What Does ‘Line’ Mean in Betting?


The line refers to the point spread or the odds that are set by sportsbooks for a particular game. It is the difference in the perceived strengths of the two competing teams and is used to even the playing field so that the sportsbook can generate action on both sides of the game. The favorite is given a minus (-) sign and the underdog is given a plus (+) sign.

Can Betting Lines Change?

Betting lines can and usually do change from the opening line announced by the sportsbook, but there are multiple reasons for this.

A dramatic change in the weather forecast, a change in form from one of the teams or injury and suspension news can all have an impact, while some sportsbooks will move the line if they feel the public is starting to lean too heavily in one direction in order to keep their book balanced.

Usually, the odds available at the time of the wager being placed are locked into the betslip and you’ll receive those odds no matter what, but occasionally you can opt to place a wager and take the odds as they are when the race starts – this is more common in horse racing and your odds could increase or decrease.