When it comes to winning sports betting, the most important concept outside of bankroll management is “always bet with the best odds”. The guys winning the most money betting sports literally compare odds at over a dozen online sportsbooks before making a bet in order to be absolute certain they are getting the best odds possible. Even if you’re just a recreational player you can greatly increase your chances at online betting profits, by keeping an account with four online betting sites. In this article I’ll introduce you to a must have accounts for US and Canadian players, and then conclude with suggestions for additional options.
Reduced Juice is a Must!
Novice sports bettors often make the mistake of falling for large bonus offers. In many cases large bonus offers are a scam. For example, oddsmaker.ag is a rogue online sportsbook that solicits deposits from new victims via large bonus offers and then stiffs players who request withdrawals for more than they deposited, alleges sportsbettingsites.org. For the most part, legit online betting sites that pay winners do not offer cash bonuses of 50% or higher, but rather offer bonus such as 15% or 25% free play credits. In comparison reduced juice such that www.5dimes.com offers is a far better deal. This is such an important concept I find it important to illustrate why with a detailed example.
5Dimes vs. BetOnline
At 5Dimes players who choose their default promotion package are given reduced juice odds on most sports. This means they can bet sides such as NFL and NBA point spreads at -105 (risk $1.05 to win $1.00) instead of the industry standard -110 (risk $1.10 to win $1.00). Meanwhile the most popular sportsbooks in the United States for bonus offers is www.betonline.com. These guys offer clients depositing with cash transfer or money order a 25% deposit match in the form of free play credits on all deposits. In exchange the clients must agree to rollover their deposit plus bonus six-times prior to cashing out.
Let’s say at BetOnline you make a $1,000 cash deposit and receive $250.00 in free play credits. Additionally we’ll assume you’re a talented bettor who wins 54% of wagers you make on basketball and football points spreads. With your $250.00 in free play credits you decide at -110 odds to make 10 wagers of $25.00 to win $22.73. Now important to note: free play credits are not cash. When betting with cash $25.00 to win $22.73 returns $47.73 (stake+win), but when betting with free play credits the return is just $22.73 (stake is not returned, because stake was a free play that is now used up).
As a 54% winner, on 5.4 of those bets you won $22.73 for $122.74 and 4.6 times you received no return. This means you now have a cash balance of $1,122.74 and have a bunch of rollover left to meet. At BetOnline rollover is defined as the lesser of risk amount or to win amount. Therefore you’ve met 10*$22.73=$227.30 of your rollover. You agreed to rollover your deposit ($1,000) plus bonus ($250) six-times prior to cashing out. Your remaining rollover is therefore 6*($1000+$250)-$227.30= $7,272.7. Your existing balance of $1,122.74 is useless at the moment because it cannot be cashed out until you make $7,272.70 more in wagers.
In order to meet this rollover you decide to make 50 bets at -110 odds of $160.00 to win $145.46. Maintaining you 54% win rate, 27 times you win $145.46 for +$3927.42 and 23 times you lose $160 for -$3680.00. On these 50 bets your end result was $247.42 profit added to your $1,122.74 balance. So, your bankroll is now $1370.16 of which $370.16 is profit and your rollover is fully met.
5Dimes Reduced Juice Compared
At 5Dimes you could have made the exact same wagers you did at BetOnline at -105 ($1.05 to win $1.00) instead of -110 ($1.10 to win $1.00). This means your first ten bets of $25.00 would have been $25.00 to win $23.81 and your next 50 as $160 to win $152.39. Maintaining the same win rate on the first bets, 5.4 times you won $23.81 for +128.57 and 4.6 times you lost $25 for $115. You’re now up $13.57 on this portion. For the next portion you win $152.39*27=+$4,114.53 and lose 23*-160=-$3680 for a win of $434.53 on top of the $13.57 for a grand total of +$448.10.
Proof Reduce Juice is Best
As you can see from the break downs I just did, -105 at reduced juice at www.5dimes.com is far better than a 25% free play bonus with a 6-time rollover. With the later, winning at a 54% clip we profited $370.16 at BetOnline. Making the same exact bets required to meet the rollover at 5Dimes with the same win rate we profited $448.10. Also at 5Dimes our bankroll was never held hostage; with no rollover requirement we’re free to cash out at anytime.
I realize I wrote a lot here, but hopefully you now see why www.5dimes.com is the #1 must have account for US and Canadian online sports bettors.
