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Vig Sports Betting Strategy

Vig, short for vigorish or "juice," is the commission or fee that sportsbooks charge for accepting bets. It's an essential aspect of sports betting that can significantly impact your overall profitability. Understanding and managing vig is crucial for any sports bettor.

What is Vig?

Vig is the sportsbook's built-in profit margin on a bet. When you place a wager, you usually have to risk slightly more than you stand to win. This extra amount, the vig, ensures that sportsbooks make money regardless of the outcome of the event. It's typically expressed as a percentage of the total amount wagered on a particular outcome.

Vig Calculation

The vig on a bet can be calculated using the following formula: In this formula:

  • Amount Risked: The total amount you are risking on your bet.
  • Vig: The vig percentage, usually set by the sportsbook.
  • Total Amount Wagered on Outcome: The sum of all bets placed on a particular outcome.

Minimizing the Impact of Vig

To maximize your sports betting profits, it's essential to be aware of the vig and take steps to minimize its impact:

  1. Shop for the Best Odds: Different sportsbooks may offer different vig percentages on the same event. Comparing odds across multiple sportsbooks allows you to find the best value and reduce the vig you pay.

  2. Bet Smarter: Focus on bets with lower vig. For example, moneyline bets on underdogs often have lower vig compared to heavy favorites. Parlays and teasers can also have higher vig, so consider them carefully.

  3. Bankroll Management: Be cautious about the size of your bets to minimize the impact of vig. Smaller, well-managed bets allow you to spread your risk and maintain a healthier bankroll.

  4. Use Line Shopping Tools: Various online tools and websites can help you quickly compare odds and vig from different sportsbooks, making it easier to find the best value.

  5. Understand Your Edge: Before placing a bet, assess your perceived edge over the sportsbook's odds. If you believe your analysis provides a significant advantage, paying a slightly higher vig may still be profitable in the long run.


In sports betting, understanding and managing vig is essential for long-term success. By being aware of the vig percentages, shopping for the best odds, and making informed betting decisions, you can minimize its impact and improve your chances of being a successful sports bettor.