When we talk about juice, not it’s not those little packets of sugar water that you jab cheap straws through and drink. We’re talking about juice in the context of sports betting. What is “juice” in sports betting.
Juice is important to understand because if you pay more juice, you get paid less when you win.
Let’s break down what “juice” means, why it matters for bettors, and how you can keep juice in mind when making your wagers.
Okay, What is Juice
You may look at your bookmaker as a greasy slimeball, but the fact is, if you love gambling, there is no way you would be enjoying the love of your life without having a bookmaker. Bookmakers offer their service at a premium. Juice, otherwise known as vigorish, is the amount of money a bookmaker takes from someone betting on a favorite as the money kept when the wager loses.
Confused? Okay, let’s do an example.
Let’s say there are two teams: Team A and Team B. Team A is a -150 favorite. Team B is a +125 favorite.
To win $100, you have to risk $150 on Team A. Whereas, and if you just wager $100 on Team B, you get an extra $25 should win as a reward for taking the underdog. However, the underdog has an implied probability of losing.
Should bettors who laid $150 to collect $100 on Team A lose, the sportsbook will use that extra money collected from the costly price on betting the favorite, the “juice” to pay out the winning side and collect whatever remains, assuming the book didn’t get crushed.
Juice is important because just the movement of betting odds in one direction or another can drastically affect the betting decisions of retail bettors.
When hunting for prices, bettors will look to find the best juice around. The tighter the spread between the underdog and favorite on the odds, the cheaper the might will be. The bigger the gap, the greater the disparity.
This means a big deal because if you have smaller bankrolls, risking more than you’re comfortable with to bet a side can be a problem, but if you’re looking to get down on a game you really like, patience rewards bettors who are able to find the best number.
Long-term, you can risk less to get paid more, and this is where finding the best lines is essential. Why pay $155 to win $100 when you can pay $130 to win $100 elsewhere?
For the 10 or 20 dollar bettor, juice may not mean much, but when you’re betting in the tens of thousands when a few cents can be the difference between betting $18,000 or $13,5000, then you’re talking more significant swings of money.
Juice, remember, is the necessary evil of betting with a bookie, but at the end of the day, it’s something to keep in mind when making your wagers. If you’re paying way too much at one book, you’re getting ripped off. Always hunt for bargains, and when you find them, pound numbers hard so you can make the most possible while risking the least as you can.