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A Quick Note On Our Opening Lines

We have received a bunch of inquiries regarding which Opening Line we use in our system.

It is actually a really good question, with a somewhat complicated answer.

We have access to 32 Sportsbook’s odds information.

Of those 32 Sportsbook’s, a few release lines and totals for the current week much earlier than the others.

In some cases, there is significant move off the early Opening Line, until such time as the Line settles in.  When the majority of the Sportsbooks release their individual Opening Lines, they look much more like the bet up or down Lines, of the Sportsbooks that released early.

Within our system the Opening Line is used for many purposes, such as tracking whether or not the Line Movement has been correct.

Historically our approach has been to grab the first Line was see posted for a game and use it as our Opening Line, regardless of the source Sportsbook.

In doing this we believe we get the most accurate picture of how a Line has moved from the Open, since many of the other Sportsbooks are putting out a more “reactive” Opening Line of their own.

But confusion can arise from this approach.

When we may grab the first Opening Line, we find at times it can be far off from what handicappers see as the universally accepted Opening Line.

Last week in the NFL, the first early Line we saw had the Arizona vs Seattle game at a Pick. Most others had Arizona Opening as a 3 point Favorite.

This week, in College Football we are showing South Florida as the Opening Favorite against Pitt, though in at least one place Pitt opened as the Favorite.

We have gotten a fair amount of email telling us we have the wrong Opening Line for a game.  While, it might not be the Opening Line that you see in other places, or the “generally accepted” Opening Line, it is in fact the first one that we saw come across our ticker.

This is not an issue with Current or Closing Lines, since we use an average of 8 well known Sportsbooks for those purposes.

We hope this helps to clear up this issue and if you have any questions or feedback, please feel free to leave a comment or Tweet us  @GreyMatterStats .

  1. July 21, 2012 at 10:29 am


    You ask a question that we struggle with around this time each year.

    Historically we have gotten, the first available line we could find and used that as our opener, regardless of where it came from.

    You can find an explanation here, A Quick Note On Our Opening Lines.

    For the most part this is not an issue except for football.

    With all the NFL and many of the NCAAF games having early lines being released many months in advance of the actual games it opens up to debate whether or not these are the true openers for these contests, or if we should use some more generally accepted openings lines that would appear closer to the actual game date.

    We may or may not change our approach of using the earliest line we can find this season, and will make sure to inform our users as to our decision.

  2. bonofre
    July 17, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    Where are the earliest lines you see released from?

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