The Secrets behind how odds are made

How many times do you visit your bookmaker prior to a match as ask yourself: ‘’How do they just invent these odds?’’ and ‘’How Come the invented odds are almost the same on every betting site I visit?’’ If these questions never crossed your mind before reading this, we assure you that they will, the next time you will visit a betting site. The good news is that loads of data analytics are behind odd making, and the most important thing to look at, is the amount of money that you the punter will make out of the bet being placed.

If we had to give you some sound advice, we would say the obvious winner is not always a winner for you, instead it contributes to valuable odds. To be fair, the task of calculating the right odds is quite challenging yet tantalising when you get the hang of things. All the things that contribute to right odds involve, data, statistics, gut instinct, a good amount of luck, money and above all, experience.

The pool of market odds

The ideal scenario and to have a competitive betting structure, would see the bookie drawing his own odds, and delivering a solid offering, sometimes outsmarting the competition. This is the utopia of gambing sites of course, and due to heavy workload, is not always feasable. In that ideal world, the gambler would have more choices, and more odds of winning big if he or she would choose a specific lucky bookie.

Producing odds is not an easy task, and such practices are only drawn up by some of the biggest giants in the gaming world. But the big boys do just that. Big online bookmakers produce their in house odds, post early and thus the smaller sites use the same data and figures to produce their own odds. With sometimes offering a better edge and hence inviting you to bet at their specific site. We all love the promise of winning more after all.

With the velocity of how information is traded over the internet, nowadays it is kind of a hard job to find sites that offer drastically different odds. Whilst the big companies use data analysts to produce odds, and base their assumptions on actual figures, smaller companies do not employ such departments and personnel. The way they make it work is quite simple : look at the big company odds, adjust to own commission percentages, market and hope players bet at their site.

How bookies make it work, with a personal touch

If you ever wondered what a week in a bookies life looks like, the answer is quite simple: planning and posting odds for the upcoming week’s matches and games. Some advanced bookies that potentially have been around for quite some time, even post their odds on a Monday in the hopes of getting more weekly spread bets. Good choice for sure. Other bookies promote a set of odds that are only launched two days prior to match day. A very calculated risk, and potentially could lead for less bets being placed on the site. Still, make no mistake, some gamblers will indeed wait a couple of days to place their bet, just to scoop that extra 0.05 in winnings.

So, what makes a bookie offer 1.85 as opposed to the 1.80 that the competition is offering? Let’s offer you some data and figures to put you in the picture. If you accept bets for 100 Euros and the odds are set out at 1.85, the amount that you need to pay out is 85,000 Euros. On the other hand, if you have your odds set at 1.80, you have to fork out 5 k less. If you are a new bookmaker in the industry, this difference in revenue means a lot.

What are the basic rules of Odds setting? No rules apply here

Many think that bookies have a set of rules and manuals that facilitate the process of odds making, in reality, there is none. A bookie looks at data, figures, and mostly what the competition is offering. Yet, there are no rules to how one set their own odds.

Look at this another way. How your mother does her lasagna is good, how my mother does her lasagna is also good. So what differentiates the two yummy lasagnas? One might out a spec of cinnamon and the other might put just some nutmeg and the taste would differ completely. Same basic principles are used with odds making, all bookies have the basic ingredients, yet one adds a personal touch to make their product more elevated.

The principle of Raw odds: the formation of everything

The basic foundations that all bookies start off with are called ‘raw odds’. The raw odds are not invented on thin air, alternatively, they are drawn by data engineering software that compares figures and other important statistics. Many elements are taken into consideration when raw odds are drawn, mainly: number of wins and losses that the athlete or team have under their belt, goals and points achieved, if any wins are at home or at an away setting, previous encounters with the said team, and even a set amount of patterns in playing or performance.

Once the bookie receives this indispensable data, that let’s be honest …is the foundation of everything, the data is adjusted whilst taking into consideration even more data. The more data we refer to includes, breaking news about the athlete or team. Did the athlete or team suffer any losses recently, is the dressing room at a good momentum, were there any team notable injuries that could affect the overall team performance? Or maybe was there a rumour in the transfer market that will bring team morale up or down? All of these factors are additional data that the online bookmaker uses to finalise odds and offer them to you and us. And finally, the icing on the cake comes along with the ‘winner mentality’. Let’s give you an example, the Class of 99 from Manchester United had the winner mentality and awarded them a cool treble for that season. Or Ronaldo joining any team he joins, aligning the players around him and gelling a team, that is a winner mentality. Certain players, certain clubs and not everyone else has the winning mentality that help bookies bring you the best odds.

The Commission aka ‘The Vig’

The final thing before launching the odds is to apply commission, and this differs sometimes drastically from one bookie to another, yet is always present in odds. If the bookie world did not have any commission, the betting niche would only offer odds that are balanced and potentially look like 3.00- In our current betting world, the most balanced set of odds would look like 2.90-2.90-2.90. The extra 0.10 will be pocketed by the bookmaker, and kept in house. IAgain, to put you in the picture with some figures, if the site accepts bets at 1000 Euros per stake, the bookie would net a total of 3000 Euros, handing out only 2900 Euros and thus keeping a 100 Euros profit for himself. Good profit margin on each bet, just for arranging and posting odds, isn’t it?

If you happen to be a VIP or regarded as a High Roller, some bookies will offer you advance odds before the betting is open to the rest of the public. Again, only esteemed and high end customers have this small privilege. The players invited in, will be offered ‘early odds’, and funnily enough their respective betting strategies are taken into account by bookmakers to draw up different odds. Some odds perform much better than others, that is common knowledge. For example, an upcoming boxing match that features a heavy weight champion like Anthony Joshua, will also do better in betting amounts as opposed to the middle weight section. Bookies look at high roller patterns, and early odds bruins you the odds that we see today, the ones adjusted for all to make a buck or two out of.

The odds that please the masses of gamblers

And finally, the biggest driving force of formulating odds is what the masses are betting on. If a bookmaker launches a set number of odds and these are quite popular, the bookie will use the information to adjust the odds. Only this way can the betting site offer a diffused set of odds, spread out if you will. Imagine the bookie having to pay all, what would remain of the overall business? Securing one’s commission is not a crime, it is just a way to ensure that next week, when you visit your favourite bookmaker, you will find the site operation and ready to welcome you with a new set of odds and match bettings.