If you are a regular gambler that bets football odds you have probably heard the term “steam.” It is referred to in the betting world as a hard and fast line move made by a professional bettor or a syndicate.
NFL odds will be released on Sunday evening for the next week’s games and that is when the first of these key line moves occurs. Most people that follow these steam moves use a betting line service to identify the moves. There are a few line services out there that provide sports odds, including football odds from all of the major sportsbooks. Many people will monitor the NFL odds from a line service and stare at the computer all day long looking for steam moves. If you look throughout the day you will see the screen get what is called “painted” many times. Games get hit by a group of bettors and all of the sportsbooks follow suit and move their NFL odds, sometimes without even having a bet placed at their sportsbook. All of this action usually happens within minutes. Let’s look at an example. A wise guy group sees an NFL game they really like on Monday morning and pound the game. Let’s say it is Green Bay at home against Chicago in NFL odds. The NFL odds move all across the board at sportsbooks from -4 to -4.5. This is called a steam move. Very often you will see the majority of steam moves in football odds occur on Mondays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Mondays are the day when the groups make the majority of their early bets.
Do these football odds moves always win? The answer is definitely no. A big problem with following these steam moves in NFL odds is that you have no idea where they are coming from. Not all professional betting groups win money betting NFL odds. This may come as news to you, but just because they are a syndicate doesn’t mean they know any more than you do. The other problem with steam moves is that some groups will play both sides of the same game and an early move might just be a setup to take back the game later in the week versus the NFL odds.
You can’t just strictly follow steam moves in NFL odds and win. You are stuck taking the worst number and very often the game doesn’t win anyway. It is definitely exciting follow steam moves in NFL odds but that doesn’t mean they will make you any money.