As NFL Teams Arrive To Training Camp, Smart Bettors Get Ready For Line Shopping

Doug Upstone

Saturday, August 6, 2016 5:30 PM UTC

Saturday, Aug. 6, 2016 5:30 PM UTC

It is August, NFL teams have reported to training camp and most sports bettors are worried who they are going to draft for their fantasy team this upcoming season. What are smart bettors doing?

Those that are interested in having a truly winning football season against the NFL odds have been combing over the sides and totals actions at various sportsbooks for Week 1 of the regular season.

For those betting football or any sport really, being able to do line shopping is imperative to give you, the bettor, an edge. With so many sportsbooks connected by ownership, it is not easy to take advantage of difference, but if you happen to have three accounts at say 5DimesBookmaker and GTBets, you have a nice variety for comparing lines.

Why does this matter, let's look at the numbers, in the last couple decades, roughly 28 percent of all games ended on key numbers of 3, 6 or 7. During the NFL regular season, there are 256 contests, which means annually 71 or 72 conflicts will end on these important figures.

With this in mind, let's take a look at Buffalo and Baltimore in Week 1. The Ravens opened at -2.5 home favorites and weeks later, about half the sportsbooks checked at the's NFL odds page were still at -2.5, with the rest at -3. Obviously, if your preference was with Baltimore, in what should be a closely contested affair, you would want to be on the -2.5. The same is also true if the Bills made more sense to you, being able to have that half point, which could be the difference in losing or not.

Next, lets extrapolate over 71 games this season on the three key numbers mentioned.

If you are astute enough to keep shopping for the right numbers and found an edge in all 71 of those contests, here is what you would end up.

At odds of -110, betting $110.00 to win a $100, if you nailed everyone of these and got the right outcome, that is $7,100.00 in your pocket by being alert and persistent. Chances are you are not going to find every one, as lines will be volatile and some will move away from key numbers and others will back into these areas, sometimes just an hour before kickoff and after you made your NFL picks.

Even if you were to catch 25 percent to 50 percent, this could mean an extra $1775.00 or $3550.00 in your football winnings.

Some more undisciplined football bettors might think, fine, I understand the concept, but a tie is better than a loss and besides, who has the time?

If you have $200 bankroll for a season and you could care less if you win or lose, as long as your fantasy team wins, then you are correct.

But more serious bettors hate lost an opportunity and when they could have taken day Oakland at +7.5 on Wednesday when it was available, but waited until Sunday to grab the +7 against Denver and the final score had the Broncos winning 27-20, that is when it becomes painful.

When you go out to eat, do you ever look for internet coupons or deals? Or when you go on vacation, do you just pick a hotel and not worry about the price? Or do you compare prices and look for the best value for your money?

By line shopping as a sports bettor, that is all you are doing, going after the best value for the bets you will be placing.


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