Bettors that limit themselves to just one book, and don’t take the time to line shop, often cheat themselves out of potential profits in both the short term and the long term.
With the internet being what it is today, line shopping isn’t what it used to be. Lines are more consistent from book to book since a book caught too far behind on a line will often end up taking a lot of action on that line before eventually having to change it to avert risk.
But this is no reason to take line shopping less seriously. Profits and losses come down to the smallest of margins in sports betting. While the difference between getting a team at -110 and -105 may seem insignificant to the untrained eye, consider this; if you bet 1000 games at -110, you will need to win 524 games to break even. If you bet 1000 games at -105, you will need to win only 513 games to break even.
Profit is hard enough to find in this industry; why not give yourself the best chance you can?
1. Point Spreads and Over/Unders
As stated above, in some cases you won’t see different point spreads on football or basketball games these days. But there are still many times when you do. Different books have different aversions to risk, different leans and opinions, different action from their bettors. Half-point differences are quite common, and how often have we all won, lost, and pushed because of that half-point? Getting the best line (or price on that line) on your preferred side is extremely valuable.
The value of line shopping is never more apparent than it is in moneyline betting in all of the major sports. Books commonly tweak their moneylines to try and balance action, and different books have different amounts of juice depending on how big the favorite is. You very rarely see a game with identical moneylines across the board. Comparing prices at even just a few books will almost assuredly produce multiple options, and give you a chance to increase the value on your selected side.