As a bettor, the goal is to win when you place your wager. Whether you are looking to bet for fun or to win, you want to make a profit. This requires a good understanding of the different types of odds, betting tips, and tricks, among other technicalities in the betting sphere. However, winning is not guaranteed, especially if you are new to the betting industry.
But there’s an easy way to master the ropes and place successful bets – becoming a sharp, or at least becoming one of the sharp money trackers.
What is sharp money?
A sharp refers to a highly skilled professional bettor that often places winning bets. They have a deep understanding of the betting action and sportsbooks algorithms which they use to their advantage.
Sportsbooks and oddsmakers respect the opinions of these top bettors and track what the sharps bet. In most cases, the sharps influence how and where bookmakers open and move their lines.
It is important to note that sharps are also great handicappers, excellent in bankroll management, and will always know where to find value in betting lines. If you wish to become a sharp bettor, you have to learn from the best. This calls for you to master how to track sharp money and know the common sharp money trackers.
Every bettor knows that placing a bet where sharps have placed theirs increases your chances of winning. Being good at following sharp money will guarantee you better profits in your bets. The question is, “which are the common sharp money trackers to look out for?”
What are sharp money trackers?
Sharp money trackers are software programs that make it possible to trace sharp activity. The software provides data that helps identify changes in odds and lines over time. Sharp money trackers give you access to historical data that can be leveraged to study past trends alongside public percentage information.
It is important to note that sharps often want to remain low-key with their betting activities. As a result, tracking the pros can become quite a challenge. However, below are some indicators you can look out for.
Sharp money trackers will send a notification if a betting line is moved due to excessive activity in the market. This makes it easy to identify where the sharp money is moving towards.
Public Betting Percentages
Another good way to track sharp money is by watching public betting on betting websites with public betting charts.
Historically, public action is on favorites the most because they win more. You might see your average joes betting on the team more likely to win.
With this in mind, a chart that shows a heavily skewed line with a significant percentage of tickets on favorites could indicate that sharps are betting on the underdog. However, this is only a general overview of where the experts are betting; hence tracking line movement is an important step.
Reverse line movement (RLM)
A clear picture of the betting percentages and tracking the line can give you a more accurate idea of where the sharps are betting. If a line shifts against the favorite, the possibility is that sharp money activity on that bet is minimal.
On the other hand, a shift against the underdog could indicate that more sharp money is on the underdog, and sportsbooks are reacting to avoid taking too much sharp money on a particular side. For example, let’s highlight a specific game:
New England Patriots +6 (20% of tickets)
Buffalo Bills -6 (80% of tickets)
A reverse line movement will cause a shift in the following manner:
New England Patriots +5.5
Buffalo Bills -5.5
From this, you can quickly tell that the sharps are betting on the New England Patriots. A large amount of public money is on the Bills, but the line shifted in the opposite direction. It’s a reverse-line move.
Heavy betting on the Bills as the popular team to cover the spread would usually move the line against them. Knowing this, your best strategy is to find a sportsbook that is yet to update its line and still offers +6 for the Pats. This is a good example of how sharp action could shift a line.
A steam move is a phenomenon that occurs when several sportsbooks collectively make a drastic line move. This often happens when a betting syndicate overloads one side of the line on several sportsbooks, causing them to move the line instantly. For example, take this college football matchup:
Ohio State -5.5
A steam move resulting from the actions of a betting syndicate will result in the line swinging to:
Ohio State -4.5
This is a clear indicator of a steam move, and you should immediately try to find a sportsbook that still has Michigan at +5.5. One thing to note, if you want to take advantage of steam moves, have multiple funded accounts with different sportsbooks so that you don’t waste time on the registration process when you’ve identified a sportsbook yet to update their line.
You’ll often see a line has moved and other bookmakers know they need to quickly adjust. If you find a book that hasn’t shifted its line yet, you likely won’t have enough time to register and get set up before it changes.
Mistakes to Avoid When Trying to Follow the Sharp Action
Placing bets based on the trends set by sharps is a great way to make money while betting. However, there are common mistakes that you should avoid when doing so. Making big money isn’t easy as you try to land on the right side of a game.
Ignoring regular betting rules
Amateur bettors don’t become sharps by blindly following what experts do without considering basic betting rules. While following sharp money, don’t be blinded by your desire to maximize profits by following their betting trends and forget everything else that goes into placing a successful wager.
Fading the public every time
If you constantly want to go against public bettors, your chances of becoming a sharp are slim. Think of it this way; if betting was as easy as betting against the public every time, why would one need to understand the technical details of sports betting?
While fading the public may work in some instances, ensure that you’ve taken the time to analyze betting lines before placing your bet.
Draining your bankroll
Understanding sharp money benefits when you want to make more profits. But in some cases, the desire to win can force you into placing more poor-quality bets than you should, and this ends up draining your bankroll.
This is one of the most common mistakes you will see. Don’t abandon your bankroll management strategy and start to bet large amounts on games in which you think the sharps were able to move a line.
How to become a sharp
There’s no easy way to become an expert sports bettor and to be successful enough to become a sharp. Becoming a sharp will need you to invest time and even money in learning how to perfect your handicapping, bankroll management and identifying good odds. Below are some general tips that will help you become a sharp:
- Always bet with the basics in mind. Don’t follow sharp activity by taking more action blindly.
- Enjoy your wins and learn from the losses.
- Bet the amounts you are willing to lose.
- Be up to date on sports insights from various leagues such as MLB, NBA, NFL, etc.
- Fund more than one sportsbook at any given point.
- Keep track of your bets using online trackers for an adequate betting history.
Identifying sharp money is an added advantage to any sports bettor. It might seem complex initially, but the process becomes easier over time. Take time to understand public betting charts and the basics, and with the help of sharp money trackers, you will gradually become a pro bettor.
Remember, the goal is to become a sharp yourself and not always to follow what sharps are doing. As you build a long track record in sports betting, hopefully, you’ll move up from an average public bettor to a sharp.
FAQs on Sharp Money Tracker
Should you Always Bet with the Sharps?
Not necessarily. In some cases, betting syndicates overload a side before placing their bet on the other side to ‘fool’ the market.
What are betting syndicates in sports betting?
Simply put, a betting syndicate is a group of people working together in an effort to quickly identify value in the odds, capitalize off of line movements, and make a living through sports betting.
Will betting on the same side as sharps make you profitable?
Doing so doesn’t guarantee you profits. However, understanding the technique will be of great value in placing more meaningful bets that will likely win.