To start with the fundamentals, a point spread is a method for bookmakers to handicap teams to promote wagering on both sides of NFL games. In the NFL, it is usual for the home team to be favored by three or seven points since these are the most frequent increments of scoring in the game.
For example, the Kansas City Chiefs might be labeled as a -7 underdog with odds of -110. That implies that a bet on the Chiefs would be successful if they won by eight points or more, and would pay out roughly $90 on a $100 bet in this scenario. When betting on totals, the line is set at the aggregate projected point total of the two teams involved in the wager. Two teams with a high-scoring offense would generate a greater total than two teams with a strong defense.
What is an Alternative Line in this Context?
Consider the following scenario: you think the Chiefs will win a game in which they are rated as 7.5-point favorites, but you aren’t sure whether they will cover the spread.
Many sportsbooks provide substitute lines with reduced odds as an alternative method to place a bet. The Chiefs may be favored by -110 points against a 7.5-point spread, but they could also be favored by -200 points against a 3.5-point spread. With a 1.5-point spread, their odds would decrease to -315, and they would revert to the same odds as a money line which is a method to wager on the result without taking into account the spread at approximately -385.
Alternate lines may also be drawn in the opposite direction of the mainline. A $100 wager on the Chiefs at -9.5 points against the spread may result in a payout of $115 if the odds are handed to them at +115. Books will often offer lines up to three times the stated spread, with odds matching the lines being offered.
The same principles apply to underdogs as they do to favorites. On an alternative line of 3.5 or even 1.5 points, a 7.5-point underdog will have better betting chances than on the original line of 7.5 points. In addition, betting on a 7.5-point underdog to cover a 14-point spread would result in reduced betting chances for the underdog.
A teaser is a combination of alternative lines that are used in a parlay. Unlike a parlay, which is only effective if both bets are correct, a teaser often offers other lines, increasing the chances of those bets being successful, albeit at lower odds.
To provide an example, the Titans (+7.5) were outsiders in the 2020 National Titles, although the 49ers (-7.5) were favored by over a score in the same game. As an example, a normal teaser would provide the bettor six points on each side of the line, which would result in the Titans (+1.5) and 49ers (-1.5) being the new odds after the teaser had been finished after the teaser was completed. When betting a teaser, instead of getting negative odds (for example, -180 on each alternative spread), bettors who place a teaser receive positive odds (+150 on each alternate spread), since both bets must-win for the teaser to pay.
Where Can I Find Other Lines to Follow?
Most online sportsbooks will offer a tab next to the game lines that says “Alternate Point Spread,” which is short for “Alternate Point Spread.” You may view several alternative lines by just clicking on the tab. Alternate Total Points is another popular option, which allows bettors to obtain various numbers on the Over/Under at varied odds by selecting it from the menu bar.
Sports Betting Strategies With A Different Line
Now that we’ve covered the fundamentals, let’s look at how alternative lines may provide you with a betting advantage. As previously stated, spreads often open at a point between 3 and 7 points. These are referred to as the crucial numbers because, in the NFL, games are often decided by a single touchdown or field goal, and final point margins tend to fall on those two digits more frequently than on any other number.
When it comes to favorite books, they are often listed as 7.5- or 3.5-point favorites rather than at the even number. This is referred to as a “hook,” and it is intended to evoke more response from the underdog. Bettor relief and movement below a critical figure may be achieved by converting an unfavorable 3.5-point spread into a more favorable 2.5-point spread with altered odds, which is known as an alternative line.
When betting on the favorite, it usually makes sense to utilize alternative lines to get a lower number. To be sure, there was a remarkable comeback by the Kansas City Chiefs to defeat the Houston Texans by 20 points in the 2020 Divisional Round, but it is unusual for favorites to overcome a sluggish start to cover a big spread (Chiefs were 9.5-point favorites on most books).
While buying points for an underdog is a safer bet, it is not necessarily the most successful strategy when utilizing alternative lines. Underdogs regularly outperform expectations, especially during the NFL playoffs, when every team is fiercely competitive. Taking a 7-point underdog in a game that you think is closer to a coin flip may make more sense than taking that team as 3-point underdogs with much better odds.
Do you want to be even more daring? As an alternative to betting on the underdog on the Moneyline (at +165, for example), you might choose an alternate spread in which the underdog is favored by a few points, which could result in rewards of up to +400 depending on the number.
Consider a recent example: gamblers who took the Titans against the Ravens in the Divisional Round and had them cover not just a 10-point spread, but also a three-point spread, won handsomely. Players who were willing to pick the Titans on the Moneyline or cover a 10-point spread on their side of the line (which is very uncommon in this instance) would have made a tidy profit in this situation.
It is also possible to get at important numbers in tight games by using other lines. Packers-Seahawks in the Divisional Round was another excellent example of oddsmakers establishing a competitive line, with the Packers favored by 4 or 4.5 points on most bookmakers in the game’s first half. The Seahawks scored late in the game but were unsuccessful on the 2-point conversion attempt, resulting in a 5-point defeat. Seahawks fans were out of luck unless they were willing to give up betting odds to increase the line by 5 or more points.
Looking for a successful sports betting arbitrage? Look no further than BetsBooster. Learn more about our sports betting platform and start placing your bets today!
Have you got an idea about alternate lines in betting? Please let us know in the comments!