One of the most common questions that I get is around when is the optimal time to place a bet, with a lot of sports bettors asking if it’s better to wait up until close to game time to actually place a bet. The logic being if you wait until closer to the game starting, that means you are placing the “best” bets with the most information at hand.
Well, that isn’t necessarily the case. I’m certainly not saying that you shouldn’t bet up until the game is about to start, but what I am saying is that you shouldn’t avoid bets early in the week either. There is absolutely value in placing bets early in the week. Let me explain.
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Value Betting Early in the Week
Placing bets early (meaning the night before in daily sports such as NBA/MLB, or early in the week for weekly sports like the NFL) can be incredibly valuable, because you might be able to take advantage of a sportsbook that has incorrect opening lines.
The above screenshot shows the difference in sportsbooks in a player prop market when player props are first posted. This is just four quarterbacks too, but out of these four, we see three that have pretty significant discrepancies just among two different books.
For Geno Smith, his passing yards prop is priced at 230.5 at one book, and 243.5 at another– a 13 yard difference! Then, there is a similar situation with Derek Carr and Baker Mayfield, with Mayfield having the most significant discrepancy between 215.5 and 199.5. Not only is the yardage priced lower in general, but the difference between the two books is also greater, at 16.
This is just one example, but it happens on a nightly/weekly basis across all different types of props. It isn’t just player props, but main lines as well.
This screenshot above is taken from a college basketball game when the sportsbooks first opened up lines for the total. As the red rectangle dictates, there is a massively profitable line on the total under 146. No other sportsbook prices this total this high, with the majority having the total between 143.3-144.5. These are the types of valuable plays you can find by looking for bets early.
The reason why these discrepancies exist is simply because not all sportsbooks update their lines as quickly as possible. There are some books that have “stale” lines, which means they haven’t moved them to properly reflect the market. This is most likely to happen early in the week, as books don’t receive as much money early.