Sharp punters who place a lot of wagers know how important it is to get the best price on every bet they make. Not only can it be the difference of winning or losing a bet, but it also adds up over time. In some cases, you might be looking for ½ point on a spread, and in other cases you might be looking to save on the vig. For serious punters looking to make long term profits, shopping for these little advantages can make a huge difference.
To get the best prices, every serious punter needs to have funded accounts at several of the best sports betting sites. Then, before placing any bet, compare odds at each of the books to make sure you’re getting every little advantage. To register and fund accounts at 5-6 of the best bookmakers would take most people about an hour to complete. Once the accounts have been opened, it only takes a few minutes to compare odds at each of them. Over time, this can add up to thousands of pounds in profit.
How Vig Can Hurt Your Profits
Vig (short for vigorish, also called juice) is the profit a book stands to make when they have equal betting action on both sides of a wager. Put in simple terms, if a bookmaker has taken £10,000 in wagers on each side of a bet, with a 10% vig, the book stands to make £1,000 without any exposure (risk) to either side of the bet. This is how bookmakers make their money, and the more vig the book charges, the less profit punters collect. Depending on the bookie, the sport, and the type of wager your making, vig can vary by as much as 10%. For those who place a lot of bets, the difference between 5% and 10% vig really adds up.
In the UK, most punters use fractional odds. In fractional odds, 10/11 is a 10% vig, and 20/21 is 5%. Most sites charge a 10% vig on their most popular betting options, but some offer vig as low as 3-5%. On prop bets, it’s not uncommon to see vig as high as 15%. Prop bets with vig over 10% are usually a poor value, unless you think the book is wrong on their odds. Lets use a basketball, first-half over/under (total) as an example. Lets say a book has the over listed at 80 pts (20/23), and you think the total should be set at 83 points. In this case, although the book is charging 15% vig, the bet still has value because you’re getting a 3 point advantage from what you think the total should be.
Differences on a Point Spread or Money Line Match Betting
The most common mistake casual punters make when betting on a sport with a point spread is not looking for the best spread. ½ point can be the difference between a win and a push, or a push and a loss. Why take -4 (10/11) if you can get -3.5 (10/11) somewhere else? When this mistake is repeated over dozens, hundreds, or thousands of bets, the difference in profit can be enormous. If you’re investing time into studying matchups, checking stats, and looking over injury reports, why wouldn’t you spend a few extra minutes to get this advantage as well?
The same can be said for betting on the money line (match betting), Asian handicaps, or any other type of bet you make. Why take 5/6 on a team if you can get evens at another betting shop?
Odds that are Significantly Different at One Book Versus All the Rest
There are professional punters who have no knowledge about a sport and do zero research on matches, who make consistent profits betting on them. They don’t use magic or astrology to predict the future – they just find odds that are out of line with all the other books. Some of the less popular sports get minimal attention from oddsmakers, and therefore mistakes get made. If you’re comparing odds at several books, you can find value betting on these mistakes.
Lets use table tennis as an example. Player A is listed at 13/8 to 7/4 at several betting sites, but 21/10 or 11/5 at one other book. This is a significant difference in the odds, and very likely is giving us value we shouldn’t be getting. So, this is one way that punters can find value and make profits, without knowing anything about the sport. The only way punters can find value this way is by comparing odds at several of the best bookmakers.
Small Advantages in Sports Betting
Look at these small advantages like interest. Have you seen how a difference of 3, 4, or 5% interest can impact the total cost of a car? Have you seen how 1% interest can impact the total cost of a house? Vig is no different, and the difference of a few percent can greatly impact your bottom line. If you aren’t shopping for the best prices on every bet you place, you cannot consider yourself a serious punter. This is lesson #1, and one of the most important keys to becoming a successful punter.
The online bookmakers recommended on this site are the best for UK punters. They focus most of their attention on sports that are popular in the UK, with the best combination of betting options, low vig, and reputation. Many of them offer live betting and mobile betting as well. Register at several of them, and start comparing odds for every bet you make.