Sports Betting: Why It’s Important to Shop Around

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Brian Christopher at BetMGM

When playing Blackjack, savvy players know a thing or two about the rules of the game. It’s not just about when to hit, double down or stand, but also whether you’ll get paid for 3:2 Blackjack or whether a dealer stays on Soft 17.

Why? These actually impact the overall payouts you get as you play. A few adjustments in rules for Blackjack can mean a meaningful amount of money saved over time because you won’t lose as much on those better rules.

Video Poker is the same – you can look at how much is paid for each hand and understand how good or bad the overall payback will be for that game. Savvy players avoid bad options in favor of better ones.

So what does all this have to do with sports betting? Well, like both of these examples, what you’ll get paid, through the American odds, are displayed as part of a wager when placing a bet through a sportsbook or an online app. And not every sportsbook or app will place the same odds on the same bet.

This means that if you’re willing to do the homework of shopping around, you may be able to value shop for the best place to make your wager, since you can secure get a preferred payout at one sportsbook vs. another if your bet is a winning one.

The same goes for other types of bets, like spreads or totals (Over/Under) – not every sportsbook will necessarily put the same numbers out for a game. They’ll often be pretty close, but it doesn’t mean they’ll be identical.

This means not racing to place a bet at the first place you are at, or app you have open, but spending a bit of time to compare what each sportsbook has available and making your wager that way.

Over time, these differences could yield a meaningful difference in your overall returns. For instance, when you win, you could win more by placing the bet where you’ll get the best return. 

In certain scenarios like spreads and Over/Under bets, that slight improvement in what needs to happen could be the difference between a winning wager and a losing one, and over time that can be a critical difference in how far behind or ahead you are in your sports wagering history.

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