Chasing Steam Moves – Good Betting Strategy?

A large wager placed on a game that causes a significant shift in the betting line is what is meant when someone uses the term “steam” or talks about a “steam move.” These sizable wagers are typically made by a betting group or an experienced gambler, also known as a “sharp”. These well-known gamblers have enormous bankrolls. When they place a huge wager on a particular event, it significantly changes the odds for that event. That brings up the question: is it a good idea to be chasing steam moves?

Key Points

– Chasing steam moves can be very profitable.

– Choose wisely when following steam.

Sportsbooks & Shifting Lines

Sportsbooks around the country change their odds as a result of the bets that betting syndicates place. The rationale behind this tactic is that by dispersing these wagers, they won’t have a significant impact on the odds at a single sportsbook and won’t alert the betting public to a potential problem. 

Consider what happened at Super Bowl XIII between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys. Although Dallas saw a ton of early action, Pittsburgh opened as 3.5-point favorites. The line quickly adjusted to the Steelers -4.5. 


Description of a Steam Move 

Finding value betting the Super Bowl can be difficult. Super Bowl XIII is a good example of a steam move. For further clarification, let’s go a little deeper. 

With Pittsburgh a 3.5-point favorite and the action coming in heavy on the other side of the bet (Dallas +3.5), we would expect sportsbooks to counter by adjusting the odds to Pittsburgh -2.5. This would encourage more action on the Cowboys.

However, we see that sportsbooks have moved the line in the opposite direction. This is a sign of a steam move. Sharp bettors have placed large bets that have influenced the books to adjust the line. The question now is whether bettors should be chasing steam moves like this one.

One’s first reaction might be one of surprise. However, if a bettor considers this move like the stock market, he may wish to jump on board. Think about what you would do if a multi-billionaire investor like Warren Buffet bought a million shares of a certain company. You might be inclined to do the same.

It’s the same in sports betting. Bettors put a lot of stock into what professional bettors are doing. So, should you do the same?

Chasing Steam Moves: How Does It Work? 

Really, it’s quite easy. Keep an eye on your sportsbooks for a sharp change in the odds for a particular game. Go quickly to a different sportsbook that hasn’t updated its odds yet and place your wager there. 

You’ll never know who the sharps were whose bets caused the steam move. It really doesn’t matter. The bigger issue is whether or not you should follow their lead.

If you opt to do so, then do it quickly. A steam move will force a response by other sportsbooks. Typically, this will happen within minutes. If you’re chasing steam moves, you have to act quickly. 

This is just one of many creative betting strategies you should learn to apply if you’re serious about succeeding in the world of sports betting. 

Is Chasing Steam Moves Worth It?

Although following the steam can be very profitable, there is another thing to consider. Sharps occasionally make a steam move just to move the line so they can then place a bet on the other side of the newly formed line. 

In that Super Bowl mentioned earlier, Pittsburgh had opened as the 3.5-point favorite. The massive steam move caused the line to drop to Pittsburgh -4.5. In the end, the Steelers won 35-31. 

Everyone who bet on Pittsburgh at the opening odds lost in this case. At the same time, those who bet on Dallas at +4.5 points and followed the steam move won. Also, anyone who opted to go with Pittsburgh at -4.5 also won. 

Could the sharps’ move to increase the odds on Pittsburgh have been nothing more than a ruse to gain an advantage on Dallas? It’s entirely possible, but we’ll never know for sure.

The point here is that you cannot always blindly follow a steam move. An alternative may be to find the right professional sports handicapping service and use their assistance.

Big Brother Is Always Watching 

Chasing steam moves may increase your revenue, but if you’re not careful, it may also force you out of business. 

Sportsbooks will act swiftly to impose limits on your betting account if they determine that the majority of your bets are steam-chasing moves. Sportsbooks are always watching. 

This leaves you with two choices: either incorporate enough standard bets to confuse a sportsbook or completely ignore the steam and go your own way. Make sure you understand the rules at any sportsbook where you set up an account. If you are going to chase steam, do so wisely.

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