Shopping For The Best Sports Betting Lines

Whether you’re new to sports betting or a veteran, you probably have a go-to source for the latest odds and game lines. But you may miss some serious value if you think every line is the same at every sportsbook in Kentucky.

“Line shopping” means looking around different sportsbooks to see if you can get a better price on the same bet. You may find only a minuscule difference in a line, but taking advantage of many minor differences will add up over time. The chance to lay less or win more will ultimately have a significant impact on your bottom line.

So what exactly is line shopping? Is it worth your time? Keep reading for some line shopping tips and tricks that could ultimately lead to winning more and losing less in the long run.

How do sportsbooks set odds and lines?

Oddsmakers and oddsmaking services employed by sportsbooks are the entities that set lines and determine odds. Most use analytics, algorithms, computer projections, injury and roster news, recent and historical performances, and matchup data to generate the numbers.

After that, the lines and odds may shift based on how the betting public reacts. If the public likes one side of a bet more than the other and bets on it, sportsbooks will move the line or change the odds to draw an equal amount of betting to the other side. That way, they can earn the profit built into their odds without worrying about which side wins.

The thing is, the public doesn’t react the same at every sportsbook. That means only the sportsbook that saw the discrepancy in the betting will move its line or change its odds. That’s when you’ll see a difference in a line or odds at one sportsbook. Ultimately, that may allow you to book your bet at a better price, improved odds, or a more favorable line. That’s why line shopping in sports betting is always a good idea.

Here’s a full live odds feed allowing you to see the difference between lines and odds for the same games and events at some of the top sportsbooks in the country:

What are Vegas lines?

Las Vegas sportsbooks set the industry standard for lines and odds in just about every sport. The rest of the sports betting industry follows the path Vegas sets (given that it’s been the center of the American sports betting universe for decades), often copying the lines and odds to the number.

Look around, and you may find one online sportsbook with a different line or odds for a bet you’re interested in. Most of the time, that particular sportsbook changed its odds or moved its line because it saw a discrepancy in the betting.

Why do betting lines move?

Ultimately, sportsbooks are trying to ensure equal money is wagered on each side of every bet. That way, they can earn the small profit built right into the odds without worrying about which side of the bet wins.

When they see more action on one side, they’ll move the line or change the odds to draw more bets to the other side and even things out. That’s when you’ll see a difference between Vegas lines and the line posted at a local Kentucky online sportsbook.

A line may also move when something else changes. This includes legitimate reasons like a key player suddenly being ruled out of a game because of injury. Of course, sportsbooks may also move a line when sharp bettors, known to be successful, place significant bets. Sportsbooks may see this as a sign there’s an error in the line and adjust to cover their liability.

How does line shopping factor in?

Line shopping is a tool you can use to take advantage of movement in a line or changes in the odds due to betting inequities. Shop around licensed Kentucky betting sites, and you may find one has a different line or odds for a bet you’re interested in.

That particular sportsbook likely changed the odds or moved the line because it saw more betting on one side than the other. That allows you to book your bet at a better price, improved odds, or a more favorable line than at other sportsbooks. Take every opportunity to lay less on a favorite or win more on an underdog. Over time, you should lose fewer dollars on your losses and win more money on your wins, contributing to a healthier bottom line.

Think of line shopping like shopping for anything else. You’re going to compare the price of a new TV everywhere you can before buying, and you’d never knowingly pay more for that TV if you knew you could get the same TV cheaper elsewhere. This same theory should be applied to shopping for lines and odds with Kentucky online sportsbooks.

Is line shopping worth it?

Yes, and it’s not actually that much work. You can use odds feeds like the one above to compare lines and shop around in seconds. Plus, if you’ve got multiple licensed Kentucky sportsbook apps on your phone, you can shop for lines with just a few taps.

Getting more or laying fewer points on a spread can be the difference between winning and losing that bet. Plus, in terms of odds, losing less money when you lose and winning more when you win will surely improve your bottom line.

Ultimately, shopping lines will help you get the best prices on your bets consistently, and that can lead to more profits, making it more than worth your time. For example, you might like the Kentucky Wildcats to beat the Louisville Cardinals in an upcoming college football matchup. You look around and see that three of four licensed Kentucky online sportsbooks have the Wildcats as -3 favorites. However, the fourth has Kentucky as just -2.5 point favorites.

If Kentucky wins by exactly three (and that’s a strong possibility in football), all bets placed at the first three sportsbooks would push and be returned. However, anyone that bet at the fourth sportsbook would have a winner. If you didn’t shop around, to begin with, you’d probably be stuck with the push. In this instance, shopping for the best sports betting lines turned a push into a winning bet.

What’s the best way to shop for lines?

As mentioned above, you can use odds feeds like the one on this page to compare lines and odds. Do that, and you can get your line shopping done in seconds. Odds feeds aggregate lines from multiple sportsbooks and allow you to place a bet just by clicking the odds you like.

Otherwise, installing multiple licensed Kentucky sportsbook apps on your phone is the easiest way to shop for lines. Do that, and you can shop around with just a few taps. Ultimately, you’ll be mere minutes away from finding the best price on any bet.

How to shop around for different types of lines

Whether we’re talking about point spreads, moneylines, totals, futures or props, they’re all worth some line shopping. Finding the best line is like finding money in your pocket. Some sportsbooks have lower juice on moneylines or give you 1.0 to 1.5 points on spreads and totals. Others judge props differently or offer significantly better odds on futures.

You can easily shop around for all these different bet types using the drop-down menus in an odds feed or reading the full slate of odds posted on different licensed Kentucky sportsbook apps.

Line shopping and futures betting

Line shopping for better odds on a futures bet can be quite lucrative. That’s because, unlike most game lines, the odds in futures markets can vary significantly across sportsbooks. Some sportsbooks will have higher liabilities for some teams and offer serious value on others to make up for it.

Timing is almost everything when it comes to futures. You will generally get the best odds the earlier you bet. However, waiting for significant betting to occur can let you take advantage of changes made because a sportsbook has higher liability for a particular team. Either way, you’ll only find these differences and changes in various futures odds if you shop around.

How do I find the best sports betting lines?

Simply check the lines posted for the same games at different sportsbooks. Shopping around like this will allow you to determine where the best value lies and where it makes the most sense to place your bets. You can use multiple sportsbook apps or various odds feeds to accomplish this. Just remember, shopping around can show you the best sportsbook to place your bet, but picking winners is still up to you.

Here are the top online sportsbooks in Kentucky that stand out for their competitive odds and betting options:

Can I get a better line once I’ve already placed a bet?

The short answer is “no.” Once you place a bet, you lock in the odds as posted when you placed the bet. That’s why it is essential to go shopping for odds before you place a bet. Of course, you can always get more action down at the better price, improved odds, or more favorable line.