Shopping for the Best NFL Lines at online sportsbooks

As the NFL Season quickly approaches, it’s time to talk about shopping for lines. A lot of bettors don’t understand the significance of shopping for the best line, but if used correctly, it can be a huge difference maker. Getting a point here or a half point there will increase your winning percentage, in turn increasing your profits both short and long term. Let’s look at a few things to consider when shopping for the best NFL lines.

If you already shopping for the best lines, kudos to you, but if you’re not, making it a habit will instantly distance yourself from the average bettor. I used to work for a pick service whose software would populate lines from 25 different online sportsbooks from all over the world. When adding a pick, we had to manually choose the correct line for each. The amount of options was unreal.

This is when my eyes were really opened to how important shopping for lines really is. Whatever strategy, system or however you determine which game you will wager on still shouldn’t change. Decide which side you are going with, and look for the best line to support it.

The most obvious way to do this is to have money at more than one sportsbook, however choosing which ones may be difficult because in reality, a lot of sportsbooks will have the same lines. It will take some work to get your line shopping list filled out, but the invested time will be more than worth it. Start by looking at ScoresandStats.com, they are known for great lines and odds.

Think about shopping for lines like buying points, except you don’t have to pay for them. If you can shave a ½ point off getting a line from -7 to -6.5 or from +3 to +3.5, those small differences are sure to help your account at the end of the day.

Don’t think point spreads are the only lines to shop though. Sportsbooks are always moving their moneylines to balance out the action. How large the favorite is will change the moneyline as well, which will result in you rarely seeing the same moneyline at every book. By having options, you’re automatically
getting better value on the side you want to pick.

The same can be said for OVER/UNDERS. Remember that every sportsbook is different. A large percentage of their customers can from one city, and the “homer effect” shades lines or perhaps the sportsbook’s general philosophy on aversion to risk is different. Whatever the reason for the differences (and they are a plenty), there can be significant swings in total lines between books.

How many times have you lost by a half point, and you’re left saying to yourself, “those damn oddsmakers got me again!?” By taking the time to shop for the best line, you will put yourself in the best position to win your wager, and in the end, that’s what we are all looking for. Value, value, value. And by shopping for the best lines available, you will be getting the best value, putting yourself in the best position to be successful.

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One last thing I’ll leave with you. As important as shopping for the best line is, so is tracking and monitoring your picks. Maybe one book is sharper than another with their line differences. Maybe they don’t use the generic Vegas lines, and employ a team of oddsmakers to come up with their lines.

Whatever the case, be sure to track your bets, noting line differences from different Vegas Sportsbooks to be sure you are fully informed. By making these ideas habit, you will be thanking me and so will your betting budget.

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