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Reduced Juice Sportsbooks

Bookmakers charging -110 (11/10) for bets made on 50/50 propositions dates back to the 1940’s when a professional bettor and bookmaker named Charles McNeil from Connecticut invented the point spread. His system first became popular in the 1950’s, thanks in part to home televisions hitting the market where fans could actually watch the games, and to Nevada businessmen meeting the demand. Though bookmaking was illegal in the other 49 US states, with Reno and Las Vegas supplying the odds and the ability to layoff lopsided action, opportunists, who we now call “bookies“, were soon available in every US state. For the gamblers, you could bet on either team against the spread, but had to do so at -110 pricing which is risk $1.10 for each $1.00 you want to win.

How it worked in the 1950’s is still for the most part how betting works today. The major difference is that internet betting is now a strong preference of sports bettors, because it is more convenient and often offers players better odds. While -110 is still common, shopping point spreads will get you better odds, and there are a number of sites offering better than traditional -110 pricing, which the industry refers to as “Reduced Juice Sportsbooks“. We’ll cover those here in this article.

Top Reduced Juice Sportsbooks

The two largest reduced juice sportsbooks are Pinnacle Sports, and 5Dimes.eu. Any serious bettor wants to have an account with at least one of these two sites to do their line shopping. We’ll give a quick review here of what each of these sites offers.

Pinnacle Sports (Not Available to US Residents)

Pinnacle Sports is the most popular option for reduced juice sports betting, thanks to their low margins and massive betting limits. At Pinnacle, rather than the standard -110 base pricing, you’ll find -104 pricing on NFL sides, and -105 pricing on most other sports, including college football sides and totals, and both pro and college basketball sides and totals. They also use an impressive -103 starting base for baseball moneylines and -104 base for hockey moneylines.

One thing worth mentioning is that because Pinnacle’s limits are so large ($30,000 max per bet on NFL sides, with option to max bet again if the line moves) they work hard to keep their lines accurate. At Pinnacle while base pricing might be -104, it is rare you’ll see two sides both at -104. Quite often, Pinnacle has bets priced at -106/-102, -108/+100 etc. The base price is still -104; Pinnacle is just adjusting the odds as bets come in, shading the line in one direction or another. When shopping Pinnacle, where traditional sites are offering -110/-110, your savings will vary. Sometimes you’ll get much better odds such as -102 on the side you like, other times slightly better odds such as -108.

The downside to Pinnacle is that they do not accept players from the US, and their reduced juice is limited to sides and totals. If you’re planning on using one sports book only and are a recreational bettor, say $500 or less per game, you’ll be better served using 5Dimes.eu where reduced juice also spans to teasers, future bets and casino games. 5Dimes also has a lot more wagering options available, with a plethora of alternate lines and prop bets for each matchup.

5Dimes.eu (Available to US Players)

5Dimes offers reduced juice betting on game day only. This is a bit tricky to find at first. So, to share, from the betting menu do not click “straight” as you would at most online betting sites, but rather click “reduced”. Here, you’ll find -105 base pricing on sides and totals of all major sports leagues, as well as moneyline bets ranging from 5 cents (-102.5) to 10 cent (-105) base price.

5Dimes also offers more prop bets and alternate lines than any other site, and they cover all future markets, such as who will win the Super Bowl, NBA Championship, etc., plus odds for winning conferences divisions and more. The props and future bets also have reduced juice far better than industry standard.

Another major draw to 5Dimes is their teaser/pleaser betting options. For teasers you can bet up to 2-15 teams per ticket, and there are odds for “ties reduce” and “ties win” options for every half point between 5 and 17 and also a 20 point teaser option. For pleasers (the opposite of teasers), 2-6 team “ties reduce” and “ties win” options are available for every half point increment between 6 and 10 points. To give an idea of the odds, two team six point teasers are offered at +100 and 2 team six point “ties win” teasers at -105, while industry standard is -110 and -120, respectively, for these same options. Payouts are competitive to hands down the best across the board of 5Dimes teaser options.

As far as downside goes, the most common complaints involve customer service, but those are intermittent and minor. It’s hard to find much else negative to say about 5dimes.eu, as their company has been in business since 1999, offers the best odds and has a great track record for timely withdrawals; and for these reasons, it ranks high on our list of recommended betting sites.

Bet Phoenix (US Players Welcome)

BetPhoenix offers new players the choice of a 30% free play bonus or reduced juice. The reduced juice is -105 and applies to sides and totals for NFL football Betting, NCAA football betting and NBA. For more on this, see our page: reduced juice or sign up bonus.

