What is a Sports Betting Odds Boost? How to Use Profit Boosts at Sportsbooks

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Ray BelkoraJune 1, 2022, 12:14 PM

What is a Sports Betting Odds Boost?

Since it’s a competitive market, sportsbooks are always looking for bonuses, promotions, and other ways to draw in users to their books. One of these ways is an odds boost. 

An odds boost is exactly what it sounds like: boosted odds on a particular line or parlay. 

In some cases, the odds boosts are pre-arranged picks or parlays given to you by the sportsbook. For example, Fanduel often has at least a few odds boosts per day that they offer to their users. It may be a three-team college basketball parlay, it may be Steph Curry and Klay Thompson combining for 50 points in the Warriors game, or it may be three golfers to make the cut that weekend.

While these odds boosts are often quite profitable in terms of expected value and obviously better than if you took the bet without the boost, it’s important to do your research on the bets. While (hopefully) no outcomes are fixed or guaranteed, keep in mind that Fanduel, Draftkings, Barstool, BetRivers, or whatever sportsbook is offering the odds boost is feeding you a specific bet that they have created. Just because the odds are boosted doesn’t mean it’s a smart bet. Especially in the case of a parlay where vig can be part of each leg, be sure to use the OddsJam calculator features in addition to comparing odds from other sportsbooks to ensure that the odds boost is in fact profitable. 

Sometimes a book may claim a specific parlay is boosted from +180 to +230, but when you build that exact same parlay on another book it’s already over +200 without a boost, calling into question the fair odds profitability of the boost.

For example, FanDuel recently had an NHL odds boost of a parlay with the Wild, Rangers, and Kings all to win. The boost was from +290 to +400.

To figure out if the boost has a positive expected value, use the OddsJam perfect line and run that through the no-vig calculator. Then, put the no-vig odds in the parlay calculator.

In this case the OddsJam perfect line has the Wild at -203 and their opponent at +180. The no-vig calculator says the true fair odds were -187.

For the Wild the fair odds were -151, and for the Kings the fair odds were -129.

Putting those three numbers into the parlay calculator gives us a parlay at +352 fair odds. Since FanDuel is offering +400, this boost does have a positive expected value.

Do not just blindly take every odds boost available.

Additionally, sportsbooks know they often lose their house edge on these boosts, so the limits are often very low.

As a bettor with a relatively small unit size, I can consistently bet up to $50 on Fanduel odds boosts. However even though I have not won thousands of dollars off Barstool, they consistently limit me on their odds boosts. Sometimes they give me $5, and sometimes a seemingly random number like $11.77. 

How to use Profit Boosts at Sportsbooks?

Profit boosts are a very similar concept, but you have more choice over your wager. For example, DraftKings sometimes gives out a profit boost that’s randomly anywhere from 10% to 100%. The profit boosts are usually linked to a category of bet. For the Suns-Nets game in February, Arizona users got a profit boost on a same-game-parlay for that game. While this is certainly restricting your choice to a same-game-parlay on Suns-Nets, you are allowed to craft your own bet instead of having one fed to you from the sportsbooks.

These profit boosts also typically have low maximum bet amounts, because the sportsbooks goal with the offer is to get you to love betting on same-game-parlays, not for you to get rich. This Suns-Nets boost had a maximum limit of $50, but it can vary depending on the terms and requirements of the specific profit boost.

Often books give boosts that must be used on parlays. To maximize your expected value on these, find opportunities on that book from the  positive EV page. If all legs of the parlay are +EV, the parlay is +EV. If you don’t see anything you like there or it doesn’t fit the requirements of your boost, go to the odds page and look for odds where that book is offering the best line.

As with any promotion, be sure to thoroughly read the terms and requirements to make sure you’re taking full advantage and not missing a step. The profit boost is almost never applied automatically, but you have to select an option to apply it in your betslip before locking in the wager.

In addition to having a maximum bet limit, the terms also often have a “max extra winnings” limit in case you strike it rich on a longshot parlay.

While these are not bets you’re expected to win often, one win can make a serious difference if you approach the max winnings. So for example if it’s a 20% profit boost, you may not be able to bet more than (let’s say) $100, but if you build a parlay at +10000 the value of the boost turns your potential payout from $10,000 to $12,000. The books usually want to avoid that $2000 extra winnings number, so they might limit that extra amount to a certain number. 

If this is the route you want to take, build a +EV parlay that comes as close to the max bet and max winnings as possible. This might take some experimentation to get close to both, but it’s taking full advantage.

These profit boosts are always good to take advantage of, and are sometimes even less limiting than a same-game-parlay on one specific game. Sometimes DraftKings offers a general “college basketball profit boost” token, or even if it is one game it can sometimes just be a straight bet. Once again, be sure to read the terms carefully. Sometimes the bet needs to be placed before the game starts to apply the boost, and sometimes it’s a live bet or a parlay. While the books may lose money on the specific profit boost promotion, they know they will earn that back by introducing inexperienced or uneducated bettors into new forms of betting such as same-game-parlays and live betting.

Check out also what is a betting exchange.

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