What is line betting? For Australian punters, line betting is likely to be something you are familiar with. This popular type of handicap market is available with the vast majority of leading online bookmakers. Rather than on a team or player to win, customers instead bet on a margin, known as the line. Intrigued to find out more? On this page, we will outline exactly how a sportsbet line betting works. We will also list our favourite betting sites for line bets. On top of this, we will discuss the best sports for line betting in Australia.
Line bets are when bookmakers handicap markets in a bid to level the playing field. Both teams/players are given a margin, referred to as a line. The best way to describe line betting is to look at an example. What does line mean in betting? So, based on an AFL match between Richmond and Collingwood, lines will be given to both sides. With Richmond being the favourites, a line of 12.5 points is likely. So, punters can bet on Richmond winning by 13+ points or Collingwood to win/lose by less than 13 points.
Meanwhile, the screenshots below provide further examples of line betting markets from different sports:
Line betting is available on a host of different sports today. As such, this form of wagering generally caters for fans of a variety of leagues and tournaments. In order to completely understand how line betting works, looking at such markets within different sports is useful. The following are among the sports most commonly associated with line betting:
Aussie Rules is one of the most popular sports in Australia. The AFL is the only professional competition. The likes of Richmond and Hawthorn have dominated over the years, with the former having won the title in 2019 and 2020. Line bets are available on all AFL matches, with such markets being offered by the vast majority of Australian bookies. Available lines here include quarter/half, over/under points and pick your own. Those looking to place line bets on AFL matches should definitely check out NEDS. The bookie offers a line/total points double. For example, Sydney Swans -20.5 and over 165.5 points.
Generally available surrounding NBA games, basketball line bets are increasingly popular. Lines are often smaller. For example, the Brooklyn Nets to beat the Milwaukee Bucks with a -1.5 line at odds of 1.92. Similarly to AFL line betting, line/total double options are also available here. For those looking to place basketball line bets, Playup is a site well worth considering. At Playup, line bets are even available on the Australian NBL 1 North.
As Australia’s highest domestic rugby league competition, the NRL attracts the interest of fans from across the country. Bluebet is a bookie to regularly offer NRL line bets. For example, punters could bet on the Manly Sea Eagles to beat the NQ Cowboys at -9.5. The same odds are likely to be available on NQ Cowboys winning with a +9.5 margin.
The format of line betting means that it can also be applied to other sports. Tennis is a popular option. Here, punters can bet on the winner of matches using a line. For example, backing Alexander Zverev to beat John Isner at the French Open at -5.5. Winnersbet offer line markets on all major tennis matches.
Elsewhere, soccer is another popular option for those looking to place line bets. A good example of this could be bet on England +0.5 points for their Euro 2021 clash against Croatia. Betstar is a good option for those looking to place soccer line bets.
A specific form of line betting is handicap line betting. There is normally a clear favourite and underdog when it comes to sporting events. Line handicaps help to level the playing field when this is the case. This bet type is popular due to the enhanced odds on offer. For example, while betting on Sydney FC beating the Newcastle Jets will not bring about any significant winnings, betting on Sydney FC winning with a deficit will be far more appealing.
Let’s take a closer look at this example from the A-League. Given their position in the table and recent form, Sydney FC are handed a 66.3% of winning, compared to that of 33.7% for the Jets. As a result, Sydney will potentially be given a line of -2.5. Meanwhile, Newcastle could be handed a line of +2.5. So, a bet on Sydney FC winning at -2.5 would mean that they must come out on top by 3+ clear goals.
The number of line markets available will vary between sports and betting sites. However, there are some line betting markets that are regularly found. We have already discussed “match” or “head to head” line bets. However, the following are alternatives for punters in Australia to look out for:
When it comes to sports including Aussie rules, basketball and ice hockey, it is possible to place line bets on which team will be leading at the end of a particular quarter or half. The line must still be taken into account. For example, the Sydney Swans could be offered a -5.5 line to be leading St Kilda after the first quarter. Quarter and half line bets are regularly available at Neds.