Reduced Juice Promotions

A promo that’s been around for years now is “Reduced Juice Fridays“. This is when on Friday, sites cut their betting odds to -105 instead of the standard -110 pricing. We’ll cover some sites offering this promo.

BetJamaica, is an A+ rated sportsbook owned by legendary bookmaker Spiro. He opened this shop in August 2003, as a recreational out to accompany the Olympic branded sites and to compete with business lost to entertainment type betting sites such as Bodog.com. His other brand TheGreek.com is fast to the board each week, often opening lines, and has the highest betting limits on the net. The BetJam brand is managed by Scotty Johnson and big on customer services, bonuses and promotions. You can read about these at www.betjamaica.com where one of the promos you’ll find is “Reduced Juice Fridays”. Every Friday starting at 6PM and lasting the rest of the night, all college and NFL sides and totals are cut to -105 base pricing.

Jazette Sportsbooks – many online sportsbooks powered by Jazette offer “Reduced Juice Friday” on select games. The most popular Jazette brands are Sportsbook.com and PlayersOnly. Unfortunately, their offers have gotten slimmer in recent seasons, but there is still value to be had. In addition to some reduced juice options, Sportsbook.com offers NFL betting lines a week in advance. For example, when Week 10 has yet to take place, you can bet here for Week 11. Also, they have lots of great contests, and they are always worth taking a look at when shopping futures such as who will win the Super Bowl, as they offer unique odds. This isn’t so much reduced juice on the futures option, but more that you’ll find much better odds on certain teams.

Reduced Juice Parlays

Increased payout parlays used to be a common promotion in sports betting, but these have dried up in recent years. One site still offering this is BetOnline.com. Here, when you bet three teams at -110, a parlay pays 6.5 to one, as opposed to “true -110 odds” of 5.96 to 1 on three teamers or standard fixed 3 team parlay odds of 6 to 1. This is the equivalent of having the juice reduced to -104.5, making it the lowest reduced juice option on the net, with the catch being the need to bet 3 team parlays to get these favorable odds.

More Reduced Juice Options

There are several online betting sites offering -108 pricing on NFL and NBA sides, with BetMania and IASBet the most popular options. These sites are decent for line shopping; however, most bettors will be better off taking bonuses at full juice sites such as Bookmaker.com and Bodog.com as additional line shopping outs over these -108 offers. Once you’ve run out of legit sites to take a bonus with, then adding in these slightly reduced juice sportsbooks makes sense.

A final way to get reduced juice is exchange betting. Matchook is the popular option in the US, but liquidity wise is down as of late. If you’re outside the US, Betfair.com is the world’s largest betting exchange. They charge a 5% commission, but, to put it in perspective, if you offer -103, you’re getting +103. After paying the 5% commission, you have effective odds of -102.15. The challenge is that you’ll need to wait for the bets to be matched. Many prefer to bet on demand when they find a line of value, making exchange betting a less desirable option for them.

Importance of Reduced Juice

The more you win, the more juice you pay. Think about that for a moment. Traditional gambling wisdom suggests the house edge at -110 is 4.55%, and at -105 is 2.38%. This is calculated figuring that a point spread or total bet is 50/50, so at $1.10 to win $1.00 you’re shorted an average of 5 cents (10 cents half the time). The math used is 0.05/1.1=0.04545 which is 4.55%. The match for -105 is similar, 0.025/1.05 = 0.0238 which is 2.38%. If you’re a talented sports bettor, the juice you pay is considerably higher, as winners (not losers) pay juice. At -110 the juice shorts your payout 9.09% per win, when taking advantage of reduced juice of -105 you can cut this down to 4.76%.

Winning sports bettors understand the concept of compounding dollars and pushing small edges. If you’re okay getting paid less each time you win, continue to bet at whatever site is most convenient for you. If you want to stop throwing away 4.33% of your payout each time, head to a reduced juice betting site such as 5dimes.eu, and start betting at -105 pricing.

As a final piece of advice, if you’re truly looking for the best odds, there is an old saying you’ll want to remember: “Personally, I know far more winning line shoppers than winning handicappers”. Reduced juice helps in getting the best price, but, ultimately, to win the most at sports betting, you’ll want to look at the line and price of every online betting site you have access to prior to making any bet. If you’re just a recreational bettor and this is too much work, then stick to www.5dimes.eu, and then add in a recreational site such as Bodog.com or Sportsbook.com, and then simply shop just 2 sites prior to making a bet.