Sports betting is taking over the United States, so now what? As of the time of this writing, there are 19 states that have legalized mobile sports betting in the US. Early 2022 featured behemoth New York legalizing sports betting, and we have states such as Ohio and Maryland that aren’t far behind. By the day, there are more and more sportsbooks opening up and gaining legality in states where sports betting is already legal. So, with all these sportsbooks opening up as well as more and more states legalizing mobile sports betting, it is imperative to start utilizing the most important but also most simple sports betting strategies: line shopping.
Simply put, line shopping means you are looking across all sportsbooks in an attempt to find the best odds or the best lines. The easiest way to accomplish this is to use the best sports betting software on the market, which is OddsJam. Here is the dirty little secret of how sportsbooks work: they each have their own, proprietary way of pricing odds and pricing lines. This means that there are always going to be different pricing between all of the sportsbooks.
The screenshot you see above of an NBA game shows you exactly that. What is shown in this screenshot are the Moneyline odds for every major United States sportsbook for the NBA Finals game between the Boston Celtics and the Golden State Warriors. As you can see, there are different odds across all of these sportsbooks. The odds on the Warriors range from +140 to +146, and the odds for Boston change from -165 up to -175. As a whole, the way sportsbooks price odds can be viewed as the stock market. Essentially, the public determines the odds based on how they are placing bets and where the money goes. Of course, there are going to be other factors such as injury news that can change odds, but in general, the odds change as the money comes and goes.
Meaning if more and more sports bettors start putting their money on the Celtics, that means the Celtics are going to become more expensive and less favorable to buy. This means the odds will go up on the Celtics Moneyline. Of course, conversely, this also means that the Warriors will become cheaper with more favorable odds, which just means a higher payout if you are betting on the Warriors. This reality allows us to find examples where we can take advantage of mispriced odds. Because every sportsbook changes its odds based on how they receive money, the odds across all books depend on how those individual books are receiving money. This allows for situations where one book could have incorrect odds if they have received money differently than every other book.
Referring back to the screenshot earlier, we can see that DraftKings is the only sportsbook in this screenshot that has the Celtics Moneyline odds below -170, with their odds being at -165. A conclusion one could make regarding this situation is that DraftKings, for any number of reasons, has received less money on the Celtics than every other sportsbook. So, this also means that betting on the Celtics specifically on DraftKings could be a valuable bet to make. So, in summary, as sports betting becomes more and more popular, with more and more books opening by the day, the simplest strategy of line shopping is also the most important one to maximize your profits. Using OddsJam to do so is a great place to start!