MAIN / / What Is Reverse Line Movement?

You might have heard the term Reverse Line Movement (RLM) or are curious why bookmakers move the line from their original odds. It seems strange and can leave you wondering what’s going on.

When the bookie moves the betting line (or is about to) there may be a great opportunity for you to place a sure bet. The most successful bettors across Africa, and especially in Tanzania, have a broad understanding of RLM.

In this article, you’ll learn what reverse line movement is, why oddsmakers move the betting line, how to track line moves, and when you should pull the trigger on an RLM bet.

Continue reading to get a deeper understanding of line moves so you can be confident when you bet on reverse line movement.

What Is Reverse Line Movement?

Maybe you’ve noticed the betting line (a line where you place your bets such as moneyline, over/under, handicap) changes for a particular event from time to time. This alteration is referred to as a reverse line movement.

Reverse Line Movement is when the bookmakers adjust the odds so that one side is less appealing for bettors. This is a deliberate action by the bookmakers to reduce their liability.

You might be wondering why an online sportsbook would try to dissuade bettors from wagering on a certain side of the betting line. It actually makes perfect sense.

Online sportsbooks don’t have unlimited money at their disposal and they must take action to mitigate their risk of paying out astronomical sums of money. If they don’t, they could end up bankrupt.

Why Do Sportsbooks Set Reverse Line Movements?

To better understand why sportsbooks move the line, it helps to be aware of how they make their money.

Commonly referred to as the bookmakers “juice”, online sportsbooks take a cut from all the bets placed. This means that even if the bookmaker pays out for winning best exactly what they take in from lost wagers, they also make some money from the small fee paid over the top.

Bookmakers move the line from their original odds based on how much money or the percentage of bets one side is receiving. In other words, they aim to balance the bets so that the money they pay out is comparable to the money they take in. If they don’t manage to balance it, they’ll end up paying lots more out than they get in.

For example, imagine a football match between Spain and Brazil. Say 85% of the bets coming in are for Spain to win at decimal odds of 2.5 on the moneyline. Clearly, this is lopsided and if Spain wins, the online sportsbook would lose money — even after they take their cut.

The oddsmaker will then move the betting line (reverse line movement) so the odds are less attractive to wager on Spain. Original odds of 2.5 for Spain may go down to 2.0. As a result, more bets will start coming in for Brazil to win.

How Do I Track Reverse Line Movement?

Depending on the sportsbook, you could see line moves every hour, every day, or sometimes not at all. There are a few different ways to track RLM.

The first way is a bit old fashioned. Simply make note of the original odds when they are released and record when they change.

The second way to track RLM is by perusing through websites dedicated to tracking line moves across a variety of online sportsbooks.

The third (and most convenient) way to know when a line moves is by getting notifications directly from the sportsbook. It’s important to mention that not every online sportsbook offers this feature — make sure to do the research first.

When to Bet on Reverse Line Movement

Typically oddsmakers will only move the line one time and unfortunately, it’s nearly impossible to know when they are going to do it. So, if you’re tracking line moves and notice a change, it’s probably already too late.

In certain cases, there are indications that a book may move the line.

For example, popular boxer and avid sports bettor Floyd “Money” Mayweather, likes to post on his social media about insanely large wagers he’s about to put down. He’s been known to bet upwards of a million US dollars on the moneyline.

While Mayweather might be undefeated as a boxer, it’s quite the opposite when it comes to his track record for winning bets. Most people aren’t aware of this and think, “Wow that’s such a large wager he must know something I don’t.” Then a flood of bets pours in following his lead.

If Mayweather wagered a million dollars on a team to win, followed by a flood of smaller wagers from other bettors, you can almost guarantee the oddsmakers will move the line so the action isn’t so lopsided.

In this case, you would want to consider wagering opposite from what Mayweather (and the herd) bet on when the bookmakers move the line. This is because the odds would be better on the other team after the line moves.

In general, betting on the RLM isn’t considered a great technique. There are much more rewarding (and easier) sports betting strategies available.


It’s important to understand what reverse line movement is and why oddsmakers adjust the original betting line. By having a grasp on why online sportsbooks move the line, you’ll be able to make more educated bets.

Remember, if the betting line moves, it probably means the odds aren’t indicative of what’s actually going to happen in the event.

It’s typically a better idea to wager your money elsewhere on a more stable line.

The bookmakers at Parimatch usually hit the nail on the head when it comes to odds. It’s part of the reason why Parimatch is one of the fastest-growing and most trusted online sportsbooks across Africa.

Parimatch has an intuitive dual-language mobile betting application and the best odds across Africa. It’s no wonder why so many people in Tanzania are locking in their winning bets.

If you want to check out what our stellar odds look like, head on over to our website.

You don’t need an account to see the lines, but if you’re ready to start your online sports betting journey, here’s how to sign up.

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