It’s conference tournament week which is often one of the best weeks of the year for sharp basketball bettors. But you know what sharp bettors do that recreational bettors rarely do? Shop for lines.
We’re going to display the importance of shopping for lines by looking at some conference tournament lines available at reputable offshore sports books. Let’s start with America’s favorite conference, the MAC.
Akron won the regular season league title and, as a result, they are the favorites to win the tourney. Right now, Akron is +125 to win the MAC tournament at BetOnline.com. But they are +140 at 5Dimes.
On the face of it, the difference between +125 and +140 doesn’t sound like much. But consider this: if you make 100 bets at +125, you have to hit at 44.5% to make money. On the other hand, if you make 100 bets at +140, you have to hit at just 41.7% to make money. That’s a big difference.
Now, let’s say you expect a mini-upset in the MAC and you like Kent State. At BetOnline.com, you can get Kent State to win the tournament at +450. And over at 5Dimes, you can get Kent State at +550. It’s the exact same team with the exact same likelihood to win and one sports book is paying you an extra +100 on your bet. If you make 100 bets at +450, you need to win 18.2% to turn a profit. At +550, 15.4% will make you a winner.
The disparity in lines gets even more shocking when you shop for genuine long shots. Central Michigan, a team that admittedly has almost no chance of winning the MAC tournament, is 250:1 at BetOnline.com. But they are double that at 5dimes – a cool 500:1. So imagine you throw $100 on Central Michigan at BetOnline and they win. Woohoo, a $2,500 payday. Well, if you just took a little time to look around, it would have been a $5,000 payday.
Price matters, never forget that. So shop around.