One of the best parts of online sports betting is that there’s no cap on how many sportsbooks you can have an account at.
Still, there are many players who may feel loyal to one sportsbook for one reason or another.
However, in doing so, you’re potentially missing out on profits. Why not engage in a little sports betting line shopping?
Here, we’ll look more at line shopping, including how to compare betting odds, how to compare betting lines, how to determine which sportsbook has the best odds, and more.
Shop Lines At The Top Sportsbooks
What’s Line Shopping in Sports Betting?
In its simplest form, line shopping is taking a bet that you’re interested in and comparing the odds and lines at multiple online sportsbooks to see where the most profit can be made.
With line shopping, there’s no way to guarantee a win, of course, but it can maximize your value should it result in a winning wager.
Benefits of Line Shopping
When you begin to actively engage in line shopping, there are plenty of direct and indirect benefits.
If the online sportsbook you typically play at has betting lines that aren’t as valuable as another online sportsbook, you’re giving up potential winnings for no reason.
Example: You want to bet on the Cleveland Browns moneyline. At your favorite online sportsbook, the line is -120, and at another online sportsbook it’s -110. That’s 10 points of value, or $7.58 per $100 bet.
More Welcome Bonuses
One of the indirect benefits of line shopping is creating new online sportsbook accounts and being able to take advantage of the best welcome bonuses. At most online sportsbooks, you’ll find welcome bonuses such as deposit matches or free bets, which can then be used to wager on your newly shopped odds.
In addition to maximizing value, finding better odds on something, such as favorites, can help mitigate losses. With sports betting, be sure to have a typical bet that you wager frequently. This is known as a betting unit.
Example: If you bet an average of $50 per wager, one “unit” for you would be $50 or whatever you decide. Stay consistent with this instead of fluctuating the bet to stay consistent with the line—don’t bet more on a -120 line than a -110 line.
Shopping the Moneyline
One of the easiest ways to compare betting lines is the moneyline.
The bet itself is straight and to the point — bet on who’s going to win.
When shopping the moneyline, decide on which game and team you want to bet on. From there, hunt online and see which sportsbook has the best odds.
- Sportsbook A: Minnesota Vikings +100
- Sportsbook B: Minnesota Vikings -105
- Sportsbook C: Minnesota Vikings -110
If you want to bet on the Vikings, Sportsbook A clearly has the best odds.
Shopping the Spreads
When shopping point spreads, there’s a bit of additional analysis than the moneyline.
The best advice for shopping the spread is:
- Go to your favorite online sportsbook and find the game you want to bet on.
- Evaluate the spread and lines for each team and make a determination on what you’d want to bet on.
- Look around to see what the spread and lines are.
Unlike the moneyline, the odds may be more favorable, but that could be at the cost of the spread.
- Sportsbook A: Minnesota Vikings (-4; -110) vs. Chicago Bears (+4; -110)
- Sportsbook B: Minnesota Vikings (-3.5; -115) vs. Chicago Bears (-3.5; -105)
- Sportsbook C: Minnesota Vikings (-4; -115) vs. Chicago Bears (-4; -110)
To continue with the example, say your favorite online sportsbook is Sportsbook A, and you’ve decided on the Vikings at -4 with -110 odds. As you can see with Sportsbook B, you’d be surrendering five points of betting line value and “getting” 0.5 points for the spread. This half-point could be valuable. In this situation, the best odds for sports betting are up to what you value more.
Shopping Over/Under Totals
Over/under totals shopping is similar to the process used for point spread.
There’s no tool for the best odds finder, but being able to compare the lines and odds side-by-side, you’ll be able to identify value.
- Sportsbook A: Over 54.5 (-110)
- Sportsbook B: Over 55 (-110)
- Sportsbook C: Over 54 (-120)
- Sportsbook D: Over 54.5 (-115)
Looking at these four online sportsbooks and based on the scenario, sticking with Sportsbook A is the right option.
With Sportsbook B, there’s no change in line value, but the total line is increased by 0.5 points.
Sportsbook C has a lower total line, but you’ve decided that it’ll go over 54.5, and you’re losing 10 points of the line value.
Lastly, Sportsbook D has the same line, but you’re losing 0.5 points of betting line value.
Is Line Shopping Worth It?
Absolutely it is. While you may be busy and use one online sportsbook, if you can find a few extra minutes of time to compare lines, you’re only setting yourself for more potential value.
Which Sportsbooks Offer the Best Odds?
While this’ll all depend on which bet you’re interested in making, we have a list of the best sports betting sites you can play at right now. Use it as your roster of online sportsbooks for odds shopping.
Is It Legal To Play at More Than One Sportsbook?
Our list of the top online sportsbooks is available to be played in virtually every U.S. state. While some states don’t let casinos operate within state lines, online play of out-of-state casinos is legal for residents in all states but Washington.
Why Do Betting Lines Change Leading up to a Game?
Betting lines change for many reasons leading up to a game, but the most common include player news (i.e. injuries) and online sportsbooks receiving more action on one side than another.
What’s the Most Important Line to Consider When Line Shopping?
That’ll all depend on what type of bet you’re making and the context of the situation. If you’ve found a spread that’s -4 and you’re OK with that, perhaps you’d be willing to give up some line value for a spread of 3.5.
What’s ‘Juice’ .in Sports Betting, and Does It Matter to Line Shopping?
In sports betting, juice or the “vig” can be looked at as a fee you pay the online sportsbook when betting on a favorite. When you see a betting line of -110, the juice is the 10 points, meaning that you need to bet $110 to win $100.
The juice matters when it comes to line shopping, as it can be 10 points or even 5, 15, 20, or more. These’ll also give you an indication as to where the spread or total is heading.
Example: Indianapolis Colts have a -3.5 spread and the betting line is -115. When you see this, you can recognize that the spread could soon be shifting to -4 and back to that -110 betting line because of the added juice.
Is Line Shopping Common?
To be honest, not as much as it should be. There are some misconceptions when it comes to sports betting, such as the number of sportsbooks you can play at and whether they’re legal
With the knowledge you’ve learned here, you can get out there and line shop every single bet to put as much money as possible in your pocket.