Identifying False Line Moves

In my most recent edition of Bet Sharp, I highlighted Steam Moves and how you can use them to help you win. In the article, I explained how you can’t follow every major line move because it’s difficult to identify which moves are legit and which are false.

Since I published the article, I’ve received multiple emails asking about other instances where line moves are false and how to identify these situations.

The bottom line is if wiseguys are moving lines one way, then buying back, you won’t know. This is why we don’t “Chase Steam” and wait as long as we can to analyze all line moves before deciding on a play.

However, moves caused by sportsbooks adjusting their lines to account for a key injury, rather than a sudden influx of big money, can be recognized by bettors and filtered out.

We define a Steam Move as sudden, drastic and uniform line movement across the entire sports betting marketplace. While this is often due to a sudden overload of money placed at multiple sportsbooks, you’ll also see instances where the entire market moves a line in the same direction because of breaking injury news about a key player.

This also occurs when important players are out for rest, which we see relatively often in hockey when backup goalies get a start to rest the normal starter.

The image below was taken from the November 19th game between the Rangers and Canadiens.

In this game, Sports Insights’ NHL Betting Systems triggered a Steam Move at 11:09 a.m.

At Pinnacle, the line moved from Montreal +101 to -106, making it seem like money coming down on the Canadiens pushed them from a small moneyline underdog to a small favorite.

However, shortly after the Steam Move was triggered, we sent out a breaking injury alert that the Rangers’ starting goalie, Henrik Lundqvist, was not expected to start in goal.

This is represented above as a “+” and is described in more detail to the right of the chart.

In response to this news, sportsbooks across the market adjusted their lines and dropped the price on Montreal because Lundqvist wouldn’t be starting.

To those simply monitoring line moves, this seems like a legitimate move, but following it would be incorrect because it had nothing to do with sharp money or a betting syndicate getting down on this game.

Daniel Fabrizio

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