Line shopping is comparing sports betting odds to find the best odds available. It can have a significant impact on your betting profits and is a must for people looking for long term sports betting success. The best example of how line shopping impacts bettors is when we compare spread betting odds at a regular 10% juice (or vig) sportsbook and a 5% reduced juice sportsbook like Pinnacle Sports or 5Dimes. The odds you would get on a spread bet at a regular book is -110 versus the -105 at the reduced juice book. Those 5 points on the American odds are important:
$100 bet @ -110 pays $90.91
$100 bet @ -105 pays $95.24
That means that you make an extra $4.33 per bet. That may not sound like much on $100, but at a 4.76% increase in profit, that adds up when fighting against the sportsbook’s advantage. That is just the first step. For moneyline bets, you can find huge variations between sportsbooks. The video above gives one example where odds are compared for an entire day of MLB baseball. If you choose Pinnacle Sports, you are likely already ahead by that 4.76%, give or take, but when you line shop at 4 other top sportsbooks, 5Dimes, Bet365, BetOnline and MyBookie we increased the profit by 1.58% on top of that. If we only include bets where line shopping bettered Pinnacle, we saw a 2.51% increase in profit. That means that we increased our profit on those bets by 7.27%! Suddenly watching for good lines seems like your best path to profitability.
A quick warning on line shopping with odds aggregations sites (sites that offer odds for a number of sportsbooks in one place). The odds they present are frequently promotional lines. Someone is likely getting those lines, but it is unlikely when you log in you will be offered them. Unfortunately, when line shopping you are going to have to log in and check the odds available to you. Add them to a spreadsheet or write them down as you shop.
In summary, we know that to make money betting on sports requires repetition, focus and discipline, but luckily line shopping is an activity that can contribute significantly to your sports betting bottom line.