Making money sports betting consistently and long term is difficult. The sportsbooks are very good at pricing odds that are worse than their mathematical probability of actually happening, which is how they make their money on almost every sporting event.
To explain, sportsbooks charge a ‘vig’ or the ‘juice’. It’s essentially a fee for every bet because the odds you are placing most bets at are not equivalent to the implied odds of happening.
Let’s use one of the most common line prices of -110. This, of course, means you are betting $110 to win $100. This is commonly used with spread or totals bets, which are mathematically implied at 50% odds to happen.
However, at -110 odds, you aren’t betting on a 50% chance. That would be +100 ($100 to win $100). A sports bettor who has a 50% hit rate on all -110 odds bets would be a net negative because of that extra $10 “juice” that sportsbooks charge.
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With this in mind, it’s incredibly important for you to download and sign up for as many sportsbooks in your area as possible. Not only do you gain access to some very, very profitable sign up bonuses, but you gain access to more and more different betting odds.
Before placing a bet, sharp sports bettors look at every available sportsbook lines they have and select the best one. It’s no different than shopping at the store. A smart shopper may look online at which local store has the best price for a new coffee machine they’ve been wanting.
If one store is offering the new coffee machine for $130, why in the world would they drive to a different store that is offering it for $150. The short answer is you wouldn’t. It’s no different with line shopping in sports betting.
Say FanDuel is offering a moneyline you like for -130 odds, but everywhere else is in the -150 range. You would be making not only a smart betting decision, but the bet would have positive expected value, which is integral to making a profit over time.
Take a look at this example:
This is a breakdown of a few available sportsbooks for the over/under in an NCAA men’s basketball game between Oklahoma and Florida. Take a look at FanDuel, who offers this line at -108. That’s significantly better value than any of the other sportsbooks, as some of them approach the -140 range.
If you were only using one sportsbook, and it was the book that had this total for -145, you’d be getting ripped off. You’d be paying $145 for that $108 coffee maker.
The OddsJam Positive EV page also has these set of numbers to the right. In this case, the “no-vig” odds for this bet are -115, but we are getting it at -108, which is a cheaper buy-in to win $100. The no-vig odds are what our software calculates the true no-vig odds of the bet hitting without extra fees the sportsbooks charge. This is such a great tool to beat the sportsbooks and bet on a mathematically profitable line.
The reason it’s so important to line shop is because you will save yourself from paying much more than you need for the sports bets you like. By simply signing up at OddsJam, you can gain access to a number of free tools that show you the different odds across sportsbooks in your area.
If you have any questions, please reach out to [email protected] for assistance and we’d be happy to explain this further.