How using line shopping can help you win more often when sports betting online. How to use line shop strategy across all of mobile sportsbooks in search of the best odds.
Sports betting is starting to become a national phenomenon in the United States. At the time of this writing, 19 states in the US have legalized mobile sports betting, with big states such as Ohio and Maryland on track to legalize mobile sports betting later in 2022.
Already earlier this year we had New York legalize it in January 2022, which was a massive win for the entire sports betting community. Everyday more and more sportsbooks are opening up as well, with Colorado having the most at 26 legal, mobile sportsbooks. Colorado residents are blessed to be living in the sports betting mecca.
With all these legal sportsbooks and states moving to legalize mobile sports betting in general, it is imperative to understand one of the most basic but most important sports betting strategies: line shop across all of the sportsbooks to search for the best odds. With sports betting blowing up, that means that there are companies out there that offer line shopping capabilities, such as OddsJam.
The screenshot above has the moneyline odds for every major US sportsbook in an NBA Finals game between the Boston Celtics and the Golden State Warriors. As you can see, there are differing odds across all of the sportsbooks. The odds on the Warriors range from +140 to +146, whereas the odds for Boston range from -165 all the way up to -175.
Here is the dirty little secret in how mobile sportsbooks work: they each have their own way of pricing odds. What this means is that there are always going to be differences between the sportsbooks odds.
Sportsbooks can essentially be viewed like the stock market: the public mostly sets the market by buying or selling a certain team. If more money comes in on the Warriors, they are going to become less favorable to buy, which means the odds are going to be worse. This also means that if more money comes in on the Warriors, the Celtics are going to become more favorable to buy, meaning the odds are going to be better.
Due to this fact, we are able to find opportunities and take advantage of mispriced odds. Each sportsbook being a mini stock market means that not every single sportsbook is going to have the correct odds for every market.
Referring back to the screenshot above, DraftKings is the only sportsbook that has the Celtics with odds in the -160s, being at -165. Every other sportsbook has the Celtics in the -170s. The most logical conclusion here is that for whatever reason DraftKings hasn’t received as many people buying the Celtics as all the other books, which means they could have the Celtics cheaper than they really should be.
Either way, line shopping ensures that you are maximizing your profits. It might not seem like a lot, betting the Celtics at -165 vs -175 (that is only the difference of $10 per every $100 bet), but over time it could legitimately be the difference between making money betting on sports and losing money.
Other times, line shopping can legitimately be the difference between winning a bet or not. This next screenshot above is for the point spread of that same game. As we can see, most sportsbooks have the spread priced at Celtics -4, except for one sportsbook, which is BetMGM.
If you were to place a bet on the Celtics -3.5 on BetMGM, and the Celtics won by exactly 4, that would be an exact scenario in which line shopping caused you to win your bet. If you had bet the Celtics on every other sportsbook your bet would have just pushed, and your money would have been refunded.
So, overall, with sports betting becoming more and more popular, with more and more books opening by the day, the simplest strategy of line shopping is also the most important one.