5 Reasons You Should Bet at Multiple Sportsbooks

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It might feel easier to bet at one sportsbook. Your money is all in one place, and you know exactly where to go to find what you want to bet.

But if you're in a legal betting state, the quickest way to go from loser to break-even bettor (and hopefully beyond) is by using multiple sportsbooks.

Here's why.

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1. You'll Get the Best Line Far More Often

Would you rather bet Alabama at -3.5 or -4.5? The Dodgers at -130 or -140?

Easy. You want the better price in almost every scenario.

And if you're consistently getting better prices, even by just a few cents per bet, you're much closer to becoming a winning player.

Don't worry about the process of finding the best line by digging through every book, either — you can use our odds comparison tool to find the best line for every game in seconds.

Let's say you're a baseball bettor who bets $100 per game on mostly short favorites and small underdogs. You go 210-190 (52.5%) over the course of the season. That's a terrific year! But did you turn a profit?

If the average line you bet is +100, you'll have made $2,000 over the course of the season. If the average line is -110, you'll break even. Just a few cents per bet will make a huge difference in the long run.

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You generally want to look at sportsbooks that charge the lowest vig, but if the price is still better at a high-juice book, you should bet it there.

2. Promo Money!

The bonuses sportsbooks are giving away are mainly reserved for new customers. But there's lots of cash out there as sportsbooks rush to acquire users.

In states with at least four sportsbooks — like New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Indiana or Illinois — the bonuses can really add up.

In New Jersey, you can claim bonus cash totaling more than $1,000 dollars because there are so many sportsbooks in the market. You can also make first bets on the house up to $10,000 if you sign up and deposit at every book.

There are important distinctions between actual actual money, bonus bets, first bets on the house and deposit matches, though, so don't empty $10,000 from your bank account immediately.

  • Actual cash: Arguably the best kind of bonus, but it comes in much smaller amounts like $10 or $25. It's cash in your account you can bet or withdraw.
  • Bonus bets: You can bet with this money, and if you win, it turns into real cash.
  • First bets on the house: FanDuel offers a "no sweat bet" up to $1,000 at times. But to realize the full $1,000, you need to deposit that much. And if the bet loses, you get credited in bonus bets — so you need to bet and win using those bonus bets to get actual cash in your account.
  • Deposit match: Say BetMGM has a $500 deposit match (and the minimum is only $10). So if you deposit $200, they'll give you another $200 in bonus bets. A 2x rollover will likely be attached so you can't take the money and run, meaning once you bet $400, you're eligible to withdraw that money.

3. Not Everything Is Available at Every Book

A dirty little (not so) secret in sports betting is that many sportsbooks rely on the same odds provider. So if you can't find a bet at SugarHouse, you probably can't find it at Unibet (the layouts are awfully similar, aren't they?).

This applies to bets beyond basic point spreads and moneylines like props, futures and live betting. Every book will give you a line on the Chiefs-Ravens spread.

Player props and more niche markets won't be available everywhere. DraftKings has probably the best selection of NFL props among legal U.S. books. DK was also the first to post college football win totals for all 130 FBS teams.

Bet365 has some unique futures offerings since it's an established European book, like who will lead the Premier League at Christmas.

BetMGM was one of two books to offer Conn Smythe odds before the NHL Playoffs resumed last year.

4. Different Rules for Different Books

As you niche down into sports, you'll find that different books treat things differently.

For example, you should almost always make golf finishing position bets at BetMGM, because they pay out ties in full. If you bet a golfer to finish Top 20 at 10-1 and he ties for 20th with five other golfers, most books will pay you out at 2-1 instead. At MGM, you'll get the full amount.

DraftKings will refund your NFL first touchdown scorer bet if there's no touchdown in the game. Bet365 has an option to bet "no touchdown scored," so you'd lose.

5. Timing

Another not-so-secret in the sports betting world is that most books simply copy odds from a few sources. Bookmakers watch a screen, see if a market-setting sportsbook moves, and then move themselves. They'll also let other books open betting action first, and wait until the line settles before posting.

Some U.S. sportsbooks are starting to get more original with their offerings, or at least try to be the first legal book to post odds on something.

Circa Sports (only available in Nevada, Iowa, Colorado and Illinois soon) is the first U.S. book to post college football odds on Sunday for the following week. DraftKings will typically follow Sunday night, and many other books won't open until overnight Sunday or Monday morning.

So if you want to bet college football before the masses, head to DraftKings (unless you're in Colorado or Nevada, then go to Circa).

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