What Is An Outlaw Line in Regards to Sports Betting and Wagering?
by Doc's Sports - 10/11/2014
If you are reading this to find out what an outlaw line is then you certainly have never been able to bet one. Don’t worry - most people haven’t. An outlaw line is the earliest available line in sports betting. Linemakers will release it to a select group of sharp bettors that they know and respect before they make the line available to the public. By giving these bettors a sneak peek - and a chance to bet the line early on - the linemakers can be sure that the line they eventually release to the public is as strong as it can be. The outlaw bettors will give the linemakers a sense of where the opening line should be set based on how aggressively they bet the number - which side they bet on and how big their bets are. This process is often known as flattening out a line.
This type of activity is legal and accepted. It can also be a pretty good deal for people who are able to bet these early lines. Realistically, though, for all but the most serious and talented of professional bettors betting an outlaw line would not be very attractive. In order to bet them effectively you need to have a very strong idea of what you think the line should be as soon as the outlaw lines come out - often just hours after the last games were played. Unless you have a very well developed and powerful betting methodology, likely backed up by very powerful and complicated computer infrastructure, you just aren’t going to be in the position that soon after the last games to make sound decisions and find the value that can otherwise be found in outlaw lines.
Because the large majority of bettors will never have the chance to bet outlaw lines, and because we have no way of knowing what the outlaw lines are or how they are bet, they ultimately are not something that bettors need to be worried about too much. By the time most casual bettors are betting lines they bear little resemblance to what the outlaw bettors were able to bet.
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