What Is An Alternative Line In Basketball Betting and Wagering?
Generally speaking, when betting on sports, we are all at the mercy of the sportsbooks. Whatever lines or prices they put out, we must abide by them and decide if they are worth betting or not. Fortunately for bettors, there is a way around this and it comes in the form of “alternative lines.” This option allows us to find a line we would like to bet and bet it. Easy, right? The setback to this is that the lines we choose typically come with very high odds, thus draining the bet of any real value.
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What is an Alternative Line?
When you hear someone using the term “alternative line” in relation to basketball, they are referring to an opportunity in which the bettor can wager on a different point spread than originally offered at a sportsbook.
The concept of the “alternative line” is similar to that of a teaser in that it gives bettors a more favorable point spread in exchange for less favorable odds. However, an “alternative line”wager is a bet on a single game, where as a teaser must involve multiple options.
An “alternative line” is similar to buying points, but offers bettors a much bigger selection than just your standard half point or full point.
How Do Alternative Lines Work?
The standard “alternative line” is just an extension of the original point spread listed for a particular game. For example, if the Mavericks are four-point favorites against the Timberwolves, some books will offer up an “alternative line” of Dallas -1.5 or Dallas -6.5 If you decided to take the alternative line of -1.5, the price to pay will be much higherthan the standard -110 point spread price. If you decided to lay more points and take the Mavericks -6.5, the price would be much more appealing, perhaps even-money or better. This “alternative line” option is available for both the favorite and underdog, but with the underdog the prices are reversed (you pay a higher price i.e. -150 to get 6.5 points or even-money to get 1.5 points.)
Some books even extend their “alternative lines” as high as 15 points in either direction on both the favorite and underdog. The prices are adjusted accordingly, but if you want to bet the underdog and lay three points, you will be looking at juicy odds.
Are Alternative Lines Worth Betting?
Just like every other betting option available to bettors, “alternative lines” have pros and cons associated with it. “Alternative lines” are not better or worse, but often times they won’t offer much value than the original point spread line. If you asked any successful handicapper to give you a tip on how to be successful, they will tell you to find out the risk and cost of your bet and then compare it to the reward. If the reward outweighs the risk, it’s worth making a play. If not, move along.
The one positive with betting alternative lines is that this option seems to get very little attention. Most squares bet into the standard point spread line which can change the line or juice. With the “alternative lines” this very rarely happens, which means smart bettors have an opportunity to find value.
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