What is Reverse Line Movement in Sports Betting?

What is Reverse Line Movement in Sports Betting?

Posted on November 23, 2023 by in Gambling
What is Reverse Line Movement in Sports Betting?

Sports betting has become a widespread activity, enjoyed by millions worldwide. Among the numerous strategies that bettors employ, understanding the concept of Reverse Line Movement (RLM) is crucial. It provides a unique insight into how betting lines move and can potentially lead to profitable betting opportunities. This guide aims to thoroughly explain what Reverse Line Movement is, how it works, and how it can influence your sports betting strategy.

The Basics of Sports Betting

Before diving into Reverse Line Movement, it’s essential to comprehend some sports betting basics. In most sports, a point spread, total, or moneyline is provided by sportsbooks, which acts as the handicap that teams must cover for bets to pay out. These initial lines are set based on many factors, including the perceived strengths and weaknesses of the teams, historical data, and anticipated public betting patterns. Once betting opens, sportsbooks adjust these lines based on the volume and direction of bets placed.

The Concept of Reverse Line Movement

Reverse Line Movement occurs when the betting line moves in the opposite direction to the betting percentages. For instance, suppose 70% of the public is betting on Team A to beat Team B. Naturally, you’d expect the sportsbooks to adjust the odds to make Team A less attractive to bettors, to balance their books and limit their exposure. However, if the odds on Team A get even better, that’s a classic example of Reverse Line Movement. This phenomenon is interesting and significant because it often suggests that “sharp” or professional money is being placed on the other side.

Sharp Money and Reverse Line Movement

“Sharp” or wise guys are professional bettors who have proven their skill over the long term. These bettors are respected by sportsbooks because they win consistently. Sharps often have information, skill, or intuition that sets them apart from general bettors. Sportsbooks, knowing that sharps win at a higher rate, will often adjust lines based on their action rather than the action of the public.

When the majority of bets (from the general public) are on one team, but the majority of money (from sharp bettors) is on the other, sportsbooks might move the line to attract more action on the public’s side and less on the sharp side. This move can trigger a Reverse Line Movement.

Identifying Reverse Line Movement

To identify Reverse Line Movement, one needs to monitor both the percentage of bets on each side and the line movement. Various sports betting websites and sportsbooks provide this information. Watch for situations where the betting percentage favors one team, but the line moves in the other team’s favor.

Using Reverse Line Movement in Betting Strategy

Reverse Line Movement can be a powerful tool for identifying where sharp money is going. By following the sharp money, you could potentially increase your winning percentage over time. However, this strategy shouldn’t be used in isolation. Successful betting requires a comprehensive understanding of the game, including teams, players, trends, and statistical analysis. Always remember to bet responsibly and within your means.


Understanding Reverse Line Movement is key to grasping the dynamics of sports betting. While it offers an intriguing strategy, one should not solely rely on it to place bets. It’s merely another tool in the sports bettor’s toolkit. Understanding where the sharp money is going can be helpful, but ultimately, successful sports betting involves research, analysis, and a bit of luck.


  1. What is Reverse Line Movement? Reverse Line Movement occurs when the betting line moves opposite to the betting percentages. It typically indicates where sharp or professional money is being placed.
  2. What is sharp money in sports betting? Sharp money refers to the bets placed by experienced or professional bettors. These individuals often have a consistent track record of success and their betting decisions can influence line movement.
  3. How can I identify Reverse Line Movement? To identify Reverse Line Movement, monitor both the betting percentages and the line movement. If the line moves against the public’s favored team, that’s a potential Reverse Line Movement.
  4. Can I base my betting strategy solely on Reverse Line Movement? While Reverse Line Movement can be a useful tool to understand where the sharp money is going, it should not be the only factor in making betting decisions. Successful betting requires comprehensive knowledge of the game and informed decision-making.
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