Economics 101 lesson. Crest toothpaste costs $1.99 at Store A and $2.79 at Store B, where will you buy? You can rent your car at Budget for $149 vs. $268 at Hertz, where will you be picking up that car today?
It works absolutely the same way in sports betting. If you can buy the Bengals at -2.5 instead of -3 aren't you going to quickly place your wager at that sportsbook? A lot faster than Crest toothpaste at Store A. Then tell me why with absolute amazement do a very high percentage of bettors continue to be loyal to ONE and ONLY ONE online sportsbook than join at least two or more shops? A logical and smart opportunity to comparison shop to receive the best possible value,
I wish I had the simple answer to this one folks. It's not as easy as providing a selection on this Sunday's Seahawks-Bears game. By the way, really like the Hawks there in a desperate game situation despite the huge line at -14.5 or -15 online and at most of the Las Vegas sportsbooks.
That's the Point – The Huge Half Point!!
Unlike traveling to a casino, there is absolutely no expense to join another offshore sportsbook. No parking fee and no aggravating traffic to negotiate. Therefore, imagine if you are in Las Vegas with $2,000 to wager on the Seahawks, you might be wheeling all around the strip for that giant half point to make a potential difference in your best bet game for the day. While I am ranting, it makes no sense in our social networking, Internet age to do without at least TWO or more sportsbook outlet sources online. It has to be a wake-up habit to comparison shop while you're seeking "the best price" on your game.
Not to sound like a shill for a specific outlet, there are a list of preferred sportsbooks to choose from. Whether you prefer customer service or website layout at a Diamond Sports, Bovada, BetMania or BetOnline, I simply encourage you to make it a ritual to compare lines each and every time before clicking to make a wager. And while we're comparing the convenience experience, no Las Vegas sportsbooks offer you an incentive to join. Here you receive a FREE bonus to join, including free action under their sign-up wagering rules and often continued incentives for play.
Textbook Example #1: Pittsburgh Steelers at NE Patriots -6.5 or -7 or -7.5
Sorry to bring this one up again if you bet on the Pats but no game this year will illustrate a better reason to be a multi-book member.
Even Al Michaels couldn't resist tweaking us again to remind everyone about the volatile betting line when Pittsburgh's 28-21 last-second back door TD cover destroyed many bettors confident play on New England. As Tom Brady's suspension lifted, so did the line. Rising to as high as Patriots -7.5 at Bovada and a select group of other sportsbooks. Depending on where you played was where you won or lost. Hopefully you pushed and learned a serious lesson.
Textbook Example #2: Indianapolis Colts at Buffalo Bills -1
This isn't an example of a specific number but "where" you received your number prior to the game and feeling good about it.
For perhaps some explained reasons now as we head into NFL Week 3, a tidal wave of money came pouring into all outlets on the Bills during the last two hours before kickoff on this game. The line moved as far as the Colts being a -2 favorite to being a +1 underdog at most all sportsbook locations in Nevada and offshore.
Yes, we know what happened in this game as "the sharps" looked brilliant when the Bills controlled the Colts start to finish in winning convincingly 27-14. But depending on what time of the week or day you received action you would have felt either stupid or brilliant in placing your wager. It's quite unusual for a game to move this far without any specific major injury but having two or more outlets to shop gives you the flexibility to keep an eye on line movements, trends and patterns.
The Most Obvious Betting Trend
We all search for wagering trends to exploit. Dozens of angles indicating historical patterns that may show some advantage to gain from. For example, the Broncos are 14-2 against the spread at home the last five seasons when favored less than 4 points facing AFC competition in November and December. You get the idea . . . and by inventing many of these factors you can twist almost any story into a favorable plus for either team.
But one undeniable statistical edge has been in existence since Day One and applies to almost every football game. Bettors themselves love to bet "favorites" and most often also bet "Over the number" in Totals wagering as well. It is almost infallible. Many sportsbooks keenly recognize that and tend to push their numbers a half point to a full point in that direction in hopes of evening up their action on a game. In the offshore segment, it is virtually impossible to "layoff" money to competitive sportsbooks, therefore you cannot blame them for this common practice echoing predictable bettor habits.
Here's where you can take advantage: Giant, established offshore sportbooks like Bovada traditionally tend to receive a greater deal of high volume action on favorites and Over the totals in several NFL games. Where the Patriots were -7 at Diamond Sports or BetOnline shopping the line at Bovada would have found them at -7.5 at kickoff time. Your shopping trip and potential wise bet on the Steelers +7.5 would have made the difference in the season opener. Watch for these traditional opportunities and where you might like an underdog or Under the Total, take advantage of this consistent trend.
We're all going to experience some bad beats this year. That is part of the deal and the fortunes of unfortunate luck. But to lose out to not shopping around for the best price on a game line offers no excuse. That is simply not smart. To borrow the new favorite legal word from our fantasy wagering friends...use SKILL and find more than one top online sportsbook to play at.
Glenn Greene covers the games from a betting angle every week exclusively at OSGA.com. For weekly betting insights, inlcuding NFL previews and picks from Glenn, click here.