Why You Should Shop for Betting Lines
It’s easy to assume that there is one point spread or set of odds for any particular sporting event. For a number of reasons, that just isn’t true and is well worth your while to shop for betting lines.
Bettors willing to do some research and web-surfing can find that odds vary depending on the sportsbook.
With the continuing increase in the availability of sports wagering, especially in the United States, betting options abound. There are also Pay Per Head sites that make it possible for anyone to develop their own bookie site.
How Lines are Set
With the proliferation of smaller operators, there is also consolidation at the higher levels of the industry. The largest sportsbook is Caesars Entertainment’s William Hill sportsbook. Along with DraftKings, FanDuel and others, they operate sites in multiple states.
The large operators, based on the analysis of line setters, establish the opening lines and odds for sporting events. After that, they can shift in either direction based on betting patterns. The goal of any sportsbook is to have the same amount wagered on both sides of a bet.
By adjusting the odds, they can manage their risk and ensure a profitable outcome on any game or match. Since wagering is different for each site, this results in slight changes to spreads, point totals or odds. As the event approaches, this can benefit bettors with multiple sportsbook options.
MUST SEE: HOW TO READ LINE MOVEMENTS
Line Shopping Strategy
If a bettor knows the wager they want to make, why not get the best deal possible? That is really the motivation behind why you need to shop for betting lines. Even though it sounds easy and sensible, there are some restrictions to consider.
For those using state-regulated sites, their options are confined to those sportsbooks that their location allows. However, many states have multiple licensed sites, so line shopping is still viable. The only other impediment is having to establish accounts with a number of different sportsbooks.
What to Look For
The primary emphasis, especially for football, is on the point spread and over/under wagers. What is generally overlooked by casual bettors are the odds associated with those bets. Instead of moving the spread or point total, many sportsbooks will adjust the odds.
For bets against the spread and over/under wagers, generally, the odds are -110 for whichever side a bettor takes. If the sportsbook can even up the bets on either side, it guarantees itself roughly a 10% take.
However, there are circumstances that may necessitate that the sportsbook needs to balance the wagers. This can happen when a local or regional team attracts wagers regardless of their chances in the game. In this situation, the odds for the opposing team may flip from negative to positive, +120, for instance.
If you have access to wagering in Illinois, betting against the Chicago Bears may be an opportunity for line comparison. The same can be said for many of the states that have multiple legal sportsbook sites. As with any serious wagering activity, taking emotion out of the equation is advised.
It’s hard enough to consistently win sports wagers, so using a strategy that pays higher odds makes sense. Line shopping is one of those strategies to employ whenever possible.
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