Betting Opening & Overnight Lines

by faststeady

In our baseball guides you’ll notice that we talk about “betting the best lines” a lot. In this article we’re going to quickly catch everyone up to speed on how you can often get the best line by betting the game using overnight lines. Several of the top MLB sports betting sites post odds on the moneyline and over/under the night before the game begins. Sharp MLB handicappers always look at the overnight lines as soon as they’re released to see if any of the odds catch their eye.

What is the Opening Line in MLB Betting?

The opening line is a term used to describe the betting line as soon as it’s released at a sportsbook. The opening line is a line that hasn’t been bet into yet, which means there are going to be lines that aren’t that sharp. MLB bettors that have developed their own betting system will bet into the overnight/opening lines that they feel offer value. Most bettors don’t place their bets until an hour before the game and by this time the line has been bet into by everyone and the line is going to be extremely sharp.

Why Should You Bet Overnight MLB Lines?

Betting into overnight MLB betting lines isn’t always going to result in getting the best line, but it often does. Once you begin to gain experience with how the MLB markets move you’ll be able to determine whether you’re getting value betting an overnight line more accurately. The main reason you want to bet overnight lines is because the market moves based on money coming in and news (Injuries, Line-Up Changes, etc), but when you bet overnight lines you’re betting them before they react to the market.

Betting all of your picks using overnight lines isn’t always a good idea, which is why you need to use your educated judgement as to whether you should be betting into the line. An example where betting the overnight line is usually a good idea is when you bet on a public team such as the Yankees when Sabathia is on the mound. When the line is released the Yankees may only be -125 favourites, but once the public starts betting into the line the odds will begin to jump and often close at -150 or higher.

If you could bet on the Yankees at -125 or -150 what odds would you take? Obviously you’d take the -125 odds because you’re going to save $25 on every $100 bet. Now let’s say you actually like the underdog in the Yankees example above. If you bet the underdog using the overnight line you’ll get less value than if you waited until public money come in on the Yankees. This is why you need to learn and adapt to how the baseball betting markets move throughout the day.

Tips for Betting Overnight Baseball Lines

The most important tip we’ve talked about in detail above, which is making sure you only bet the picks you feel will provide the most value by betting the overnight line rather than waiting. You also need to consider the fact that you won’t have much time to handicap games or you’ll have to stay up odd hours to handicap baseball games, which isn’t feasible if you have a job. Some factors of a game can also change including the starting line-up and weather.

You can look at the weather ahead, but weather is never that predictable. Line-up changes are frequent in MLB and superstars often get plenty of rest during the regular season. By betting overnight lines you can’t confirm the starting line-up for teams, but you can make sure your wager is only accepted if the two starting pitchers listed actually play. When you bet moneylines make sure you’re betting with “listed pitchers” to ensure that a late pitching change isn’t going to hurt you.

When you bet overnight lines there are always strict limits on how much you can bet at the sportsbooks. You can bet a lot on MLB normally with online sportsbooks, but overnight lines have small limits. The reason bookmakers have strict limits on the overnight MLB lines is because they can’t afford sharps hammering the lines that are off. Sportsbooks are able to adjust their lines a lot by releasing overnight lines because they can see where the sharps are betting.

About The Author

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faststeady has been a professional sports bettor for the past decade and focusses on non-US sports here at