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Alternative Betting Lines In Sports Betting

Alternative Betting Lines In Sports Betting

Eric Kithinji
Eric Kithinji
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7 Min
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What Are Alternate Lines?
Should You Bet On Alternative Lines?
Using Alternate Lines To Gain An Edge

It is no secret that legalized sports betting is taking over the United States.

This statement holds true despite the fact that we still have a ways to go for all 50 states to welcome the practice.

Still, if your state has legalized sports betting, there is a good chance you have a nice selection of sportsbooks to choose from to place a bet at.

Because there are so many sportsbooks, they must have a variance in markets to attract new bettors like you. One of the ways they differ from one another is by deploying Alternate Lines.

In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about alternate betting lines in sports betting and how you can use them to your advantage to become a more profitable sports bettor.

What Are Alternate Betting Lines?

Alternate lines in sports betting allow the bettor the opportunity to modify the point spread or the total points in exchange for an altered price point that is derived from the alternate line you have selected.

When you bet on alternate lines, you are essentially buying or selling points to fit your handicap for the game. When you buy points, you will lower the odds which will give you a safer possible outcome.

Meanwhile, when you sell points, the odds will increase as the wager will be more difficult to hit. However, while the odds will increase, so will your profits when your wager wins.

What Is Alternate Spread Betting?

The bookmakers use your standard point spread to even out a contest from a betting point of view.

This line will convey a theoretical winning margin for the game’s favorite as well as a losing margin for the game’s underdog.

When you place a bet on a point spread, the favorite must win by more points than the spread to cover. Meanwhile, the underdog can lose by fewer points than the spread while still covering.

When you place wagers on alternate spreads, they work the same way as your conventional spreads only with altered lines and odds.

Your standard point spread will normally come with (-110) odds. When you buy points, the odds will worsen for every .5 points. That (-110) could turn into (-120) or even (-200) depending on what alternate line you choose.

When you sell points, it will work the same only in the opposite direction, for every .5 point you sell, the odds will get better. So that(-110)can turn into (+100) or even (+150) depending on how many points you sell.

What Is Alternate Points Total Betting?

When you are betting on alternate lines pertaining to the total points in a game, you are dealing with an Over/Under betting market.

If you add points to a total and place a wager on the Over, your odds will increase as will your possible payout.

On the other hand, when you decrease the total points and bet on the Over, your odds will get worse as will your potential payout. The payout gets worse because the bet becomes easier to win.

How Does Alternate Line Betting Work?

Most of the top sportsbooks will offer numerous betting markets when it comes to betting on the point spread or the total points in a game.

While some books will give you the option to buy or sell points on your betting slip, most of the top sportsbooks will actually give you a tab under the game that is called “Alternate Lines.”

If the Dallas Cowboys are -3 point favorites to beat the New York Giants at (-110) odds, then you will find alternate betting markets that correspond with the conventional line.

Normally, you can buy or sell points by half of a point.

Let’s say you think the Cowboys will win by six points. Then under the alternate lines tab, you will find the Cowboys -6. Your odds could be (+150) because you are making the bet harder to hit.

If you want to make the bet easier to hit because you don’t trust the Cowboys – which is the way to go if you know the Cowboys – then you can bet the Cowboys to win by two points.

In this case, you will go to the alternate lines tab and find the Cowboys -2. Your odds could be(-140) since the bet is much easier to win.

You can do this with the total points in the game as well. In the same alternate lines tab, you will find shifted lines and odds that pertain to the Over/Under-total.

The same directions that I explained in the above example with points spread alternate lines will apply here.

When To Bet On Alternate Betting Lines?

When you are handicapping a game and feel strongly one way or another, then you could apply alternate line betting with your analysis.

If you think a favorite will blow out an underdog, then it may be wise for you to bet on an alternate line reflecting that, which will give you a larger payout if you are right.

Consequentially, if you think a game will be close between a favorite and an underdog, but you will believe the favorite will win, then it may be wise for you to sell some points to reflect your premonition.

Your payout will not be as fruitful, but you will still win your bet and get some kind of compensation.

You can also use alternate lines to bet on an underdog as well. If you think the dog will cover and want to play it safe, you can find an alternate line to reflect that notion.

Line-Shopping For Alternate Lines

If you have ever read any of my sportsbook reviews or any sports betting guides I have written in general, then you will know that I stress line shopping.

Well, line shopping does not stop at your standard line. You can shop the alternate lines too.

When you are line shopping, you are trying to find discrepancies between competitive sportsbooks.

