Line betting is a form of betting whereby the bookmaker handicaps a team by setting a margin, which effectively makes the game equal. This margin is referred to as the line hence where the term line betting comes from. Line Betting is only used for events where there are two possible outcomes.
For example, if the bookmaker believes Team A is a 10-point better team than Team B, the bookmaker can handicap Team A 10 points. The line bet becomes Team A to win by more than 10pts or Team B to get within 10 points. Both outcomes should be of equal odds roughly $1.90.
A line bet is simply a bet taken on a line betting market or a ‘pick your own line’ betting market.
The example shown above is a market for a game of AFL football between North Melbourne and Essendon. North Melbourne are favourites to win the game at $1.60 in head to head betting. So the bookmaker has imposed a margin on North Melbourne to make the betting contest relatively even. The bookmaker deems a margin of 14 points will make the contest even, this 14 point margin is referred to as the line.
If Essendon win or get within 14 points of North Melbourne, the bettors who have taken the $1,91 about Essendon on the line will be successful – Essendon have covered the line. However, if North Melbourne wins by 15 point or more, those that have backed North Melbourne at the line will be successful.
Pick Your Own Line is a new bet type now offered my most bookmakers that takes line betting a step further. Instead of just having one line to choose from where the odds are relatively equal, punters can choose from any number of lines; naturally the odds change depending on the chosen line.
Line betting is offered by all of the major bookmakers, popular sports include: AFL, NRL and basketball. Line betting on all codes of football is very popular in Australia. For more information on Australian bookmakers, see our bookmakers page.