Shopping for the Best Sports Odds

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Newcomers to sports betting sometimes don’t realize that they aren’t stuck with the odds at the sportsbook where they first signed up. In fact, having multiple accounts with multiple legal online sportsbooks is a great way to find the best odds for any bet you want to make.

While it is true that most sportsbooks carry similar odds in many instances, there is often enough of a difference to make shopping around for the best lines worth your while — and your bankroll, for that matter.

By finding the best odds, you’re increasing your potential return on your wager. Even a small difference in your favor could lead to a better profit, so there’s really no reason to not line shop when you’re betting on sports. And signing up for accounts is free and easy, which just gives you even more incentive.

Below we outline some of the key aspects of line shopping in sports betting and why it makes sense for Florida bettors.

Who determines a sportsbook’s odds and lines?

Every sportsbook sets its own lines based on a number of factors, all of which in-house oddsmakers and computer algorithms will take into account.

Information such as team strengths and weaknesses, historical matchups, game conditions, player statistics, news and much will go into determining which outcome is the favorite and which is the underdog or the long shot. Oddsmakers then set lines based on the data.

Odds reflect how dominant one outcome is likely to be over the other. The more lopsided the prediction, the more difficult it is to profit very much off the favorite. The underdog, however, will end up with extremely attractive odds, designed not only to entice bettors who hope to win big with an upset, but also to help the sportsbook offset any payouts it may have to make to those who wagered on the favorite.

What are the Vegas odds?

As you likely know, Las Vegas was the betting capital of the United States long before the current rush of legal sports betting. Because of that, Vegas has a reputation as the gold standard in sports odds.

Because of that history, the lines at Vegas sportsbooks are often what bettors across the world look to first. Vegas odds aren’t all that different from the odds you’ll find at Florida sportsbooks, however. With the constant availability of information in today’s computer-driven world, oddsmakers at every sportsbook have access to the same data, can use the same algorithms and quite often come to extremely similar conclusions as their Las Vegas counterparts.

That means you can rest easy knowing that the odds available to you in Florida are likely comparable to any of the odds available in Vegas. And by using odds shopping as a part of your betting strategy, you’ll gain an advantage in your potential returns, see larger potential profits, and hopefully have better success overall.

Are all sportsbook odds and lines equal?

Not at all. While you might come across similar and, at times, identical odds, you’ll also often come across slight differences. That’s because each sportsbook uses its own system that may differ from others, at least to some extent. In addition, betting action at one sportsbook may cause the lines to move more than at other, similar books.

When you’re shopping for the best odds, what you’re looking for is a maximum return on your wager. In order to accomplish that, you’ll want to find lines that reduce the amount of money you need to stake in order to get more profits.

For example, if you’re looking to wager on the favorite in the Citrus Bowl, and that team has odds of -135 at one sportsbook, that means a bet of $135 would stand to win you a profit of $100. If you shop around and discover that another book has the same game with odds of -120 for the favorite, that means a bet of $120 would have the same potential $100 in winnings. While that doesn’t seem like a huge difference, it does save you $15 in that particular example.

On the other side of that coin, if you’re looking to wager on the Orange Bowl underdog at +140 at the first sportsbook and +150 at the other, then you’ll want to give yourself the best possible return by wagering on the second. You see, a $100 bet on positive odds will potentially return that amount of money in profit. In the first case, you’d win $140 for every $100 you bet on a successful wager. In the second, however, you win $150 for betting the same amount.

Why do lines move? How often do they move?

Lines do indeed shift, and it happens due to a variety of reasons and with no real set rate of occurrence.

One of the main reasons that lines shift is because of new information that has become available. This might be in the form of team news that could potentially change the outcome of a game, or even an injury report that puts a star player’s availability in question. Sometimes it’s as simple as a change in expected weather, or it can be something as small as a player tweeting about dissatisfaction with how the season is going.

When sportsbooks receive new information about a game for which they have created lines, they weigh that against the previous information and see if there will be any potential impact on the expected outcome. If there is, then you’ll see the line shift as a result.

Another way a line will shift is through public betting. Sportsbooks are in the business of making money, and they can’t really do that if there aren’t enough bets that lose compared to those that win. So, when oddsmakers see the public is betting really heavily on one outcome over the other, they will often adjust the lines to not only reduce the liability of the sportsbook if the heavy side does win, but also to make the other outcome more attractive to bettors and hopefully get more bets flowing in that direction.

In any case, there’s no telling when the lines might shift. The closer it gets to game time, the more likely the odds will be as zeroed in as they possibly can be.

Where does line shopping come in?

Shopping for odds should really be a part of your everyday betting strategy, regardless of if you’re a casual bettor or a veteran. Since it costs nothing to sign up for an account at an online sportsbook, you should always make yourself capable of shopping for lines at multiple books. We recommend having accounts at the top legal sportsbooks like Hard Rock FL, FanDuel Sports online, Caesars, or BetMGM online sportsbook in Florida.

Once you’ve determined which games you’re planning on betting on, you should then start shopping for the best lines. If your research shows you one team is likely to pull out a win over another, then you should really find the best possible return against your stake. Why take less money? If you’re already planning on taking that risk with a bet, then you should look through multiple sportsbooks to find the best odds for your bet.

