In the context of betting, the term steam is used to describe significant movements in the betting markets that happen in a short space of time. There’s a theory that such moves are generally caused by professional bettors and betting syndicates putting their money down. Because they typically wager for very high stakes, the weight of their money alone can cause odds and lines to move dramatically.
Chasing steam involves watching for these big movements, and then betting on whatever the money appears to be going on. The goal is to “copy” what the smart bettors are doing, since they are the ones making the most money. In theory, this makes a lot of sense.
Unfortunately, chasing steam is EXTREMELY challenging these days.
There was a time when this strategy was very effective. The betting markets are more efficient than they used to be though, and there’s a lot more money at stake. This means that big moves in the odds are far less common. It’s also difficult to interpret what causes them when they do happen.
Even if you can identify steam moves, the collective market itself moves much more quickly now. If the odds at one bookmaker or betting site change dramatically, all the bookmakers and sites make similar changes almost instantly. This makes it hard to get any money down at the same prices as the smart bettors. You have to be able to spot opportunities as soon as they happen, and react immediately. This is simply not practical for most bettors.
With all that being said, this IS a strategy to consider. It’s quite possible that you’ll spot steam moves on occasion, and be able to take full advantage of them. This won’t happen on a daily basis, but you’ll still make some extra profits every now and then.