The betting market for a football game begins to take shape almost two weeks before the game’s kickoff, when a handful of select sportsbooks publish so-called look-ahead lines. These early odds are based on the opinions of smart sportsbook managers, but they don’t factor in a whole lot of other things. In particular, they don’t take into account the timeout situation in football or how teams play late in basketball games.
As a result, these early lines are often exploitable by sharp bettors. Later on, the lines are taken off the board and replaced with “next-week” numbers that are based on a more thorough assessment of team performance. As the betting market evolves, the odds for a given game fluctuate and change frequently throughout the day. This is a big reason why it is important for a sportsbook to have a robust data system that allows them to compile and adjust their odds with a high degree of accuracy. When choosing a sportsbook, be sure to read reviews and check out their variety of betting markets. While user reviews can be helpful, they should not be taken as gospel.