If five sportsbooks have the Brooklyn Nets to beat the New York Knicks by three points (-3) and at (-110) odds, but the sixth book has them at(-3) but at (-105) odds, then it would be wise for you to take the number at the sixth book with the better odds to increase your profit margin.

Since there are so many sportsbooks offering a plethora of alternate lines, finding discrepancies with alternates are a lot easier than with your standard lines.

Normally, lines and odds will shift if a player is on the fence due to injury. If you think that player will not play, you can find an alternate line that will reflect that notion.

And if you are correct, you can really make a good profit.

How much money is coming in on one side or another will also alter lines at different sportsbooks, which is why line shopping is important.

These same regulations can also be applied to total points betting.

When To Live Bet Alternate Lines

Most of your top sportsbooks will have live betting in one form or another, while some books will give you almost every market live, some of the smaller books will give you select games or even none at all.

When you are live betting, even your standard line can be looked upon as an alternate as the lines and odds are always shifting up or down depending on the flow of the matchup.

So if you excel at being predictive and proactive, you could really do some damage live betting.

If you are watching a game with a projected high points total but both teams in the contest get off to a slow start, you can jump on the new total, which would be lower than the total before the start of the game.

Then once the scoring picks up, you can sit back and enjoy watching your win with no sweat involved.

You can also apply this notion to point spread betting live.

If the game starts out and the underdog jumps off to an early lead, but you know the favorite will ultimately climb out of the hole and win, then with live betting alternate lines, you can get the team that was favored before the game getting points rather than giving.

Again, you can now sit back and enjoy a sweat-free win if you were right.

Betting Parlays With Alternate Lines

If you like betting on teasers and parlays, then you should know that you can incorporate alternate lines in them.

If you want to increase your odds even more than normal in a parlay, you can use alternate lines to do so by selling points in one or more of the legs included in your parlay bet.

Consequentially, if you want a safer parlay bet, you can buy points in one or more of the included legs for a lesser payout.

You don’t even have to bet one way or another when building a parlay with alternate lines. You can mix and match.

For example, if you like one game to be a blowout, then you can include the alternate line selling points as one of your parlay legs to get better odds.

Meanwhile, if you like a favorite in another game to win, but you don’t think they will cover the spread, you can find alternate line buying points that will decrease the odds.

Together, you will build an attainable parlay that can not only hit but with a reasonable payout as well.

Betting On Alternate Prop Markets

Not all sportsbooks offer prop markets, but the ones that do will usually offer some form of alternates as well.

While sportsbooks will offer similar prop bets, the lines and odds will differ, sometimes immensely. Hence the reason why I stress line shopping.

For example, if one sportsbook has LeBron James to score Over 28.5 points at (-110) odds, a competitive book might have him to score Over 25.5 at (-105) odds.

Here, it would be wise to take the lesser line that will bring the greater payout.

Even if you arent getting a better payout, if you can get James to score Over 28.5 at (-110) at one book and another if offering Over 25.5 at the same odds, it would be silly for you not to take the lower number.

If you are not line shopping, you will never find the discrepancies between the sportsbooks.

The most common discrepancies you will find with prop bets are in the NBA with player points, assists, three-pointers made, and rebounds.

Though the price for home run odds in baseball and touchdown markets in football will vastly differ between books as well. So be sure to do your homework.

Using Alternate Lines To Gain An Edge

Sportsbooks deploy alternate lines to gain competitive betting on both sides of the game. Sports bettors can use this to their advantage if they feel strongly about the game one way or another.

A sports bettor can choose to fade the public by wagering on an alternate line to take advantage of a bookmaker’s discrepancy if you feel their line is off.

You can identify trends and back up your projections by doing your research and line shopping.

However, generally, when you fade the public, it will come down to a gut feeling as the public normally on a certain stat or a trend that is already out there.

Where Can You Find Alternate Lines?

You can find alternate betting lines at the top sportsbooks.

General, alternate lines are offered with all of the top markets in your region. In the United States, you will find alternate totals and lines pertaining to the NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB.

While some sportsbooks will have alternate lines for smaller US markets like soccer, they will normally be more difficult to find at even the most popular United States-based sportsbooks.

Alternate soccer lines are out there, however.

You will most likely find them at offshore-based sportsbooks and European-based books as well since soccer is more popular outside of the states.


About the author

Placed his first sports wager shortly after high school, and has been involved in this whirlwind of the industry since then. Fan of most of the major ...

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