Bovada is Great for Off-Market Prices
In your quest to have more online sportsbooks to use to shop for the best odds, the next place you’ll want to open an account is at recreational sportsbook www.bovada.lv (formerly Bodog). Note that this site only accepts US players; if you’re from Canada you can wager with the same company using www.bodog.ca. The reason to wager here is Bovada is a recreational betting site mostly serving not-so-savvy sports bettors. As a result they often shade the lines on popular teams in such a way +EV wagers can be found on the other side.
Now to be clear, I hear a lot of recreational punters complain about Bovada making statements about Bovada being slow to post lines, not offering moneylines on certain matches and the like. What’s important to note is this is all by intent. The parent company behind Bovada was one the original developers of online casino software, and has been in the online gambling industry since 1994 with no missed payouts. This is very safe and reputable site to use. Their corporate strategy however is to keep betting limits low ($500 to $2,000 max bets on most games) and to attract and service recreational punters. While they’re not ideal for everyone as an only out, they are an absolute must have secondary option for shopping for the best price.
To give an example let’s say at every online sportsbook the New England Patriots are -7 -110. At Bovada you’ll find them -7.5 -110 meaning it would be nuts to bet the Patriots here, however betting their opponent at +7.5 -110 is a great bet and better than can be found elsewhere online. There are so many situations like this at Bovada you’ll for sure want to wager here. Also considering they offer a 20% up to $100 sign up bonus, a great live betting interface, mobile phone betting, and the best 3-team 6-point, 3-team 10-point, and 4-team 13-point teaser odds in the industry, you have very little risk when giving them a try.
Bookmaker.eu for Professional Features
The origins of Bookmaker.eu date back to 1985 when famous bookie Ron Sacco started one of the first toll free offshore betting shops servicing the US market. Since that time they’ve grown into one of the largest online sportsbooks in the world in terms of volume. This the last site still servicing the US market that has a policy of accepting up to $40,000 per wager bets on NFL point spreads, while promising never to limit a player for winning too much.
Even if you’re a recreational bettor you’ll want to consider keeping an account at Bookmaker.eu for purpose of early lines. If you have a strong opinion on a game coming up the following week, you can sit watching Bookmaker as the 4PM Sunday NFL games conclude, which is when they open betting lines for the next week. This is hours to a full day prior to Las Vegas and other online betting sites opening the odds, which is why Bookmaker.eu uses the slogan “where the line originates”.
Closer to game time there is less value to be found at Bookmaker.eu as they are pretty sharp, but when the lines first open, there is a plethora of soft sports. Where you can still find value 24/7/365 at Bookmaker is the ability to purchase one or multiple half-points on football and basketball point spreads at competitive prices. You’ll also find value on basketball teasers. At most betting sites 2-team 4.0 point or 2-team 4.5 point basketball teasers are offered at -110. Bookmaker is an industry leader for basketball teasers giving 5.0 points on 2-team -110 teasers. Additionally they have a VIP comp points program, a sign up bonus, and reload bonuses you can learn about on their website www.bookmaker.eu.
Using Bonus Sites as a 4th Option
Using the combination of 5Dimes, Bovada and Bookmaker you now have three excellent sites in your arsenal to shop betting odds for the best price. From here you should consider using multiple 4th sites, one at a time, slowly working off bonuses. I already mentioned www.betonline.com is the most popular betting site for bonuses that services the US market so it probably makes sense to use them first. Others that are rated well by industry watchdog SBS include JustBet, BetIslands, Legends, YouWager and Intertops. Once you’ve cleared your initial deposit bonus at BetOnline you might consider giving one of these sites a try, always rotating around and keeping a fourth site.
Learning Sports Betting
Now that you’re equipped with a four site line up to shop betting odds it is probably time to start learning a bit of sports betting strategy. This is quite a difficult task because those who are able to beat sports betting have no interest in making their knowledge public as this can only come back to hurt them, by either making the bookmaker smarter or the market more efficient. The good news is there are few decent books that will help you get started. I suggest in order reading first Weighing the Odds in Sports Betting by King Yao, and then Sharp Sports Betting by Stanford Wong. At some point down the road you’ll then be ready for a far more advanced and harder to follow book (read the other two first) Conquering Risk: Attacking Vegas and Wall Street by Elihu D. Feustel.
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