only beat the Bengals by 3 points in Super Bowl LVI, you could lose on betting the spread even if the team you bet wins the game. Since 2000, only two teams have covered as favorites of more than four points in the Super Bowl – that’s an ATS record of 2-10-1. Meanwhile, favorites of three or fewer points have gone 5-3 ATS over that span.
How Should Line Movement Affect My Betting Decisions?
If you were lucky or smart enough to get in a Rams -3 wager before the line moved, you are holding onto significant closing line value, especially with 3 points being such a key number. Of the six playoff games in the divisional and conference championship rounds, five of them have finished with a final margin of three points. Sharp bettors have been more than willing to ignore that recent history and lay significant money on the Rams -4 or -4.5, but if you have the stomach for it, it may be a smart idea to buy points back to that -3 number if you’re not already invested in this game.