Home Betting Chasing Steam: Benefits, Drawbacks & How to Capitalize on Line Movements

Chasing Steam: Benefits, Drawbacks & How to Capitalize on Line Movements

by David Manyun
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Photos taken at Las Vegas

While I love a scorching hot brew in the morning, that isn’t the only steam we chase in the sports betting world.

Chasing steam wagering involves capitalizing on significant fluctuations in betting lines before oddsmakers at the top offshore sportsbooks catch up, intending to secure favorable odds on markets endorsed by insiders and professionals.

It is, however, simpler said than done. For this reason, we have compiled an exclusive guide to pursuing steam, detailing its operation, appropriate responses, and the drawbacks of chasing steam.

Chasing Steam Defined

Before anything else, let’s define steam.

Steam, in its most fundamental form, refers to an abrupt change in the odds for a specific event that transpires simultaneously at numerous sportsbooks.

Line fluctuations in sports wagering can occur due to several factors: unauthorized access to information regarding strategy, starting line-ups, injury updates, or a consensus among experts that the current odds grossly underestimate the actual probabilities. It is possible that anything that convinces experts that a market is worthwhile to back in large quantities could result in an abrupt increase in large-scale wagering and, consequently, a significant shift in betting lines.

To “chase steam,” as previously stated, one monitors significant line movements and subsequently identifies a sportsbook that has not yet adjusted its odds to conform with its competitors. Placing your wager at such an early stage prevents the bookmaker from matching its competitors.

In the realm of pursuing steam in sports wagering, it is highly probable that you are unaware of the catalyst for the abrupt alteration in odds, colloquially referred to as a “steam move.” You’re simply putting trust in professional syndicates and gamblers, and as they possess a greater understanding than you do, you are essentially following and monitoring the sharp/smart money.

An Example of Chasing Steam

Consider the scenario where the Miami Dolphins oppose the Kansas City Chiefs. The Dolphins are initially the underdogs at +3.5 points; however, the margin changes to +2.5. You probably know that surpassing the three-point line during an NFL game signifies a substantial shift.

In the absence of any significant developments, such as a prominent athlete suffering an injury, it is reasonable to anticipate that a substantial inflow of funds precipitates the change.

Although most sportsbooks may transition their spread betting lines to the new +2.5 spread in a relatively short period, a few may move more slowly. You could still pounce on a +3.5 as a speculator to gain that additional point of breathing room. That would be equal to chasing steam.

Should I Chase Steam?

Recreational bookmakers may interpret the line movement in the aforementioned example as a sign that the Dolphins is the more favorable pick than Kansas. This does not invariably hold true; therefore, avoid being scorched by steam. It is advisable to incorporate steam lines into a reliable wagering strategy rather than placing random bets on them.

Drawbacks on Chasing Steam

One significant potential disadvantage is that a sportsbook may impose restrictions or suspend your account if it becomes aware that you are manipulating its lines to gain an advantage. In the event that the sportsbook’s higher-ups detect your attempt to exploit their delayed reaction time to a line change, you may face adverse consequences.

You Can’t Always Trust the Steam

It should be noted that steaming odds do not invariably reflect the sharps’ wagering preference. In some situations, sharps place substantial bets on one side to alter the line, enabling them to place bets on the other side.

A syndicate may place substantial bets on the Dolphins (+3.5) to shift the line to +2.5 points if the Chiefs (-3.5) are the favored team over the Dolphins. Once the odds change, they will increase their wager on the Chiefs with the new -2.5 point spread.

Time & Effort

Pursuing steam is, in numerous respects, a straightforward tactic. Nevertheless, locating a steam change followed by a bookmaker whose odds have not been updated in a timely manner is a formidable task. You will be required to have numerous accounts and extremely quick reactions, neither of which may be desirable for casual participants.

Blind Betting

While we may speculate on the most prevalent causes of steam moves, the precise how, why, and individuals involved will likely remain enigmatic to you. There is a chance that significant alterations in the team lineup could lead to a plausible deduction; however, it is more common to be required to proceed blindly. Although this unwavering confidence alleviates a great deal of stress, it can also cause some individuals to feel quite uneasy.

Chasing Steam: Conclusion

We consider chasing steam to be an exceptionally effective wagering strategy, and you can test it out on a multitude of reputable betting sites in a manner that is affordable for you. It is also a relatively uncomplicated alternative in terms of strategic principles. However, despite being considerably more versatile and accessible than many other alternatives, a flawless wagering strategy does not exist.

Frequently, the markets under consideration do not present viable wagering opportunities for individuals seeking to chase momentum. Hence, it is unwise to consider chasing steam wagering as an isolated occurrence. One ought to perceive it as a tool, and one may acquire an unlimited number of strategic tools to their liking, ranging from arbitrage betting to hedge betting.

Having a greater understanding increases the likelihood that you will possess the appropriate instrument for a given task. While chasing steam may not be the best course of action for you, it remains a vital component of a strategic array of alternatives.

author avatar
David Manyun
Hailing from the West Midlands, David is a freelance sports journalist with a focus on both written and visual sports content. Building a reputation for precise pre-fight predictions, he gains recognition for his thorough fight analysis and extensive knowledge of contenders and fight history in his rapidly evolving field.

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