Choosing the right online sportsbook
DIFFERENT SPORTSBOOKS FOR DIFFERENT BETTORS:
All sportsbooks are not the same. Where you place your bets is as important as who you bet on. There are a number of ways to analyze a sportsbook and though this may come as a surprise to most readers, bonuses are the LEAST IMPORTANT factor to consider when choosing an online sportsbook. They come with HUGE strings attached and offer little true value (for instance having to roll your money over 5 times before being able to make a withdrawal). The most important factor to consider when evaluating a sportsbook is the type of bettor the sportsbook caters to. This answer will affect your bottom line more than anything else.
The following article examines the various types of sportsbooks and the sports bettors they cater towards. SportsInsights.com leverages its 8 years of sportsbetting knowledge to help sports bettors find the correct internet sportsbook for their betting style. We have broken down the sportsbooks into 4 major categories: Loose Lines, Sharp Lines, Reduced Juice, and Bonuses
WHY DOES IT MATTER?
Taking a look at the above categories, even in their shortened version, it becomes fairly obvious why you should have multiple outs to wager with. Let’s start with the most obvious, the point spread. If you like to bet favorites and you’re playing at a sportsbook that has pegged you as a square, you may end up laying ½ point to a full point more on games. It might not sound like much, but when you might end up giving 7 points instead of 6.5 on an NFL game, it’s huge.
Conversely if you like to bet underdogs, those loose line sportsbooks can be a savior. But if you play almost exclusively on ‘dogs and the sportsbook you’re with deals a double line, you won’t be getting those favorable numbers for too long. That’s when you might need an account with a sportsbook that doesn’t shade their line based on what everybody else is doing. Sharp sportsbooks take plenty of underdog action so they’ll be less likely to shade their lines. If you only have an account at one sportsbook, you will have no choice but to either play the line offered or just don’t bet. Multiple accounts are an absolute must for the serious sports bettor.
1. Loose Lines – Sportsbooks that are considered loose will deviate from the ‘real’ line. In some cases this is because they’re taking heavy favorite action and will shade their lines accordingly. However it could also be they just don’t follow the crowd.
2. Reduced Juice – A sportsbook that offers reduced juice; that is something other than the standard -110 juice on sports.
3. Depositing Bonuses – A depositing bonus sportsbook usually doesn’t cater to the sharp, high-rolling player. Bonus sportsbooks will try to entice new accounts with a solid bonus and/or loyalty program. Throughout Sports Insights bonus sportsbooks may also be referred to as ‘square’ sportsbooks.
4. Sharp Lines – A sharp sportsbook deals its own line and caters to sharp players. They will not move on air, they don’t follow the crowd and they take huge bets.
SPORTS INSIGHTS RECOMMENDATIONS
If you only have a couple of outs make sure you include at least two of these sportsbooks. As SportsInsights.com has always stressed, professional sports betting is a grind it out process. Professional sports bettors work within winning percentages of between 55%-58%. By placing your bets with the correct sportsbook, you will increase your winning percentage by 3-4%. This could be the difference between profit and loss. The above 3 sportsbooks represent outs that consistently give players that bet against the public the best chance at long term winning.
How important is that ½ or full point? Check out these numbers: in a recently studied 2 + year period in the NBA, 5.5% of the games landed within a ½ pt. of the posted spread and a whopping 9.7% of the games landed within 1 pt. of the posted spread. That’s right, nearly 10%! That could mean the difference between a losing season and scraping out a nice profit.
As we’ve gone over in detail elsewhere on Sports Insights, the winning percentage needed to break even on games with -110 juice is 52.38%. So let’s assume that you get smart and take advantage of reduced juice betting. Now, rather than having to hit 52.38% to break even, one could drastically reduce that number. Reduced juice brings this number down, -107 = 51.67%, and -105 = 51.22%! If you can’t find an off number at one of your outs, instead you can bet the same game with reduced juice somewhere else. By placing the same bet +3 -105 instead of +3 -110 you’ll add 1.16% in your favor.
Originally contrived as a marketing ploy aimed at attracting new players, bonuses are now considered an industry norm. Depositing bonuses help the player and cut into the house’s edge. (Note that all bonuses will come with strings attached, usually requiring a rollover minimum of anywhere between 3X to 10X. The lower the rollover number the better the bonus. Try and steer clear of sportsbooks that also require a 30 day hold on your money, that’s just too long.)
A 10% bonus is now the standard, but if you do a little leg work you can find sportsbooks that offer 20% with only a 3X rollover. The rollover number is a key factor when evaluating a bonus offer. A lower rollover number means fewer times you are required to place your money in action, and a higher chance of eking out a profit. A real world example will help drive home this point.
Initial Deposit = $1,000 Initial Deposit + 20% = $1,200 3X rollover requirement
Assuming that you are flipping a coin to pick winners and win exactly 50% of your bets, you’d have to place $3,600 worth of bets before you can pull any money out.
Day 1: You place 20 bets at -110 to win $100, 20 x $110 = $2,200 in total action. You win 10 and lose 10, (lose -$1,100 but win $1,000) bankroll -$100, total bankroll now $1,200-$100=$1,100.
Day 2: You place 14 bets at -110 to win $100. 14 x $110 = $1,540 in action, $1,540 + $2,200 from Day 1 = $3,740 in total action. You win 7 and lose 7, (lose -$770 but win $700) bankroll -$70, total bankroll now $1,100-$70=$1,030.
So by just breaking even you scratch out a profit of $30. Not impressive, but having to roll it over one more time would put you in the red. So rollover requirements are indeed a big consideration when evaluating a bonus offer.