What is Line in Betting?

what does the line mean in betting football

If you’re an online bettor from India, you might be looking into line betting for your next cricket betting adventure. The good thing is that line in betting works for pretty much all sports you can think of. In this post, we’re going to learn what does line mean in football as well as how it works.

What Does Line Mean in Betting?

If you’re familiar with handicap betting, particularly Asian handicap betting, you already know what line betting is. They’re the exact same thing. The catch here is that it’s the bookmaker who needs to offer the handicap or the “line” instead of other customers.

A line in betting is introduced when the odds for 2 opponents are too far away for the head-to-head (H2H) or the match-winner market. A money line in betting helps balance the scales so that bettors feel intrigued to wager money on the underdog too.

However much the bookmaker handicaps the favourite team is the line. If you’re wondering what does line mean in betting football, let’s say it’s (-2.5). It means the favourite is starting the match 2.5 goals behind the underdog.

If you’re favouring this team, then it must win with at least 3 goals lead for your bet to work. On the contrary, if you’re favouring the underdog with your bet, you can win as long as they don’t lose by more than 2 goals.

The “2.5” is the line. If it applies to the favourite, it’s a negative line. And if it applies to the underdog, it’s a positive line. Whatever you want to call it or however you want to calculate it, the outcome remains the same.

Line in betting

Similar Bets

If you came into this post to learn how the line works in betting, we believe it’s covered. And if you thought it was some kind of unique bet, it’s not. So, let’s go over the other bet types that follow the same modality but have different titles.

Asian Handicap

In Asian handicap, the stronger team gets handicapped before the match starts or the underdog gets a point boost. A draw is not a valid outcome so you get your money back. If you compare it with the definition of line in betting, you’ll notice that they’re the same.

Point Spread

Another common type of bet you may have seen is the point spread. According to the rules, both teams get a “spread” of points. As long as the favourite wins by overcoming the spread or the underdog loses within the spread margin, the bet will work.

Again, it’s pretty much the same definition as line betting in India.

Margin Bets

No, line betting and margin betting are not the same things. The only reason we’re including it is to clear the misconception. In margin betting, the bookmaker doesn’t handicap any teams. Rather, they publish projections for the “margin” of how a team may win or lose.


Line betting in AFL is the most commonly used. Or, the term is most commonly used for AFL betting while the concept is universal. It’s one of the most effective ways to balance odds between 2 teams and punters love the line in betting all over the world!

Jarin Ahmed
Like many aspiring writers, Jarin focuses on bringing life to the text for her readers. She is an avid sports lover, growing up in a family obsessed with bookies. She is an expert in the iGaming niche and has secondary obsessions with Gardening and cooking.
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