Importance of Line Shopping in NBA Betting

Before putting your money down on any sport, including the NBA, there are many factors to consider – every bit of data you can find on a matchup has value. Many of those factors are unique to each specific NBA game, such as home/away record, any injury or rest news, but one that can’t be overlooked is the need to find the absolute best line prior to placing a bet. 

What is line shopping?

Line shopping is massively important when it comes to NBA betting. Sportsbooks may have slight differences in how they’ve calculated each set of NBA odds depending on their respective calculations and projections. While slight differences in lines may not be hugely noticeable for an individual bet, the value they provide over time can be instrumental in pursuing profit with NBA betting.

Let’s take the upcoming NBA playoff game between the Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics. The Celtics have a commanding lead in the series. They have guarded Kevin Durant, the best he’s ever been guarded, pretty much in his entire career, while Jayson Tatum has been lighting up the scoreboard himself. The Celtics should probably continue to win, right? I would agree!

If someone were to use BetMGM for all of their betting needs, they’d be able to place a bet on the Celtics moneyline at +110. But, those aren’t the best odds available for someone looking to make that bet. If they go line shopping, they’ll find that there is some variability in the line – they could get Boston’s moneyline at +115 on DraftKings, and maximize their winnings.

How much can you profit with line shopping?

If you were to place a $100 bet with BetMGM and Boston won the game, your expected winnings would be $110 for a payout of $210. But if you went line shopping and went with DraftKings instead, your winnings would be $115 for a payout of $215. You didn’t have to place any additional money down, but your profit was greater because you used an NBA odds comparison tool to line shop.

Of course, this doesn’t guarantee that your bet will win, but it will guarantee you are maximizing how much money you can make on your bet.

While we used the moneyline as the example here, line shopping can be applied to any style of NBA betting – whether you’re betting spread, the game total, or any number of other options. 

While over/unders in traditional sports are normally set at -110/-110, with slight variances in the hook, different sportsbooks are going to have different pricing in their over/unders. Using the Nets/Celtics as an example again, BetMGM prices the game total at 220.5. But, if you were to line shop, you would see other books such as FanDuel and DraftKings price this total at 220 at the same exact odds. So, if you were leaning towards this game going under, you would be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t bet on BetMGM. Line shopping on totals and spreads can literally be the difference between winning and losing a bet, so it is immensely important. 


Taking advantage of line shopping and the OddsJam odds comparison tool can be the difference between breaking even and having a highly successful night. The odds are out there, and they’re quickly and easily available to anyone looking for them. Once you’ve found the right play, it’s all about finding the best book for you to take advantage of the greatest value on that play.

Huynh Nguyen

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