All sportsbooks are not the same. Where you place your bets can be just as important as who you bet on. There are a number of ways to analyze a sportsbook and although it may come as a surprise to some readers, bonuses are actually the least important factor to consider when choosing an online sportsbook. They come with huge strings attached and offer little true value (for instance having to roll your money over 5 times before being able to make a withdrawal). The most important factor to consider when evaluating a sportsbook is the type of bettor to whom the sportsbook caters. This answer will affect your bottom line more than anything else.
The following article examines the various types of sportsbooks and the sports bettors they cater towards. It was developed to help sports bettors find the correct internet sportsbook for their betting style. We have broken down the sportsbooks into three major categories: Loose Lines, Sharp Lines and Reduced Juice (RJ) Lines.
Why does it matter?
Every bettor has a different style and philosophy, and only by utilizing multiple sportsbooks can you ensure that you consistently find the best line. For example, an uninformed (or square) bettor is more prone to bet on the favorite regardless of the point spread. At some sportsbooks, this will force bookmakers to adjust their lines to encourage action on the other side. While this can deter some bettors from betting the favorite, it creates an excellent opportunity to bet the underdog at an artificially inflated price.
This opportunity is great for bettors who want to take the underdog, but what if you think there is value on the favorite? Sharper sportsbooks will not adjust their lines based on square bettors, and do not change their lines lightly. For that reason, typically sharp sportsbooks offer the best favorite lines.
The third type of sportsbook is known as reduced juice because they do not utilize the traditional dimeline (i.e. -110). This is great for everyday bettors as you can win at a lower rate and still turn a profit. Some books will actually give bettors the option between deposit bonuses or reduced juice and many are tempted by what they see as free money. The truth is that most beginning bettors will take the deposit bonus, but will see their account balance hit zero before they actually qualify for their bonus. Additionally, this bonus is a one-time payment, whereas bettors who select reduced juice will continue reaping the benefits for years to come. For patient players who are getting into sports betting for the long haul, a reduced juice sportsbook is ideal for everyday betting.
1. Loose Lines – Sportsbooks that are considered loose will deviate from the ‘real’ line. In some cases this is because they’re taking heavy favorite action and will shade their lines accordingly. However it could also be they just don’t follow the crowd.
2. Reduced Juice – A sportsbook that offers reduced juice; that is something other than the standard -110 juice on sports.
3. Sharp Lines – A sharp sportsbook deals its own line and caters to sharp players. They will not move on air, they don’t follow the crowd and they take huge bets.