Line Shopping: What Is It & How It's Done

Updated: Apr 14

  • Line Shopping in sports betting explained

  • How to line shop for Moneyline, Spread, and Total bets

  • Get practice line shopping w/ real-life examples

  • Easiest ways to line shop


If you have been sports betting for a long time, you know that small changes can make a big difference in the long run. One of these small changes is finding the best line being offered before placing your bet. This is called line shopping, and doing it correctly over time can have some major impacts on your performance as a bettor!




How to line shop?


Line shopping is one of the easiest strategies you can implement as a sports bettor. It's as simple as looking at multiple sportsbooks to find which one has the best line.


Taking a -105 line instead of a -110 line may not seem like much at first. However, if you do this consistently, over the course of 100 bets, betting $100/bet, you will have given yourself the chance to make an additional $433!


Another way to look at this is if you bet 1000 bets at -110 odds - it's going to take you 524 wins to break even. Whereas if you bet 1000 bets at -105 odds - it's only going to take 513. Again, small changes = BIG differences over time!




Find the best line for Moneyline bets


Shopping lines for moneyline bets is the most obvious to find an edge. During a given day or week, books will tweak these odds to make up for incoming bets on both sides of the line. If one side is favored, the book will correct this by increasing or decreasing the odds. To find the best line, simply choose the highest odds (or least negative odds) and place your bet. This way you can maximize your payout.


Let's practice using this odds table example:

Line shopping on the Vault bet tracking app on the iPhone

Say you want to bet on the Clippers (LAC). Which line would you choose?

  • Rule of thumb: the higher the odds, the higher the payout. So if you said FOX Bet's +550 you'd be right because your payout will be higher than the +540 line.


Now, let's say you want to put together a favorite team parlay on all four of these games. Which sportsbook would you bet at?

  • Remember the rule of thumb about picking the higher odds (or least negative in the case of betting on favorites). For the LAC @ PHX game, Unibet has the best odds at -714. In the ATL @ ORL game, Barstool and Unibet tied at -200. In the DET @ BOS game, Unibet has the best at -769. And finally, for the BKN @ NYK game, Unibet again has the best odds at -270. If you chose Unibet, you'd be right!




Find the best line for Spread bets


Finding the best line for spread bets can be a little more tricky because you not only need to consider the odds, but also the line. Half-point differences can make a massive deal, especially if you are betting around key numbers (the most common point differences in sports) like 3 points or 7 points for football, or 2 or 3 points for basketball.


Let's practice using this odds table example:

Vaults odds board on the iPhone

Say you think Notre Dame is going to beat Boston College by over 10 points. Which line would you choose, DraftKings or FanDuel?

  • Keep in mind the rule of thumb: the higher the odds, the higher the payout. Also, keep in mind, you believe they will win by 10 or more points. If you chose the FanDuel -9.5 (+102) you'd be right! This is because +102 will have the best payout. And by choosing the -9.5 line, your giving yourself a little leeway because Notre Dame only has to beat Boston College by 9.5 points for the bet to cash instead of 10.




Find the best line for Over/Under (Total) bets


Similar to finding the best line for spread bets, you need to keep in mind the odds and the line for over/under (total) bets. Again, half-point differences can make a big difference in the long run.


Let's practice using this odds table example:

Vault bet tracking app odds table

Say you think the Evansville @ Drake game will be under 128 points. Which line would you choose, BetMGM or PointsBet?

  • Keep in mind the rule of thumb: the higher the odds, the higher the payout. Also, keep in mind, you believe the score will be under 128 points. If you chose the BetMGM u128.5 (-110) you'd be right! This is for two reasons. One, you want to give yourself a little wiggle room, and by having the line 0.5 higher, you can do that. And two, because the -110 odds will give you a better payout than the -115 odds.




What books provide the best odds?


Unfortunately, no one sportsbook will always provide you with the best odds, which is why it's vital to have several sportsbooks to choose from and shop for the best line.


One thing that's helpful to learn is what books you consistently win on more. This can be done on Vault, the sports bet tracking app. Vault automatically tracks your sports bets and tells you what sportsbooks are giving you the highest net profit and ROI!




What's the easiest way to line shop?


Hopping around on different sportsbooks in search of the best lines can be a hassle. The Vault app makes it super easy by compiling the odds from 9+ different sportsbooks all on one table. You can quickly locate the best line, navigate right to your sportsbook from the Vault app, and even claim available bonus offers!



Download Vault today to help you line shop like a pro!


The Vault bet tracking app on iOS download now


Vault bet tracking app odds table on iPhone



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