Sports Betting Odds: Understanding Where Sports Odds Originate

By RC Blevins

Sports odds are something that most bettors take for granite.  As soon as the lines are released bettors start to make their wagers and place their bets giving little consideration to line movements or understanding the odds.  These people are squares.

Despite what you may think, odds are still “man made” and generated by humans.  This means that odds can be flawed and vulnerable with the right information and understanding of particular match ups.

We have some of the top online sports handicappers and we still recommend that clients also use our information as a starting point.  Have an idea of how you want to wager on a certain game, side, money line or total?  If you have that mindset you can then determine which handicapper you want to follow for that particular game based on their history.

Our professional sports handicappers research the same information that sports books use to determine the opening lines.  Some of the factors considered are quality of the teams, injuries, incentive to win, weather and field conditions, location, recent history between teams and even trade rumors.  Trade rumors come into play much more in MLB and NBA than other sports but they can still affect how a team perceives their upcoming games and whether they are throwing in the towel.

Just as the handicappers are paying attention to every detail that goes into a sporting event, oddsmakers are doing the same thing if not more.  There is a reason why oddsmakers are so sharp with their lines, especially in NFL.  The majority of books subscribe to the same line service which is why lines don’t very too drastically from book to book.  The odds are created by a committee of certified experts that are right more than they are wrong.  This is why Vegas is so good at what they do and very tough to beat.

Most oddsmakers will tell you they don’t necessarily determine the outcome of a game or what they feel the point spread should be but rather how they feel the public perceives certain teams and what the public will do with the line.  A good point spread will have the public betting equally on both sids.  At worse case in this scenario, the books will have money to pay off the winning side with the losing side and make money off the juice, generally 10%.  This is why the vig is built in to ensure the house takes something.

Oddsmakers know that certain teams will bring out homers and there are teams like the Yankees, Lakers, Duke, UNC and the Miami Heat.  These teams are public favorites and books know the public favors these teams no matter the spread.  There is a reason behind this and it’s because these teams have won a lot in the past and have large fan bases.  Smart money will generally go against public perception and this is the time where you need to bet with your head and not your heart.  It’s tough to go against your favorite team but you need to be smart and understand the reasoning behind the odds of these teams.

Now that you have a general understanding of where sports odds come from, you can see the bigger picture.  Oddsmakers have to set a line for almost every sporting event.  There are rare times when books lay OFF lines but in general thinking the oddsmakers have a lot of information to process.  If you stay disciplined and play 3-5 games a day, depending on your level of play, you can narrow down your focus and invest on what you know.  If it’s in your bankroll, investing with one of our sports handicappers can help you significantly and cut down on your research time.

For more information regarding sports odds or sports articles, visit our sports handicapping blog.

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