The average sports bettor is aware of the designated 10 percent commission charged for making straight bets on the sides with the spread and the total line. You have to pay that commission upfront to book the bet. However it is only charged on losing bets.
The 10 percent juice is represented on the betting board as -110. In simple terms, you will have to risk $110 to win $100 on any side or total bet you place. Basically, the online books add 10 percent to the amount of the bet when it is first placed. That 10 percent is returned to your account when you win and it remains with the book on all losing bets.
When betting the pointspread for college basketball games, most online sportsbooks stick to the standard 10 percent juice for betting either side. For example, if Duke is at home against North Carolina, the betting line would read as follows:
North Carolina +3 (-110)
Duke -3 (-110)
In this scenario, Duke is favored by three points at home and the juice for betting either side is 10 percent. Sometimes you will see a slight variation in the commission charged. This is a technique used by the books to balance the action without adjusting the actual spread. If they were trying to move some money towards North Carolina while keeping the spread at three points, an adjusted listing would look like:
North Carolina +3 (-105)
Duke -3 (-115)
In this scenario, the juice is reduced to five percent when betting the Tar Heels and increased to 15 percent for betting the Blue Devils.
In college basketball, reduced juice options are much more common with total lines. Some online books will adjust the commission charged on the total in many of the daily games on the board. Other books do not use this practice at all.
If you are interested in finding some reduced juice options for betting college basketball totals, you may need to shop the lines across a few of the books you do business with.
You can actually build an entire betting strategy around betting reduced juice total lines once you find an online book that uses this technique to balance the bets. Higher juice signals the favored pick in that bet. Using the example above, the total line might read as follows:
North Carolina Over 145 (-120)
Duke Under 145 (+100)
The early money in this matchup appears to be going towards the OVER with the higher 20 percent juice. You can bet the UNDER in this game at no juice as an added incentive.
The best betting strategy to employ when looking to take advantage of some reduced juice options on college basketball totals is to first breakdown a matchup on face value to determine a probable combined score.
You need to take into consideration a team’s scoring potential, defensive strength and current overall form. Any key injuries need to be accounted for and where the game is played is another important factor. Add some recent betting trends between the two teams in light of previous total lines and you should be able to come up with your own number for the total.
The next step is to compare your line with the posted line to determine a play of OVER or UNDER. Once you have found a few games where your confidence is rather high, it is then time to find your reduced juice options.
Saving an extra five percent juice here and there may not sound like a big deal. Yet, over the course of an entire season those savings can really add up.