Are bookmaker goal spreads accurate?

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Are bookmaker goal spreads accurate?

Learn how bookmaker goal spreads are generated. How should you modify your betting within goal spreads betting markets?



Published on
Updated on 23 November 2018
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Betting Tips for Today's Football

Find more value in your next football bet. You could gain a betting edge by checking out the tips and stats for today's and tomorrow's fixtures...


Everyone believes that bookmakers are around to help us out. You know, bookmakers are our best friends and the type of friend that is always there for you with a free bet promotion. So, they must want the very best for their customers, right?


Unfortunately, bookmakers are only there if you risk your hard-earned money with them and that’s the way it should be. They’re on one side of the bet and you’re on the other side.


You should not only rely on bookmaker odds, stats or their information to place your bets. You should always look at independent information before you make a final betting decision.


This becomes clearer when you think about how Bookmakers create their odds...

Why should you be wary of bookmaker odds?


All soccer teams are not the same. The same players do not play for the same teams and there is not one football pitch that is the same as another football pitch. Managers are not the same, supporters are not the same and there are an infinite number of differences that exist within a single football match.


This means there are many different elements that can affect a soccer result, which are all used by Bookmakers alongside, their in-house statistics and historical information, which all help to create a goal spread.


Additionally, external odds calculation companies also provide realistic odds for bookmakers who are unfamiliar with certain markets. The bookmakers can then make manipulations and slight changes to the odds to meet their needs.


Have you ever wondered why the soccer odds are very similar across multiple bookmakers? It’s not just the market controlling the values, it’s due to a small number of companies providing similar information to multiple Bookmakers.

What is a goal spread in football?


A goal spread is a bookmaker’s assessment of the ‘advantage’ (+) or ‘disadvantage’ (-), which corresponds with an implied margin of victory for one team over another team. (italic)


Bookmaker odds and spreads are not only based on probability


Many punters and recreational bettors misunderstand the objective of bookmaking. Bookmakers do not exist to provide their customers (i.e. you and me) with accurate goal spreads and realistic information, so we can plan our bets.


Bookmakers generate much of their profits by facilitating our wagers and profiting from the transaction difference between punters losses and returns.


Public opinion is also a factor

Bookmakers continually adjust and move their odds and therefore the goal spread right up until kick-off (and while matches are in-play).


Goals spread movement is usually down to changes in the team information and more importantly changes in public opinion, which allows Bookmakers to attract money on both sides of any goal spread.


Therefore, any advertised goal spreads are usually inaccurate and cannot be relied upon to imply accurate match outcomes and therefore, goal probabilities.


The goal spread movement towards public opinion, is in such a way to attract punters on one side of the bet, while also balancing Bookmaker risk and exposure on the other side of the bet.

Bookmakers will rarely lose out


With the advent of betting exchanges and worldwide betting markets. Bookmakers have an easier method to manage their risk by hedging different results across different betting markets and exchanges.


As a piece of closing advice, try to learn to manage your hedge your bets to manage your liabilities in the same way as a professional gambler, professional trader and your favourite bookie.


Just make sure you understand who has your best interests at heart before you place your next bet or trade…

Good luck!



Tags: Bookmakers, odds

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