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What bookies dont want you to know

We all keep secrets and so do the bookies. Find out the best way to maintain your bankroll and keep winning using your free prediction sites.

Published on
Updated on 22 November 2016

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...

It's easy. If the bookie has priced the favourite; why not put your money where the bookie has the most exposure? It should be the most logical choice, so you just need to find bookies with the higher priced favourites. It makes sense, right?

Possibly, but let's take a moment to deconstruct bookies and their odds, so we can shed more light on the bookies and what odds really mean.

If the bookie thinks they will win

First and foremost, the bookie uses stats, historical information and news from other sources. A lot of this information is within the public domain, but some may not be so easy to come by, particularly, if you're not in the know (or able to speak with someone in the know).

Anyway, the bookie will initially price the event based on the pre-event information and they will select a favourite, which is determined by the odds that we see on odds comparison sites.

The odds should reflect the real (or the bookie's perceived) chance of an outcome within a particular event, so when a bookie prices a football match, it should give you a real view of the chance of a home win, a draw or an away win.

Unfortunately, this is where the bookie changes the rules.

Bookie odds are not static

The bookies change their odds to take a little bit of your money no-matter if you win the bet or if you lose the bet and here's how the do it.

Let's take an English Premier League match between Arsenal (home team) and Southampton (away team). Where the average odds across a selection of bookmakers were given to us punters:

Arsenal: 1.81 | Draw: 3.57 | Southampton: 4.97

If we change the decimal odds above into percentages by dividing 1 by each of the decimal odds. This should give us the bookies percentage chance of each outcome:

Arsenal: 1 / 1.81 | Draw: 1 / 3.57 | Southampton: 1 / 4.97


Arsenal: 55.24% | Draw: 28.01% | Southampton: 20.12%

Now, if we add all of the percentages together we get 103.37% (i.e. 103.37 = 55.24 + 28.01 + 20.12), which is over 100%. Essentially, the bookies are saying that there is a greater than 100% chance of all of the outcomes occurring, which is obviously nonsense!

On average, the bookies will make 3.37% from all money placed on that particular football match. This doesn't sound like much, but consider the amount of money wagered against TV matches and the fact that bookies can increase this profit percentage when providing odds for less popular events or sports events in far off places where the information is not quite as easy to come by.

So, a favourite for a bookmaker is designed to draw punter money on each side of the bet. If a bookie feels like there is too much being wagered on one side, they simply adjust the odds and make another selection look more attractive by providing a higher pay-out. This is simply designed to even out the punter pay outs and ensure that bookies make more profits.

Look at all of the odds and not just your selection

The bookie is not too concerned with the actual outcome of the event. They're more concerned with balancing the money from punters on each side of the bet.

So, now you know how to look for bookies that will take more of your winnings. Stay well clear of the greedy bookies and focus on the low margin operators, because favourites win a lot less than you think they should!

Tags: Bookmakers, odds

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