Sports Betting 101: Market shopping and the Effect it will have on your Bottom Line

Payne Insider - Posted on 09 March 2015

Written By: Billy Attridge

 Line Shopping for Sports Betting Image hosted by As the push to legalize sports betting continues, it seems fitting to have a brief refresher on the fundamentals of investing in the sports betting marketplace. To start, betting on sports requires a discipline that many fail to recognize, or care to practice each and every single day in order to attain profitability. Understanding the risk involved with gambling and the work necessary to be successful is a decent head start to game planning your way to cashing (more) tickets in 2015 and beyond. One of the most crucial elements to wagering that involves both discipline and hard work is line shopping.

A question often asked in the sports gaming community (usually by new, recreational bettors) is ‘How many outs should I have?’ or ‘Is (x) number of places to bet good enough?’ This is not unusual, and is a reasonable question for anyone starting in this racket. The answer to the above questions? There is never enough! Acquiring valuable outs (one’s that pay) can be a journey in itself, but is well worth it. Many books offer unique future prices, prop lines, and cater to different clientele. Monitoring lines from a large variety of sportsbooks not only gives the daily sports investor an opportunity to capitalize on errors, discrepancies, different movements etc., but also can be an additive to ones handicapping. If Team A is being dealt -3 (-110) at three books that you know DO NOT allow long-term +EV bettors, but Team A is sitting -2.5 (-110) at a select few outs that mainly cater to AND are known for accepting professional bettors, the market may be tipping its hand as to what the 'right side' is — and where their sharp players are taking a position on the given game.

To bring some trivial math into the discussion, let’s assume a new sports bettor has a bankroll of $10,000, with the intent of betting 1% flat on MLB games this season. Primarily a “dog-player”, they bet $100 to win “X” amount on underdogs. Being efficient, savvy and hard working, this particular trader has 5+ books at their disposal. A bi-product of their work was an ability to grab an extra nickel on baseball underdogs for every dollar bet (instead of the market price at +100, they locked in +105). If they took 150 underdog positions during the course of baseball season, and hit 50%, they would win ($105x75)-($100x75)= ($7875)-($7500)= $375, compared to the $0 profit without the extra 5 cents due to price availability.

Whether you’re gaining a half point on an NFL side, or 5 cents of juice on a college basketball 2nd half total, the importance of having a plethora of outs that have different opinions on how to take book cannot be overstated. Just this week (before the Providence win), with March Madness Betting here I was shopping for Butler Bulldogs futures, they ranged from 64/1 to 150/1 -- which would you rather have? Less than thirty days to baseball season, locating sportsbooks that offer dime lines is a must for professional bettors, and quite honestly, it should be a must for ANY bettor. Gaining small edges in the sports betting marketplace often times separates profitable bettors from those whom end in the red when the year concludes

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