Why Should Players Compare Sports Betting Odds?

The legalized sports betting industry is booming in the US, but most recreational players are not comparing odds or line shopping yet. We’re trying to change that at OddsIndex by providing tangible insights and education around price comparison.

Sports betting is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the US, generating over $4bn in revenue in 2021 (American Gaming Association) and showing no signs of slowing down. But with more options that players can choose, where should they take their business?

We believe users should use all available sportsbooks and bonus offers and shop for the best lines for every wager they place. The problem is that odds comparison, also known as line shopping, can be complicated.

The Best and Worst Priced NFL Sportsbooks

So far, the standout candidate for NFL odds is the sports betting app SBK with little to separate the biggest sportsbook brands.

US Sportsbook Margins for NFL Games Weeks 1-4

SBK offers an industry-low margin of 1.5% on the NFL moneyline thanks to its exchange pricing engine. It’s regularly best-priced on our betting grid, but only bettors in Colorado and Indiana can use the app for now. 

A 1.5% margin on a coin toss translates to -103 lines or a payout of $97 on a $100 wager. The industry standard is -110 lines on a coin toss, or a $91 payout on a $100 wager. That’s 4.8% in margin.



Potential Payout ($100 Wager) 







Surprisingly, the best of the rest is promo-heavy DraftKings, with an average margin of 3.8%. DraftKings also ran a successful but unprofitable NFL 10-up promo that has allegedly cost them $75 million during the first two NFL weeks. Betting on the NFL moneyline at DraftKings combined with the NFL 10 up promo can be a very profitable play in the long term

The vig for the other operators ranged between 4.1- 4.5%, which consumers can generally expect from the established US sportsbooks in the most popular markets such as moneyline, spreads, or totals.

What Is Margin in Sports Betting?

The sportsbook margin a.k.a vig, juice, or even tax, refers to the profit a sportsbook makes on any given bet. Generally, as in most other areas, the higher the margin the worst for the consumer.

Let’s take an example to make it clear. Say we’re looking at the total lines for the NY Giants @Green Bay Packers game on Sunday. The line is currently set at 41.5 points and the options are binary - under/over 41.5.

Caesars Sportsbook offers odds of -110 on each side at the time of writing. That means a potential payout of $91 on each side on a $100 wager. Let’s imagine Caesars booked two $100 bets on each side of the line.

So, they received $200 in bets, but the most they have to pay out is $191 (actually $190.9 if we want to be specific). The remaining $9 is the sportsbook’s cut, which is 4.8% - you can call it margin, vig, juice, tax, or anything else under the sun. 

We’re advocating for users to shop around to find the best odds and the lowest margins for their bets. Having accounts with multiple sportsbooks allows users to yield all the benefits and ensures they get the most bang for their buck. And it’s super easy, thanks to the OddsIndex betting grid.

Don't miss out on these bonuses

Your First Bet Is On Caesars Up To $1,250

Second Chance On First 2 Bets up to $2,000

Up To $1,000 Risk-Free First Bet