Over a long period of time, it is difficult to win in sports betting. Every edge you can gain is important if you want to have a chance to be one of the few that can do so. Odds shopping is one key in gaining that edge over the books.
What is odds shopping?
Odds shopping, otherwise known as line shopping, is looking across a number of sportsbooks to find the best odds or line on a bet. Just like if you were purchasing something such as a car or house, you want to find the best available price on the market. It is the same in sports betting, you want to find the best price for the bet you want to make.
What do you need to odds shop?
To shop for odds, you need an account on at least two different sportsbooks. When you have these different places to bet at, you can shop for the best odds between them rather than being forced to bet the odds at just the single book you have an account with. The more books you can bet at means a larger variety of odds to shop from, which will allow you get the best possible price on the market.
How does odds shopping work?
To be a successful sports bettor, it is key to have accounts on a number of different books. That will allow you to shop books for the best odds. You can manually go from book to book and scan the odds at each one to find the best price. However, with the introduction of websites such as Betting Pros, that can now be done for you. Pages that have odds from dozens of different sportsbooks can show you which one has the best price much faster than going from book to book looking for it yourself. For example, one book might have a team listed as a 3.5 point underdog at a -117 price. Another book might have that same team listed as 3.5 point underdogs at a -110 price. A third book could have that same team listed as just 3 point underdogs. If you want to place a bet on that team, you would want to bet them at the best odds. In this example, you would want to place your bet at the second book because it has the best odds.
Why odds shopping is important?
Gaining a slight percentage edge is the key to being a successful bettor over a long period of time. Odds shopping is a great tool to give you that slight edge. Odds shopping can give you the opportunity to gain some extra percentage points on the expected value of your bet. In the example from the paragraph above, betting an underdog at +3.5 has a higher percentage of hitting than betting that same team at +3. If that team were to lose by three and you didn’t shop around to find the best odds, your bet would push instead of winning. That same team could also be found at different books with a moneyline of anywhere from +145 to +175 for example. If you are odds shopping at can get that bet at +175 instead of +145, you are going to be a more profitable long-term bettor. You don’t have to be any sharper of a sports bettor to gain those free extra percentage points on the expected value of a bet, you just need to shop around for odds.
Whether you’re new to sports betting or a betting pro, our How To Bet and Sports Betting Strategy and Advice pages are for you. You can get started with our 101 section — including How to Bet on Sports — or head to more advanced strategy — like 10 Tips to Become a Sharper Sports Bettor — to learn more.