It is also possible to place line bets on the total number of points scored during a match. Common with AFL and NRL, an example would be staking on over 180.5 points being scored between Essendon and Hawthorn. It is likely that the same or similar odds would be available on over this amount too. Over/under line betting is a regular option for those signed up at Palmerbet.
In some cases, punters can pick their own line if they are not convinced by the line selected by bookmakers. For example, if the Los Angeles Lakers have been given a -4.5 line against the New York Knicks, you could potentially raise this to -12.5 in order to increase the odds. The ability to pick your own line is available at Pointsbet.
As with any form of betting, punters will want to know that they are taking advantage of the best odds. So, just where can betting customers find the best prices online? Our recommended betting sites are all competitive in this area. Line betting odds are calculated based on a number of factors. Bookies will determine which team or player is the favourite, based on their recent form, table position, player availability and head to head records. Having done so, lines will be calculated. Based on regular comparisons and reviews, we recommend the following sites for the most attractive line betting odds:
The popularity of line betting unfortunately does not provide any guarantees in terms of success. Like any form of betting, punters must come up with a strategy, before following expert tips. So, when looking to place such a bet, we recommend taking the following points into consideration:
Get in Early – Line markets are often released well in advance of sporting events getting underway. This is often the best time to find the most appealing odds. This also gives punters plenty of time in weighing up their options. For example, if an AFL game is to be played in bad weather conditions, it is worth betting on a smaller number of points being scored.
Look at the Stats – While being a little tedious, it is important to look at the statistics surrounding teams/players before betting. For example, you may wish to bet on the Dragons to beat the Broncos with a significant deficit, based on the fact that they score a large number of points at home. With such information being readily available online, there is no excuse not to arm yourself with all necessary details.
Stick to What You Know – It sounds obvious, but only place line bets on sporting events that you have a good understanding of. Going against this tip will most likely result in losses. So, if you are an Aussie Rules fan, stick to the ARL. Meanwhile, if you have only a small knowledge of soccer, avoid betting on the A-League.
Know Your Limits – Regardless of how appealing a line betting market seems, only wager within your means. It is easy to set yourself a budget online today, with most betting sites having deposit limit features. Remember that betting is about enjoyment first and foremost.
It should come as no surprise that line betting is now one of the leading sports markets offered by online bookmakers. Offering an alternative to head to head markets, line bets are a good option for when there is a clear favourite and underdog. Our recommended line betting sites are all licensed and regulated in Australia. So, be sure to take a closer look for yourself, before deciding which best meets your needs.
Line betting is increasingly common. Such bets can be placed on the AFL, NRL, basketball and tennis matches, among other sports.
Yes. Line bets are regularly found on the in-play pages of online bookmakers in Australia. Here, odds will fluctuate, based on what is taking place on the field or court. Those with an expert knowledge of a particular sport, team or player can potentially find excellent value on such markets.
Line betting is popular due to the fact that it offers enhanced odds when compared to traditional head to head markets. As such, those who understand the ins and outs of a particular sport have a good chance of earning significant winnings.
We have recommended some of the top Aussie bookmakers for line betting on this page. As always, our top ranked sites are completely safe and legal for punters in Australia. As well as line betting, such sites come with a host of additional markets and features.
While betting sites make it clear as to whether bets have won or lost, punters can do the calculation themselves. Simply add or subtract the value of the line from your team/player’s score. Having done so, work out whether your bet is still a winner.
James is a freelance writer who specialises in the world of sports and iGaming, producing engaging and accurate content for online publications, including news articles, reviews, press releases and social media marketing.
SafeBettingSites is a new UK initiative launched in 2020 to protect customers against fraudulent sites.
Our goal is to protect customers against unlicensed operations with user reviews and an online complaints system.