Finding the Best Odds and Lines
As crazy as it sounds, finding the best odds can be an afterthought for some bettors. They’re often too interested in the handicapping aspect of wagering, the number of markets a sportsbook offers and bonuses, rather than the value of the odds at a particular sportsbook. This is a big mistake, to say the least.
The betting market must be viewed, as, well, a market. This concept doesn’t seem to elude sports gamblers in other aspects of their life, but it’s as if some of them turn their brains off when comes to shopping odds.
There’s little practical difference from shopping for the best odds at online betting markets compared to shopping for the best price on any product or service. If you were shopping for a new television, would you order from the first store or site you came across or would you compare prices?
Almost everyone would compare the prices and shop around for the best deal before finally making a purchase. This same process should be done for just about every good and service if possible.
Even basic grocery shopping is similar to line shopping. Taking advantage of sales and buying products where they are least expensive compared to other stores that may mark up individual items is standard practice for most shoppers in America.
Sportsbooks Aren’t Created Equal
Experienced bettors surely know this already, but there are many amateur bettors and life-long
gamblers that fail to take into account the difference in bookmakers. Aside from reputation
and payouts, something that should also be considered heavily is the quality of odds a book
offers. If all sportsbooks offered the same reliably when it comes to management and
withdrawals, odds and markets would be the ONLY thing that matter.
While most would understand that getting +3 or +3.5 on a football side offers a massive edge, they sometimes fail to take this account when it comes to other markets. For instance, sportsbooks differ in terms of parlays and teaser odds. A +EV play at one sportsbook betting a two-team teaser may be a –EV at another sportsbook.
The same goes for other markets, particularly futures, live betting and propositions. These are all susceptible to being “juiced” far beyond the reasonable 10% vig that is charged to most straight wagers. Many sports bettors continually bet with poor odds and choose not to line shop, which could be easily costing them thousands of dollars per year depending how much they are betting.
The Importance and Ease of Shopping Odds
Line shopping these days is easier than ever. The internet has made the odds of every sportsbook online available in just an instant. There are many sites that offer live odds from a number of sportsbooks that are easily viewable.
One of the reasons we suggest bettors have an adequate bankroll is so that they can line shop between different sportsbooks.
However we realize this isn’t always possible, particularly for those that have smaller bankrolls.
Deposit at a sportsbook that has excellent odds and if possible, one with reduced juice markets.
The break-even percentage in sports betting is 52.4% if we are betting with the standard -110 odds or 10% vig. If we are betting with reduced juice, base -105 pricing, this percentage drops to 51.22%.
Bettors won’t likely be able to place all their wagers at -105 pricing, but even placing some of their wagers at this price decreases the biggest edge the sportsbooks have over bettors, the vigorish.
Line Shop Religiously
Getting the best price available on a particular bet or market is simply the best way to increase your bottom line when betting sports. The best way to do this isn’t becoming an expert handicapper or to trying and “outsmart the oddsmakers”, many have tried and failed at that game.
The job of the oddsmakers is directly related to how much their sportsbook wins or loses. There are very few times that they are asleep at the wheel when it comes to their odds. There’s plenty to be learned from watching games, incorporating other statistics, and adding to your bankroll through bonus clearing, but none comes close to the value of line shopping and consistently getting the best price.