In the sports betting world, sportsbooks make their money by charging vigorish or “vig” on each bet they accept. Bookies and sports betting have been around for 50 plus years, long before legalized betting shops or the advent of internet betting. During that time, there were few options other than bets that were priced at -110 or 10 percent vig. Since online wagering has now become the prime way that most people place bet on sports, the internet has seen the rise of many reduced juice sportsbooks.
What is Reduced Juice?
Reduced juice is a decrease in the amount of vigorish that is paid to the bookmakers on each bet. At -110, bettors must win 52.38 percent of their bets to breakeven. This percentage is the standard number that bettors have to beat to become profitable on most straight wagers on sides and totals.
However, this number changes when bettors wager with reduced juice lines. There are many sportsbooks that now offer pricing at less than -110. Often times, bettors can get each side or total at -105. While this may not seem like a huge difference in the short term, or just over a single bet – it is a massive difference over hundreds, or even thousands of bets.
Going from -110 to -105 halves the amount of commission bettors are paying the sportsbook. Instead of a breakeven percentage of 52.38 percent at -110, the percentage moves to 51.22 percent at -105. The over one percent difference is monumental in the long run. Though it is not likely bettors will get -105 on each they place, paying less than -110 on any bet is an advantageous. In the long run, this will save bettors tens of thousands of dollars in vigorish.
Huge Value for Savvy Bettors
Generally, sportsbooks that offer reduced juice betting lines will offer higher limits than other books that solely offer -110 pricing. They do this to reduce risk. While taking larger wagers and reducing risk may sound counter-intuitive, the reason for this is simple. Since they are charging lower commission on each bet, the sportsbook needs more volume to make up for the lost vig. Since they are giving up a small edge on each bet by offering it at a discounted price, they bank on the increase in volume to make up for decrease in vig.
As such, bettors will rarely see lines that are -110 / -110. Limits will normally be sky high as well, up to $25,000 or more on sides and totals. Also, the more popular or highly bet a game, the likelihood of getting a better price increases. For extremely popular bets, such as the Super Bowl and World Cup Final, both sides may be below -105 pricing. This is due to the massive amount of money wagered on the game.
Less Appealing for Recreational Bettors
While betting with lower juice lines will save bettors a lot of money in the long run, there may be some drawbacks. Newer bettors or those that are looking for large deposit bonuses will likely be out of luck at reduced juice sportsbooks.
Few if any of these books will offer deposit bonuses, simply because the ability to bet with lower-commission lines is essentially a bonus in itself. Getting these odds for the lifetime of your account is a much better deal than receiving a one-time deposit or free bet bonus when you sign up.
One caveat of note for both recreational and professional bettors is the sharper lines they will encounter at these reduced VIG betting sites. Since they are taking more action than a typical -110 sportsbook, their odds need to be even more on point. A mistake in the lines when a bookmaker is taking $25,000 on the side or total is much more costly versus one that is taking a few thousand dollars per side.
What are the Best Reduced Juice Books
Depending on whether or not you are a US-based sports bettor or bet internationally, your offerings will be different. The largest sportsbook in the world is Pinnacle Sports. They offer reduced juice lines, but left the US betting market after the UIGEA passed in 2006. For international bettors, this is the best option available.
US customers have a much smaller selection. The best option is without a doubt 5Dimes Sportsbook. 5 Dimes has been in business for almost 15 years and is the one of the most trusted sportsbooks in the world. Not only do they offer reduced juice lines, but they also have the most extensive list of betting markets out of US-facing online sportsbook. However, it is vital to note that bettors must choose the “reduced juice” bonus option when they sign up at 5 Dimes. Be sure to choose this as your bonus option when signing up as this is a once off opportunity. 5Dimes only allow one account per household and should you choose the wrong option you will be stuck with it. They will not change your bonus choice under any circumstances. Be warned.
Reduced Juice: Final Thoughts
Betting with reduced juice lines is a clear way to pay fewer fees on your bets and increase your bottom line as a sports gambler. Of course, you may be faced with sharper odds depending on your chosen sportsbook, but in my opinion, the reduction is fees more than makes up for the tougher odds.
Winning at sports betting is extremely difficult. Any percentage gained is an extra advantage over the sportsbooks and should be capitalized on by bettors. It makes little sense to bet a game at -110 if the same odds are available at -105. If you are serious about winning at sports betting, having at least one reduced juice sportsbook in your betting repertoire is an absolute must.