If I had to pick my ideal day – the way I would chose to spend a day if I had unlimited options – then spending a busy game day sitting in a sportsbook in Vegas would be right up there. I love everything about sportsbooks when they are busy. There is so much nervous energy that the room is vibrating. Every team on every one of the many TVs in the room has someone in the room who has bet on it, so every play – no matter how insignificant – gets cheered or booed. Guys will tell everyone in earshot how brilliant they are when they win, and how they were cheated and robbed when they lose. As the day proceeds and the drinks flow people’s decision making processes get worse and worse, and you just get to sit back and watch the oncoming train wrecks. And you get to do it while being surrounded by a dozen or more games for a dozen or more hours at a time. Perfect.
All that being said, it’s hard to make a practical argument for betting in a sportsbook over betting online anymore. In fact, the last couple of times I have been in Vegas I have made most of my bets online in my room before going down to the book. Let’s take a look at the advantages of betting live compared to the advantages of betting online.
Atmosphere – As I talked about before, sitting in a sportsbook on a big sports day is almost as much fun as sitting in the stadium. More fun sometimes. You just don’t get that online.
Comps – If you bet enough to get noticed then you can get meals, rooms and show tickets free because of your betting. Even casual bettors can keep themselves in free beer without too much trouble. If you like being in Vegas and you like free stuff then that might be the incentive for you.
Don’t have to worry about funding your account – Thanks to the wisdom of our governments trying to protect us it can be very hard to get money into our online accounts, and it often isn’t particularly quick to move money around. When you go to a sportsbook all you have to do is pull your cash out of your pocket. AT the end of the day you cash your tickets and put the cash back in your pocket. For people concerned about online security that can be a relief as well.
You can learn a lot – If you pick the right sportsbook and keep your eyes and ears open you can pick up a whole lot of education in a day – both what to do and what not to do.
Better juice – Casinos don’t pay for their massive overhead by offering bargains, so you will almost never find bargains on juice in a sportsbooks. Online it’s much, much easier to find reduced juice and other forms of discounts that can make betting easier and the required winning percentage to show a profit lower.
Better lines – Live sportsbooks aren’t likely to round a line down, either, and they aren’t always quick to adjust a line. Online you are going to find better lines most of the time, and you have more options for choosing the line that best suits your needs.
Easier to shop around – If you are in Vegas then there is a long walk between any two sportsbooks on the Strip, so if you want to shop around and look for the best line on a game you are interested in you need to have your walking shoes on, and you need to give yourself plenty of time. Online it’s incredibly easy to shop around. If you have funds set up in a few different sports books then you can compare prices with a few clicks of the mouse, and you can hold off until almost game time before making a decision if you want to.
Wider range of bets – Online sportsbooks offer more futures and prop bets than live sportsbooks. They post lines for more sports.They make it very easy to adjust your spread up or down by as many points as you want. They often offer fairer prices on parlays, teasers, and novelty bets. They make it easier to bet in-game, or at the quarter, the half, or whenever you want to bet. If you want to bet something online then you can probably find someone willing to let you bet it.
Timing – If you want to make a bet on a basketball game in Australia and you feel like doing it at three in the morning then you can do it online. Live sportsbooks won’t be open. Your schedule is far more flexible online. Online sportsbooks typically post lines before live books do, too, so you can get a jump on finding the best price. This is especially significant in games like baseball where the time between games is so short.