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Reverse Line Moves in Baseball

We’ve talked about reverse line movements in football and basketball, but haven’t really touched upon it for baseball.
Simply put, a reverse line move is when the odds on a game move in the opposite direction of the money wagered. In football or basketball, if Team A is -4 over Team B and 75-percent of the money wagered is on Team A, we could expect to see the line change to Team A -5. In a reverse line movement, the odds would change to Team A -3, which is essentially a move in the reverse direction from what one would expect.

The same concept holds true in baseball, except we’re dealing with money line odds.

If Team C is -150 over Team D and 80-percent of the money is coming in on Team C, logic would dictate a line movement to Team C -160. In a baseball reverse line move, the odds would change to Team C -140.

Why Odds Change

In general, baseball odds will change solely because of money wagered. But it always isn’t the total amount of money bet, it’s also a question of who wagers that money.
Because the volume of money wagered on a baseball game is so much lower than the amount of wagers on a football or basketball game, a so-called “smart” bettor can influence the line more in baseball than the other sports.

As a rule of thumb, the favorite will have more money wagered on it than the underdog in a particular game. That makes sense, as the team favored should appear to have some sort of advantage over the opposition, which is why they were favored in the first place.

The situation baseball bettors want to look for is when the favored team has a good deal of the money wagered on it, but the odds have dropped. An example would be a favorite of -170 that is receiving 75-percent of the money wagered, but see its odds drop to -160.

Bettors shouldn’t run out and wager on all games that feature reverse line movements, but I would give serious thought to staying away from the favorite in such a case. If you have any doubts about a bet, it’s best to wait another day or look at another game. It’s a long season and bettors want to make sure they give themselves every advantage they possibly can.


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