In a previous article we learnt what exactly betting odds are, and how they are calculated, but do you know how important it is to get the highest odds available? In this article we will go through the importance of “shopping around” for the best odds, and how only a few cents per bet can make a big difference for your long term profitability.

Never before has it been so easy to bet on sport. Literally at the click of a button we have access to hundreds of bookmakers, thousands of statistics, latest news and information, and the ability to watch almost any sport in real time from anywhere in the world. While some of these tools are perfect for assessing, pricing and selecting options to bet, it is the market of high quality sport bookmakers which is the biggest difference to the not so distant past. And when placing a bet that is exactly how you should treat bookmakers, as a market place where you can purchase a bet for the best price. Just like when you are looking to buy any product, it is worth taking the time to shop around as only a few cents difference in price can make a big difference to overall profits.

How a few cents can make a big difference

When looking at prices on offer for a betting option much of the time prices will look very similar, often at most there may only be one or two cents difference between two different books. But did you know that shopping for even two cents per bet can mean hundreds or thousands more dollars in your account at the end of the year? Let’s use an example with a punter who has one $100 bet per week. Our punter only likes to bet lines, and has accounts with two bookmakers, one offers lines for $1.90, while the other offers lines at $1.92, and our punter has a winning record of 60%.

So how much difference would there be if he only bet at one sport book or the other? In this example our punter will have ten $100 bets, winning six and losing four. Betting at the $1.90 we would expect him to make a profit of $140, while betting at the odds of $1.92 would make a profit of $152, a difference of $12. Now of course that doesn’t sound like a lot, but simply betting on the higher price netted 8.2% more money. In a game of percentages, any punter would happily take an additional 8% profit for simply price checking between some of their accounts. You have done the hard work of handicapping the match, why then give away potential earnings?

How different can odds really be?

It may seem strange that in such a competitive environment that prices could really be that different across different bookmakers. But there are many different reasons why bookmakers can have different prices, from the amount of money already bet, to simply the opinion of the bookmaker about an outcome. Lets look at a real life example to see how there can really be a sizable difference in the odds offered for an event. Below are the odds for the upcoming opening round English Premier League match between Manchester United and Swansea City.

 

Pinnacle Sport Centrebet Bet Ezy Tom Waterhouse Sportsbet
Manchester United 1.41 1.36 1.36 1.36 1.36
Draw 4.91 4.25 5 4.25 4.5
Swansea City 9.39 8 8.5 8 8
Market Percentage 102 110 105 110 108

As we can see from this small example, the price across the five bookmakers differs for each option. Firstly we can see that there is a range in the market percentage offered by each book, with Pinnacle Sport offering the lowest, and Centrebet and Tom Waterhouse the highest. Unsurprisingly then, Pinnacle offers the best odds for both the Manchester United win, and the Swansea City win. Bet Ezy has the best available odds on the draw at $5, and has the second lowest market percentage.

More importantly though, if we compare the best available odds for an outcome to the worst, we start to see the importance of having multiple bookmaker accounts. Betting with Pinnacle Sport on Manchester United provides odds 3.61% better than all other bookmakers available. If you were to bet with Bet Ezy on the draw, you would be getting an amazing 16% better odds than with Centrebet and Tom Waterhouse, while Pinnacle Sport also offers 16% better odds for Swansea City than the lowest odds of $8.

If we were to compare the winnings on a $100 bet, you would win $5 more with Pinnacle if Manchester United win, $7.5 more with Bet Ezy on the draw, and $13.90 more with Pinnacle if Swansea were to win. These are significant differences, especially if multiplied out over the number of bet made during a season.

How To Get The Best Available Odds

Luckily for us there are a few websites out there which provide odds comparisons across a number of different bookmakers. We recommend Odds Portal, however not all bookmakers are covered in their comparisons. In most cases you will need to do the comparisons yourself, however as we the demonstrated above, it is certainly worth the extra effort.

Selecting Bookmakers

Selecting which bookmaker to open an account with can sometimes be a daunting task. There are literally thousands available online, each boasting to be the best and offering all matter of bonuses for opening an account. Unfortunately picking a bookmaker isn’t an exact science, however here at Sport Betting Insider we recommend a number of books which we know are trustworthy and reliable, simply head to our resources page to see the full list. We also periodically review bookmakers, again we will only conduct reviews on books we believe are trustworthy and reliable. Click the “reviews” tab in the menu to see our latest reviews.

How many accounts you should open is also unfortunately not an exact science. If you chase every cent you could literally be forever opening new accounts and transferring money. If you select quality bookmakers who offer good odds you should be able to get the best available odds more often than not with around 5 bookmaker accounts. Having both a Pinnacle Sport and Betfair account are almost a must for every punter as they more often than not will have some of the lowest market percentages available.

About The Author

Daniel is the founder, owner and editor of Sport Betting Insider. When he's not writing content for SBI you can usually find Daniel cheering for the Sydney Roosters, spending Sunday nights watching Daniel Ricciardo, wishing he owned a Baggy Green, or at Canberra Stadium.

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