The way it generally works among sportsbooks, they will receive their odds from a certain source, and proceed from there. That does not mean all the sportsbooks get their odds from the same place; some of them subscribe to a service (Don Best is a commonly used one) and set a line. Some have strong participation from in-house oddsmakers. Of course, there are always adjustments that are made according to the action that is received by the sportsbooks. When the public bets disproportionately on a game, the line will move. That is more or less a piece of common knowledge.
The reason we say this is to point out that this is one of the reasons you are bound to see different odds at different sportsbooks. And when there are different odds, there is always going to be one number on an event at one book that is better than the number that is found at another. If a sportsbook customer has multiple accounts to choose from, this gives him (or her) the ability to shop around for the line that best suits their sense of value. If they can grab a half a point in a football that slides their way (according to what their opinion is) they want to be in a position to wager at that number. It is not that uncommon to see an experienced sports bettor place wagers at three different sportsbooks on three different games. It depends on where the value is.
There are also components of value that are built into the experience with any given sportsbook. Gone are the days when you had no choice but to lay 11/10, or -110, on a football game, regardless of which side you wanted to bet. Some sportsbooks recognized that if they could offer a lower “price” to a customer in the way of “juice” that might be a way to pick up that customer’s business. As a result, you can find places where you can lay -105 or even less on a game, as a matter of course.
Also available are odds that are adjustable; that is, you can make an adjustment from the -110 to another, more favorable number, though the pointspread could be adjusted.
Adjusted lines are not uncommon at the sportsbooks that have enough volume where it is worth their while to post them. At Bookmaker.eu, there could be a line that is adjusted up or down drastically to accommodate those who want to shift the numbers and get a better price. On a recent college football game between Temple and Cincinnati, for example, where Cincinnati was a 20.5-point favorite (at the standard -110), the sportsbook offered Temple at +30.5 and -320, with Cincinnati -30.5 and +265, then flipped it back the other way and listed Temple at +10.5 points with a +210 price, with Cincinnati at -10.5 while laying -250. Something similar was done with the totals. A sports bettor with a strong opinion either way could conceivably take advantage of these adjusted prices and pointspreads.
On that same game, you could go to 5Dimes and either take 21 points with Temple and lay a price of -108 or lay 21 with Cincinnati, and lay just -102. On the total, whether it was over or under 50.5 points, you would lay -105 either way, instead of the customary -110. In effect, the “juice” has been reduced.
It is difficult to pinpoint which sportsbooks have the “best odds,” therefore. It would be more accurate to say that some of them have better odds than others on certain things. It could just be a matter of what number you are going to see on a game at any given time, although it is probably safe to say that some sportsbooks are a little more “adventurous” when it comes to making two way propositions on major sports or pricing boxing or MMA. For instance, if there is a big favorite in a fight, he might be listed as -2500 in a sportsbook, with the underdog at +900, while a different sportsbook might make that line a little “tighter,” with, say, odds of -2000 and +1200 on the favorite and underdog, respectively. That just comes down to a basic philosophy about how much exposure a sportsbook wants to have on those types of bets.
Perhaps this may not fit snugly into the concept of “best odds,” but there are also certain sportsbooks that have a broader selection of propositions and sporting events available on their “board” than others. Those sportsbooks might be better than others from the perspective that if you are looking for an event and you can’t bet on it, that is not necessarily a good thing, while if you are looking for a prop and CAN find it, you have a chance to place a winning wager.