How To Level Up Your Line Shopping
If you’ve been sports betting for more than a single day, you’ll have heard how important it is to shop for the best odds. While this is sound advice, it’s not always the easiest advice to execute on.
We can help. Below, we’ll explore how to level up your line shopping by suggesting a few ways to (1) streamline your sportsbook account acquisition and management, (2) find an odds comparison tool that works for you, and (3) more easily shop live odds.
Let’s jump right in.
Streamline The Process By Opening Multiple Sportsbook Accounts
If you’re going to shop odds and ultimately place bets at multiple sportsbooks, you’re going to need accounts at more than one sportsbook. This is not the lightest lift. However, here are a few tips that should help streamline the sportsbook signup process.
Create an Alternate “Sportsbook” Email Address:
Creating a separate email address for consolidating all of your sportsbook communications is incredibly handy for streamlining the sportsbooks signup process. Whether you’re trying to find a long lost marketing promotion, tracking down a support email, or resetting your sportsbook password, you’ll only have to search one inbox.
Use Consistent Information:
Your email address, mailing address, phone number, and password should be the same across all of your sportsbook accounts. If you’re worried about password security, you can vary them with a sportsbook-specific suffix (e.g. “PasswordExampleCaesars,” “PasswordExampleFD,” “PasswordExampleMGM”).
Have an ID and a Utility Bill Ready:
Some bettors are caught off-guard when they sign up for a sportsbook and are asked for more identifying information. This is common. Have one utility bill (to verify your location) and one ID (to verify your age) at the ready so you don’t have to relocate your identifying documents every time you sign up for a sportsbook.
Get Your Banking Setup:
It probably comes as no surprise that you will not be able to bet on any sportsbook without depositing funds. In the United States, linking a bank account or using a credit card (be wary of cash advance fees) seems to be the preferred method of deposit. In Canada, depositing with Interac or PayPal tends to be easiest. Make sure that you have your banking credentials handy before you start signing up for sportsbooks.
Bookmark the Sportsbooks:
Whether you want to use a completely new device, browser, or browser profile, have a spot where all of your sportsbooks sites are setup, logged in, and organized. Knowing where all of your sportsbooks and sportsbook credentials are located will eliminate considerable friction when line shopping and executing bets.
Find the Right Tool for Line Shopping
There are a number of line shopping tools on the market, but they are certainly not all created equal. Before deciding on the line shopping tool that’s right for you, be sure to verify that (1) the lines you care about are available, (2) the lines are accurate, (3) the lines are actionable straight from the tool.
Lines are available:
Some bettors are only interested in betting spreads, moneylines, and totals. Others are interested in player props. And, some bettors are interested in all sorts of exotic bets including niche game props and alternative spreads. Whatever type of bets you’re interested in, make sure that the odds comparison tool has them listed. It’s also worth considering what type of bettor you might become. Maybe you don’t bet alternate spreads today, but if you think you might in the future, it’s worth finding a tool that supports alternate spreads so you don’t have to switch tools down the line.
Lines are accurate:
Sometimes, you’ll find that line shopping tools/websites contain stale information. Not every tool updates its lines at the same rate. Some update every few minutes, others update every few seconds. Before you commit to a line shopping tool, make sure that the lines are updated in as close to real time as possible. Take a few minutes to spot check the tool against one or more sportsbooks, to make sure the odds match. Also, try spot checking against a live game– this is the best indicator of how quickly the tool updates its odds.
Lines are actionable straight from the tool:
Your ability to place bets quickly is critically important when line shopping. Once you find favorable odds, you’ll want to execute your bets before any line movement takes place. Traditionally, this meant finding favorable odds on a line shopping tool, navigating back to your sportsbook, and locating the same lines at the same odds, all before placing your bets. However, there are more technologically advanced services like Outlier which allow you to compare odds and place bets straight from the tool, in two clicks. This reduction in friction can help you secure a line that would have otherwise moved in the time it would have taken to relocate on the sportsbook.
How To Line Shop For Live Betting
Shopping for live betting lines is tough. The challenge is comparing lines from multiple sportsbooks before the lines move.
If you’re trying to find the best prices for in-game betting, we have a few tips to help you shop quickly and secure a price you’re comfortable with: (1) get a feel for which sportsbooks have the best in-game odds, (2) wait for halftime or a quarter break before placing your in-game wagers, (3) don’t blindly accept the sportsbook’s adjusted odds.
Get A Feel For Which Sportsbook Has The Best Prices
If you’re new to sports betting, it’s hard to differentiate between sportsbooks. They all look the same and seem to have similar lines. However, the more you line shop, the more you’ll get a feel for the differences between the sportsbooks, specifically with respect to their line availability and pricing.
What you’ll discover is that sportsbooks have vastly different odds for in-game betting. Some have expensive spreads where a favorite can be priced at -10000 and an underdog is a +1400. Some have lines that are available for the majority of the game, while others pull or freeze the lines quite frequently and keep them off the board for longer. And, some sportsbooks offer in-game lines for player props, while others don’t.
As you get more experience line shopping, you’ll start to notice things like DraftKings tends to have better in-game prices on favorites than Caesars or BetMGM. And, that DraftKings and FanDuel tend to keep their in-game lines up longer than Caesars.
You’ll also start to notice league specific nuances like DraftKings tends to have better prices than BetMGM for major North American sports, while BetMGM regularly has the most favorably priced lines for tennis.
The sooner you get the feel for which sportsbooks have the most competitive pricing, the sooner you’ll know where to start your search for the best in-game lines.
Wait Until Halftime to Place Your Live Bets
Many sports bettors try to catch in-game lines as the action is happening. This is typically not ideal. Yes, you can lock in a bet in between baskets or downs, but it’s quite difficult for you to see a line at one sportsbook, compare with a few others and then place your bet all while the action is happening.
To save yourself some frustration, wait until halftime to place your in-game bets. The lines will still adjust a bit when the halftime break begins, but about 10 minutes into the break they’ll have settled down. After that, you’ll have a 10-15 minute window to look around, compare odds, and place your in-game bets. This 10-15 minute window also serves as a great moment to check out the other books to see if you can middle a game or find an arbitrage opportunity of some sort. Here again, using a line shopping tool can help you see all of the lines at once and execute quickly.
Don’t Blindly Accept the Sportsbooks Adjusted Odds
Many sportsbooks have a default setting that forces you to accept any adjustment to the odds that happen between the time you click “place bet” and when the bet is actually processed. Double-check your settings to see whether you are accepting odds changes or not. While keeping this setting enabled ensures that you’ll get in on the action, you’ll have no idea what odds you’re securing until after your bet is placed. For the smart line shopper, this is a no go. You should be betting on a particular line because you believe it’s good value. That requires an understanding of the price you’re securing.
Line shopping doesn’t have to be so challenging. If you streamline your sportsbook account acquisition and management, find an odds comparison tool that works for you, and employ a few simple strategies to more easily shop live odds, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a line shopping pro.