Sports Insights defines a Steam Move as sudden, drastic and uniform line movement across the entire sports betting marketplace. Steam is the result of a sudden overload of money placed at multiple sportsbooks and, in most cases, occurs due to betting groups, betting syndicates and a few key players with the resources to “get down heavily” at multiple locations, all at once.
Many bettors try to “Chase the Steam” and find a slow-moving sportsbook that still has the original number posted. While this can be profitable if the information causing the steam is valid, it’s very difficult to consistently chase Steam because you need a huge bankroll, accounts at many sportsbooks and lots of time to constantly track our Live Odds Page.
Plus, wiseguys understand the desire of bettors to chase Steam and will knowingly bet one side of a game to move the number in their favor, then “buy-back” even bigger.
As a result, it’s extremely difficult to identify which moves are legit and bettors go broke very quickly trying to get down after every move.
Our Sportsbook Insider Pro membership includes a feature which alerts members whenever a game gets steamed, including the team, triggering line and, most importantly, the sportsbook where the line was triggered. We track the records of each sportsbook to determine whether they’ve been profitable over the course of this season and/or multiple previous seasons.
We often have customers ask how to use Steam Moves and whether they should be chasing every play.
Our answer is no.
We treat Steam Moves as another piece of information that helps us determine how and why the line has moved for a certain game.
For example, we adhere to a strict Betting Against the Public strategy that maximizes line value by fading public favorites. We do this by analyzing our betting trends data and how the line has moved throughout the day or week.
But blindly fading public favorites isn’t enough. We also look for games where we see sharp action taking the same side that we like, which is where our Steam Move Betting System comes in.
The example below from a slate of college basketball games shows a Steam Move, triggered at 5Dimes, on UAB against Creighton.
Sports Insights’ analysis of College Basketball Betting Trends shows the most profitable level for betting against the public in college basketball is when one team is receiving less than 25% of spread bets. At the time of publication, there are three college basketball games that fit this criteria, in terms of lopsided spread betting trends.
Therefore, we’ve circled this game as one we like because our betting systems have indicated sharp money has come down on UAB, a significant public underdog.
In summary, we don’t blindly follow any single betting system and attempt to use every tool at our disposal.
While tracking steam is important, combining betting trends data, sharp money triggers (Steam Moves and Smart Money Plays) and shopping for the best line will maximize value while not leaving your bankroll exposed with too many wagers pending at once.