Alternate Betting Lines: A Helpful Tutorial for Sports Bettors

Apr 10, 2019

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How to Bet Alternate Betting Lines

If you are like most sports bettors, then there has come a time that you had seen a betting line that was just slightly off of what you were looking for. Maybe the spread was just a little too big, or maybe the over/under is just a bit to low for your liking, making you think twice about placing your wager.

Either way, we have found a solution to your common problem. Introducing alternate betting lines, one of the most useful and profitable betting strategies in the world. This article will teach you the fundamentals of alternate line betting, as well as explain how to bet on alternate lines.

What is an “Alternate” betting line?

Alternate line bets are lines that are different than the standard betting line. When a sporting event is given betting lines by the sportsbook, the over/under and spread have now been established.

This original line is the standard betting line of the event. Alternate lines adjust this standard betting line by a few points on each side, offering bettors safer or riskier picks based on the contest.

Alternate Betting Lines for Over/Under

A perfect application of an alternate line bet can be executed on a point total of nearly any game. Using basketball for this example, if the over/under point total of a game between the Lakers and Warriors was set to 220 points at (-110), then the sportsbook would give a number of alternate lines around this set 220 number.

There will be offers for a point total of 219.5, 219, 218.5, 218, and so on. In addition, there will be alternate betting lines offering bettors a chance to bet on an over/under line of 221, 221.5, 222, and more (you get the point).

Alternate lines cover both sides of the betting line, allowing users to bet under or over the original betting line.

Alternate Betting Lines for Spread Betting

Alternate lines are most often offered on the spread and over/under point totals, although they can be found applied to prop bets as well. The alternate bet is applied the same way to the spread as it is for the over/under.

A useful over/under alternate line can be best exemplified in soccer spread betting line. Let’s say that the spread in a game between Barcelona and Real Madrid is Barcelona (-2), indicating that Barcelona is favored to win by two goals.

If you think that Real Madrid will lose, but will be able to stay within one goal of Barcelona, then an alternate line bet of “Real Madrid (+1.5)”. This is a spread that is a safer bet, allowing bettors to make safer wagers with their picks.

How an Alternate Line changes Payout

One thing that must be understood when using alternate lines is the changed payouts and odds that come with alternate line betting. Sportsbooks will typically price each standard over/under and spread betting line in a range of EVEN to (-140) on average. This number will obviously change when betting on an alternate line.

The concept of this is very simple. If the Mets and Yankees game had an original over/under line of 7 runs with the underpriced at (-110), then an under bet on an alternate over/under line of 8.5 runs would have a less profitable price of (-240).

This concept applies to all ranges of alternate line betting, and can even be reverse engineered to make alternate line bets more profitable.

Alternate Line for Safety or Profit

Whitty sports bettors will immediately see the advantage of betting on the alternate line. Not only does it make it easier to string together some winning bets, but it also has profit-making potential if it is applied a certain way. The same safety that can be established with using the alternate line can be reversed, adding more profit to your bets.

An example of this would be if you are looking to bet on a game between the Cowboys and Redskins. For this example, imagine that the Redskins and Cowboys both have elite defenses (hard to imagine, I know).

The sportsbooks take the high-level defenses into consideration and put out the standard over/under line of 37 points for the game total. Alternate lines will be offered, allowing bettors to take an over/under from a range of anywhere between 32 and 42 points.

A safe bet in this scenario would be to take the high-level defenses into consideration and take the under of 42 points. Another safe bet would be to take the over line on the 32 point total. These two bets take advantage of the peaks and the low points of the alternate line, taking the safe bet of each one.

While this is the safest bet on paper, it will also be the least profitable, as these are two options that are the most likely to happen. To maximize profitability, a bettor would bet under the lowest given alternate line, or bet the over on the highest alternate line.

In our previous NFL example, this would mean that instead of taking the safer, less profitable bets, you would take the riskier lines, betting over the 42 points alternate total line, or under the 32 points alternate total line.

This strategy is risky, but it has its moments for application. If you have done your homework on a certain game or match and feel that the sportsbooks are way off, consider taking advantage by placing a profitable alternate line bet on the outcome you see coming!


When used properly, alternate betting lines have real winning potential. It is important to remember that alternate lines are just like regular betting lines, just with different odds. It is important to always apply smart bankroll when using alternate betting lines, as the drastic odds can take some time to get used to.

Make sure to take a look at your sportsbook’s best alternate lines today!