If you were shopping in the mall and you wanted to buy a pair of shoes, would you pay $135 for them at Store A when you can get them for $120 at Store B? It makes no sense to just give away the money you’ve worked hard to earn, which is why we can’t stress enough the importance of line shopping.

What is the best way to shop for sportsbook lines?

The two easiest ways to shop for lines in Florida sportsbooks are simple, and you can do them right from the comfort of your own home if you’d like.

The first option is already right in front of you — this site has various live odds feeds with the numbers at popular online sportsbooks. They automatically update as soon as new lines come out, which means you are never without the most current information.

You can sort through the odds feeds by selecting what you’d like to see right on the feed itself. If you see odds that pique your interest, simply click on them and you’ll go directly to that sportsbook’s homepage. There, you can sign up for an account if you don’t have one already and place a bet.

The other way to shop for sportsbook lines is a little more tedious, but you can still accomplish it with relative ease. As we’ve mentioned previously, it’s a good idea to sign up for multiple online sportsbook accounts to give yourself the best opportunity to get a better return on your wagers. When you do sign up for those accounts, you can also download the app for each of the sportsbooks where you register.

Once you’ve downloaded and installed those apps to your phone or tablet, you can use them to shop for lines by visiting each of the books and comparing the odds for the event or game you’re interested in wagering on — a lot like you would if you were planning on making an online purchase and checking multiple sites for the best price.

Which lines to shop for — moneylines, spreads or totals?

There are reasons that these are the three most popular bets at online sportsbooks: They are fun, they are potentially profitable and they are more reliable to research than others. But of moneylines, point spreads or totals, which is the most important to shop for?

Of those three, the most movement in the odds will be with moneylines and spreads. That typically happens the closer you get to game time and it happens for a variety of reasons. Because the numbers can shift so much as the game nears, it is important to do your line shopping when you start seeing shifts if you waited that long. Why? Well, some sportsbooks update their odds faster than others. You might see an unfavorable shift for the wager you were planning to make in one sportsbook, but it could still be a preferable line in another.

Since moneyline favorites tend to have less of a potential return on your wager than point spreads do, we would suggest you make the spread your priority when shopping for the best lines, especially the closer you get to the game. Moneylines typically don’t shift too much, even with additional team news and especially if one outcome is greatly favored over the other. The point spread, however, will shift if there are injuries, trades, coaching issues and more.

Line shopping for futures

Futures are a different beast from the above-mentioned bets. They shift pretty severely as the time until the actual event happening gets shorter. The reason is the availability of information that is driving the oddsmakers’ decisions.

After the odds come out on which team will win the next Super Bowl — and that happens almost immediately following the previous Super Bowl — you can expect that those numbers will be changing quickly and often. Team news, draft data, trades, contract disputes or extensions, retirements, coaching changes and strength of schedule all play a factor in those odds, among many other data points. A team that looks poised to make a run for the title could look completely different by the time the preseason rolls around, for instance. The lines also will change throughout the season as more information becomes available.

As a bettor, you have to decide if you want to take a larger risk with hopes of a much larger reward, or if you want to wait until the lines tighten up with the addition of more information not only for the oddsmakers, but for your own research purposes. While the potential for profit does drop considerably, your own information is more accurate and your bet is far less of a guess than it would be when the lines first come out.

So when is the best time to make a futures bet? That’s all up to you, though we would suggest you avoid putting any kind of significant portion of your bankroll on early futures. You, however, have to ask yourself if high risk and high reward are your preference, or if playing it a little safer with more available data is more your speed.

Can I get a better line on a bet I’ve already placed?

No, you cannot. That works for you and against you, but it’s one of the reasons we suggest you do your line shopping in advance and try to get the best odds for the wagers you want to make.

When you make your bet, you lock in the odds at which you wagered. If you put down your money at +145 odds on an underdog and some news comes out that significantly impacts the potential outcome of the game and those odds shift to +110, your bet still stays the same and you’ve definitely benefited from getting your wager in early.

Of course, that can go the other way, too, and the odds shift to an even more favorable number while you’re locked in. You can’t change or cancel your bet to chase those better odds, but you could always make a smaller wager to help offset the difference if you’re extremely confident in the outcome.

Line shopping early in the betting strategy process is the best way to get locked in at odds you find favorable. Sure, the line might shift and you may miss out on a little potential profit, but they could also go in the other direction and you’ll remain in an advantageous position.

How do I find the best odds for sports betting?

Shopping for the best lines is a critical part of betting if you’re looking to maximize your potential winnings and profit — and that should be your goal every time you put your money on the line at a Florida sportsbook.

You can hunt for the best lines in a couple of ways, but the most common is to create multiple accounts at legal online sportsbooks. By having multiple accounts, and downloading multiple apps, you are able to shop for lines that are favorable for your return on your wager.

Another way is to bookmark this website and come back whenever you begin your betting strategy. Our odds feeds will automatically update with sportsbook changes. They give you the most up-to-date information available to the public and show line shifts in real-time. As soon as the lines change at the sportsbook, they will shift accordingly on our odds feed. Simply click on the odds you are interested in, and you’ll go to the corresponding sportsbook.

In either case, make sure you’re doing your homework, following your strategy, shopping for the best lines and making bets only after you’ve done thorough research.