For most casual bettors, having one bookie will more than satisfy your MMA gambling needs. However for more serious bettors, using multiple bookies is an excellent way to get an additional edge. Here are five reasons why you should at least think about having multiple bookies:
As mentioned in this article (ufc arbitrage betting) , it is possible that two separate bookies will post lines for a given fight that allow you to hedge your bet to make a guaranteed profit. However due to the fact that these profits are often very small, arbitrage is probably the weakest reason to consider having a second bookie.
For the Frankie Edgar vs Gray Maynard 3 fight, Bodog is offering a line of Edgar -130, Maynard even. In contrast, Pinnacle is offering a line of Edgar -135, Maynard +125. Therefore, if you wanted to bet on Edgar, a more rational decision would be to use Bodog since they are giving a better price on him. However, if you wanted to bet on Maynard, Pinnacle is offering the better line. Line shopping means placing your bet on a given fighter with the bookie who is offering the best possible line on him.
Here is the general sequence of events that is touched on in this article (when to bet). A bookie is forced to take a guess as to what the "real" line is (the line that allows the bookie to make a guaranteed profit after all bets are placed). Then, as the public places their bets the bookie adjusts the line so that it actually ensures that it makes a guaranteed profit. After the initial bookie adjusts its lines, the other bookies will simply copy the adjusted line knowing it is the "real" line.
The key here is that the most value in a line is usually found immediately when the bookie releases the line, as it then has the greatest chance of being off. The problem for the bettor is that different bookies release different lines first. Therefore, in order to maximize the chances of getting on an early line and finding the best value, you should have accounts with multiple bookies.
A line of -350 St. Pierre and +350 Shields would be a line with no juice. A line of -450 St. Pierre and +280 Shields would be a line with a lot of juice, and is clearly a worse line regardless of who you were to bet on. While all bookies have some juice on their lines in order to turn a profit, some bookies simply offer better overall lines than others. For example, for Georges St. Pierre vs Jake Shields, Bodog is offering a line of -550 on St. Pierre, and +350 on Shields. In contrast, Pinnacle is offering a line of -425 on St. Pierre, and +365 on Shields. Regardless of the fighter you want to bet on in this case, Pinnacle offers the better lines. In my personal experience these lines are not an exception. Bodog tends to have the most juice on their lines of any bookie, and Pinnacle typically has the least juice.
Gone are the days where some bookies will only have lines for the big fights on a card; however it is still the case that some bookies have more betting options than others. For instance, while some bookies only offer straight bets on fights, other bookies like 5Dimes offer a ton of proposition wagers. These include more basic lines like whether or not a fight will go to a decision, to more exotic lines which allow you to place bets on which fighter on the card will win knockout or submission of the night.