Learn to Shop Lines & Time Your Bets

Shop For the Best Betting Line

Would you pay $500 for a phone on Ebay when the same phone is for sale at $400 on Amazon? It happens all of the time in sports betting. Every day I see people bet on a team at -7 in their favorite sportsbook when another book is offering the same team at -6.5. It is not just the off numbers but key numbers like; 3,4,6,7, and 10 are routinely different. In College Football the lines are more likely to be different than on an NFL game.

If you are going to Las Vegas and you are going to bet a parlay. Then…do yourself a BIG favor and pick up the parlay cards. There will be line movement between when the cards come out on Thursday and kickoff on Saturday or Sunday. What really drove this home for me is I hit a six team parlay because of line shopping. I had one team on my parlay bet that had the line move from +4.5 down to +3 off the board. However, on one parlay card (thanks Harrah’s) they had the parlay card out with a +4.5. I took the time to round robin off the bet by (3 ,4, 5) and it paid off big with a six for six when they lost by four points. If you are betting online it only takes a few seconds to see if there is a line difference. You can even check our live odds at the top of the page.

Bet at the Right Time

The public will usually bet later in the week and they tend to pick the favorites and the over. If you like an underdog, it is best to get your bet in as late as possible, where there is heavy action from the public on favorites. While this obviously will not happen in every game it is one way professionals use to help the ROI. Lines movements are something you should get used to following. Check the “live odds” at the top of the page and begin to watch your game for movement. If there is recent line movement the line will be highlighted in red. Another thing to watch for is the line staying the same but the odds changing. This is usually a prelude the line changing.

Example of Line Movement:

Line opens at: Redskins vs Cowboys – 6.5 (-110)

Line Change: Redskins vs Cowboys -7 (-110)

The Cowboys are favored by 6.5 points and the odds are (-110). This means the Cowboys would need to beat the Redskins by 7 points or more to cover. The (-110) means you need to bet $110 to win $100. On the other side you could take the Redskins +6.5 at (-110). If the Redskins win the game straight up or lose by 6 or fewer points. The Redskins cover the bet.

The line change was to 7 points. This means that if you bet on the Cowboys they would need to win by 8 or more points to win your bet. The Redskins would either need to win straight up or lose the game by 6 or fewer points to cover the spread. If the Cowboys win the game by exactly 7 points the game would be a push and all straight bets would be refunded.

If there is a lot of early action on the Cowboys then the sportsbook has a choice to make. They can either change the line or the odds. On key numbers (3,4,6,7) they are more likely to change the odds than the number.

Example of Odds Movement:

Redskins (+100) vs Cowboys -6.5 (-120)

The (-120) changes the odds on the game while keeping the line the same. In this situation you would need to bet $120 to win $100 if you take the Cowboys. If you take the Redskins a $100 bet would net you a $100 win. If the money still is going on the Cowboys then the next move is likely to be the betting number (6.5).