Simple Guide To Line Shopping In Sports Betting
Sports betting is more popular than ever before. With legalization spreading across the US and the world, young fans now have safe and regulated options to wager on their favorite teams and players. While betting lines, odds, and spreads can seem intimidating at first, acquiring skills, like line shopping, gives you an edge. Line Shopping is simply looking for the best odds, the best payouts, and the best sportsbook to bet on a sporting event. But how do you do that?
If you want to learn it in detail and learn to line shop like a pro, you better read this easiest-to-understand line shopping guide.
What is Line Shopping?
The practice of line shopping involves comparing the betting odds and wagering lines offered by various sportsbooks to find the most favorable payout for your bet on a particular game or match. Oddsmakers all have different approaches, biases, and motivations. It means the lines will vary across the industry. Even a half-point difference in NFL spreads or a 20-cent difference in MLB Moneylines can have a huge impact on your bottom line over the long run.
Savvy bettors use line shopping to find the best value. If you take the time to shop prices, you can maximize your winnings, minimize your losses, and find the sportsbooks offering you the fairest odds.
Why Does Line Shopping Matter?
At first glance, line shopping might seem trivial. But the differences between sportsbooks add up fast. Here are some key reasons you should line shop:
- Increase profits on winning bets – Getting an extra half point or better moneyline price pays off big over time.
- Enhance the odds of covering the spread – An additional half point when betting the spread could be the difference between a win and a push outcome.
- Take advantage of discrepancies – Not all books are created equal. Capitalize when oddsmakers make mistakes.
- Avoid buying expensive lines – You don’t want to pay a premium for overly juiced lines.
- Bet into better numbers – Some books hang lines that are off-market value. Pounce when you find them.
The few minutes it takes to line shop each bet results in the best price and optimal sportsbook for your action. It directly boosts your ROI.
How To Line Shop? 10 Pro Tips for Efficient and Successful Line Shopping
As a sports bettor, you’ll want to have accounts at several legit online sportsbooks so you can efficiently compare the lines and odds they are offering for any given event. When a new betting line is released, oddsmakers at the various sportsbooks will each set lines and odds somewhat independently based on their own formulas. It means that there will naturally be some variation between the different books.
Your goal when line shopping is to identify which sportsbooks are offering more favorable odds or point spreads for the wagers you want to make.
Here are 10 pro tips to streamline the process and make line shopping as easy as possible:
- Focus on getting accounts at 3-5 reputable online sportsbooks. Having too many accounts makes it tedious to manage. Shop around and find legal bookmakers like the ones we reviewed and recommend. These are the best and most trusted websites with good reputations, bonuses, and lines.
- Use odds comparison sites and apps like OddsChecker to compare real-time odds efficiently. It makes the line shopping process fast and easy.
- Pay attention to both the point spreads and moneyline odds. A half-point difference in a spread or 20 cents in moneyline odds can shift the value significantly.
- Be aware that when there is a load up on one side(respect money), sportsbooks may move the line. Shop early before lines move.
- Shop for the best spreads and Moneylines – Point spreads and Moneylines offer the most edge when line shopping.
- Follow line movements- Where load up on one side moves a line is telling. But don’t chase steam.
- Make sure to shop for the most favorable odds right before you place your wagers to get the optimal value.
- Monitor lines leading up to contests – Openers and overnight lines often differ from closing prices.
- Check big mismatches and rivalry games – Lopsided matchups and bitter rivalries routinely have outlier lines.
- Focus on the best markets – NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, Soccer, and major college sports see the most line movement.
Line Shopping Real-World Examples
Here are some actual examples of how line shopping this NFL season could have paid off:
Week 1: In their first home game of the season, the initial betting line had the Chargers favored by 3 points over the Raiders. The line closed at Chargers -4 at most bookies. Caesars’ sportsbook line remained LA -3.5, meaning that the extra half-point proved to be the difference between a push and a losing wager.
Week 3: The Packers were 2.5-point favorites at Tampa Bay early in the week. But respected money pushed Green Bay to -3. However, some shops stuck at 2.5 or charged vig(vigorish/commission) for the key number 3. Buying the best line avoided big extra juice.
Week 6: Cincinnati opened as 11-point home favorites versus Atlanta. But the steam moved quickly to Cincy -11.5. BetMGM was slow to adjust off the key number and stayed at Bengals -11. Falcons bettors got an extra half-point of value.
Week 8: The Bills closed as 10.5 or 11-point favorites at home against the Packers. But Wynn hung Green Bay +12, allowing bettors to grab an extra point compared to other sportsbooks. These examples show how shopping for the best line, even if by just a half or full point, generates extra EV(Expected Value) long term. Make sure you get the optimal spread or moneyline price on every bet.
Line shopping might look intimidating when you first start betting. But over time, it becomes second nature. Having accounts at several legit sportsbooks, like Betonline, FanDule, and DraftKings, allows you to spot discrepancies, value, and odds changes quickly. The small effort pays off big down the road.
Make use of line shopping tools and always compare prices before locking in your bets. Finding the best odds boosts your ROI and puts the power back in your hands against the sportsbooks. Spend the time to master line shopping, and you’ll have way more success wagering on your favorite sports.
Line Shopping in Sports Betting FAQs
What Sports See The Most Line Movement?
The most popular sports for betting, like football, basketball, baseball, and hockey, tend to see the most line movement from sportsbooks. Big mismatch games and bitter rivalries also routinely have outlier lines worth shopping.
What Are The Best Online Sportsbooks To Line Shop For US Players?
Betonline, Sports Betting, FanDuel, and DraftKings are legit online bookies to start line shopping today.
What Type Of Bets Should I Line Shop?
Point spreads, and Moneylines offer the most potential value when line shopping. Totals (over/unders) also frequently have discrepancies across sportsbooks that shoppers can exploit.
When Should I Line Shop?
The best times to line shop are when the opening lines are released, when overnight(pregame) lines come out, and right before you place your bets. Tracking line movements also aids in identifying outlier numbers.
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