What is a sharp in betting? What’s sharp money in betting? Are sharps in betting dangerous? Knowing the answers to these questions could help you beat the bookies. We’ve got everything you need right here in one place. Think of this as your one-stop for all your line shopping needs.
When betting sharps place bets at online sportsbooks, they compare lines. Bovada vs Betonline, for example – to gain an advantage as odds vary from site to site. This can be done at any reputable sportsbook bet compare website. Check the Bovada spreads against the Betonline spreads and the odds.
Sharp sports bettors search for the most advantageous games to bet on. They factor in the prices of all the bets available on those games. This is called “line shopping“, and it goes a long way in improving your return on investment. Sharp sports betting is achievable for all gamblers.
Know no limits
The difference between consistently betting on a -110 line compared to a more advantageous -105 is massive.
If you’re limiting yourself to just a single sportsbooks you’re undercutting your potential profit. That’s not what sharps betting is all about. That’s why it’s always important to spread the love. Open an account with as many legal online bookies as possible.
Having accounts open with more bookies improves your chances of getting the best odds. That’s every time you bet. And let’s not forget all those delightful free bets and welcome bonuses you will receive.
Read on to learn how to maximize your winnings by line shopping at the sharpest sportsbooks. We get into line shopping sports betting next.
Is Line Shopping for Small Differences Worth It?
Yes. Any “sharp” will tell you that, no matter how small the edge, every advantage helps in the long run. The margins for profitability are razor thin for all sports bettors at all times. Line shopping is one of the time-tested and proven ways to help beat the juice. The small differences soon mount up over a year or a season. Those could prove the difference between making a profit and suffering a loss.
Let’s look at the numbers. At first glance, the difference between -110 and -105 isn’t huge. If you need a refresher on how to interpret these odds, check out our guide to understanding betting odds. As long as you’ve done the research necessary and you’re confident you’re picking the right side, that extra $5 is fairly inconsequential, right? Wrong! The difference is significant.
If you bet the same amount on 500 games at -110, you need to win 262 games to break even. However, if you bet 500 games at -105, you only need to win 257 wagers to come out above even. In the long term, this has tremendous implications for your bottom line.
This rule can be used on any sport, including NHL and NBA sharp bets. Bookmark this page and refer back each time you require information on sharp money betting or line movement. Line moves happen in every sport, so keep researching with us.
Example of Line Shopping Impact
What are sports betting sharp money? Say you’re about to bet on the Brooklyn Nets at +7.5 (-110) on Bovada, but +7.5 (-105) is available over at BetOnline.ag. If you place your bet at Bovada, you’re leaving money on the table. To win $100 at Bovada, you’d have to wager $110. If you took that $110 to BetOnline.ag, you’d win $104.76.
The betting line difference between taking the Nets at -110 vs -105 for the same bet.
Sometimes, it’ll be the inverse on the lines between Bovada and BetOnline.ag. We don’t mean to pick on these two books. We’re merely trying to illustrate that even the smallest difference in odds can make a staggering difference in the long term.
For the sake of argument, let’s assume that the true odds on Nets +7.5 are 50/50. Half the time, they’ll win outright or lose by fewer than seven points, and half the time, they’ll lose by more than seven points.
This can be done on any betting market, including singles, prop bets, player props, or a parlay bet and on all major sports, including college football.
What does this mean for the best sports bettors in the long run?
Point Spread Line Shopping
At times, all sportsbooks – including Caesars – will have the same point spreads on football and basketball games. That’s regardless of if you are betting in New York, Las Vegas or overseas.
There are many times when the point spread will vary across sportsbooks, especially among the books that release the lines the earliest. This is where there are opportunities for line shopping.
Different sportsbooks cater to different audiences with different risk profiles and thus is done in real-time. For example, a sportsbook such as Bovada (with a mostly recreational base, as evidenced by their low $1000 maximum bet) and sportsbooks such as Pinnacle (maximum bets range between $10,000-$30,000). Beginners often start as a risk-free bettor and soon become a danger to the bookies.
Don’t be pushed around
Bovada is more likely to shade its lines to make a specific side more expensive than Pinnacle is. Shading the lines means sportsbooks leave themselves more vulnerable to pro bettors placing bets on the less expensive side. In the long run, Bovada will profit if they increase the spread from -6.5 to -7.
Even if we’re going to use a heuristic, think about how many times you’ve lost or pushed from a mere half point on the spread. Finding the most valuable point spread line is undeniably useful in the long run.
Keep this in mind when deciding on your bankroll for betting at any leading bookie, including Draftkings and FanDuel.
Moneyline Line Shopping
The value of the moneyline is very apparent; the more favourable the odds, the more money you’ll win. Let’s keep it as simple as possible because that’s how you profit. It doesn’t have to be any more complex than that.
The moneyline matchup betting is most likely shaded by your sportsbook. Either in the lead-up to a game or on the day of play to encourage equitable betting on both sides of an event. Depending on the betting volume on a particular event, bookmakers will play around with altering how big the favourite/underdog is in regards to a specific game.
As an example, the moneyline for the Superbowl is going to fluctuate a lot in the lead-up to it.
Due to the fact the moneyline is often in a consistent state of flux, this gives you, the bettor, the chance to exploit it and find an appealing line. Shopping for the best moneyline is a big boon to your bottom line, even if you only have a few online sportsbook accounts to peruse.
Never cut corners here, as in doing so, you are handing an advantage to the bookie. Don’t they already hold all the aces? Let’s not help them more than we need to by accepting a lower price than your bet is worth.
Avoid Line Aggregators
It’s important to point out that when researching your lines, avoid using sites that claim to be line aggregators. These sites frequently use promotion lines designed to entice bettors but, in fact, aren’t available to the majority of the public.
The only way to line shop reliably is to log in to your sportsbooks and compare and contrast the best lines. You can pair BetOnline vs Bovada or any number of online sports betting apps.
Using Reduced Juice Sportsbooks
We cover the best-reduced juice sportsbooks here, and if you’re looking to gauge what lines have the lowest “juice,” certain sportsbooks have a reputation for offering clear lines.
BetOnline, MyBookie.ag, Pinnacle, Bet 365, BetMGM and 5Dimes all have a reputation for offering lines that can entice sharp betting. Each of these firms is known and appreciated as being a sharp bookie with wise oddsmakers with only a few discrepancies. This always catches the eye of the sharp bettors.
However, these sportsbooks will have the fewest promotions, so they may not be as enticing to novice bettors. Regularly examining these sportsbooks is an excellent way to familiarise yourself if you want to get a handle on the “sharpest” lines.
Line Shopping isn’t quite as easy as when online sportsbooks were still relatively new. Because of the breadth and influence of the internet, it’s easy for sportsbooks to follow each other’s lines closely and even them out.
However, just because it’s a bit harder to shop lines nowadays doesn’t mean it isn’t a profitable enterprise.