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Choosing the Right Book

NFL Betting: Choosing the Right Book

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper,

In the wild-west world of online sportsbooks, it's important for the bettor to choose carefully. The two standards for any NFL bettor are which bets are offered and how easy it is to collect. And sportsbooks can vary in those areas more than you might originally think. Just as you would handicap an NFL game, you should use that same type of analysis when picking which book you will give your business to.

Reputation is of pinnacle importance. If getting paid is a question mark or a goose-chase, it's not really worth it. No one needs that hassle. And the more you go off-the-grid when choosing a book, the higher the chance that you will encounter some of these mine-fields. A good guideline is to not be lured in with big promises or tantalizing bonuses, but to focus more on a book's integrity and standing in the industry.

The more you poke around, the more you will know about the long-standing books that have a staunch track record of integrity and trust. You will also find out which books have a dicey reputation. And you know the right move--go with the trusted quantity. Choose the book that has good standing in the eyes of the betting public.

Once you establish who the reputable books are, make sure you have a good match. If you just bet NFL games straight against the spread, there isn't much to separate the books. But if you bet the more exotic wagers, you need to see which books are in line with your betting profile. Books vary in some areas. And if you like playing or parlaying money lines or totals, you need to check with the book to make sure they offer that comprehensively. Some don't offer many futures bets. Make sure you have a good match.

Getting paid is what it's all about. Look at some customer reviews. Every book will have a few nightmare stories, but who really knows what went on there? But you will be able to get a lay of the land when looking at reviews as to who the trusted books are in terms of getting paid. A little probing will allow you to ascertain which books you should strongly consider.

A lot of books offer promotions for first-time sign-ups. These should be considered, but alone, bonuses should not guide your choices. Look for simple, spelled-out bonuses. Sometimes, you get a bonus that comes with miles of red-tape. It can even be distracting and sometimes affect your actual bets. Bonuses are nice. This is a competitive market, so even the best books will dangle that carrot out there for you. But don't get too hung up on the bonus angle. Look for something that is EASY.

A nice feature to look for is "reduced juice" or "vig." A lot of books offer NFL bettors a -105 line, a nice discount on the common -110 industry standard. Even more than bonuses, it's smart to seek out the books that offer the reduced money line. If you are a disciplined player, that reduction in juice can be quite valuable. It makes it so you can win less and still profit. And it also saves you money not having to put up $110 for every $100 you win. Even if the book only offers -105 at certain times, it's very worthy of your consideration.


Another good thing to do when choosing books is to go with a few of them. The lines can be slightly different from book to book. Why lay 3 when you can lay 2.5? The difference might seem small. But it can mean the difference between a winner and a loser, especially when the number is hovering around those tricky spreads like 3 or 7.

It's called shopping for lines. For those of us who have trekked up and down the Vegas Strip and downtown looking for the best line can attest to how hard this is to do in a brick-and-mortar setting. But to shop lines nowadays, you can bypass the chafed inner thighs. Keeping a few or even several sportsbook accounts active can allow you to get the best price with just a few clicks.

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