Do Bookmaker odds reflect the real chance of winning a bet?

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Do Bookmaker odds reflect the real chance of winning a bet?

How to read soccer decimal odds and the best way to bet based on the same odds



Published on
Updated on 27 December 2015
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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...


You know the scenario; you take a look at the odds on comparison sites and you see the odds for a favourite shortening (i.e. reducing) from maybe 3.0 to 2.0 in the space of a few hours. You’re now undecided and you’re concerned that there isn’t enough value to balance the risk of losing your money. You then decide to go for another bet with higher odds and your new bet loses, whilst the shortened favourite wins easily!

Very frustrating, but we all do the same thing time and time again...

Bookmaker odds are based on a number of factors, such as the Bookmaker wanting to drive business to different sides of an outcome (e.g. Home, Draw or Away), public option, recent information within the public domain, recent information that is not within the public domain(!), the statistics for similar situations, the trends of the parties involved within the selection and maybe a few other factors that we cannot ever really understand or ever really know.

With all of this in mind, it’s clear that the Bookmaker odds are not only based on the realistic chances of a particular outcome, but more a blend of the likelihood of an outcome, the need for Bookmakers to make a profit and balance their risk on all sides of a bet. So, odds may shorten if an outcome becomes popular and odds on the other side of the bet may increase. Or possibly odds shorten in one selection but another unrelated selection will increase to draw punter money towards a higher priced option and away from a shortening selection.

So, can we really use odds to anticipate a likely win or a loss? Will yes and no, the odds are a reflection of everything above combined with the current mood, which can be a used as a gauge for public opinion within a public market.

Sometimes, you have to ask yourself; Is every punter/investor/trader in profit over the long term? We all know the answer to that one, so if everyone thinks something will happen, it’s sometimes better to ignore that market and focus your attention elsewhere, as everyone isn’t in profit, so everyone cannot be right all of the time!

We advise that you use the odds as a gauge to determine the general likelihood, but keep in mind that the Bookmaker controls the market and is trying to get you to choose a particular option. Sometimes that option will be the favourite and sometimes it will not be. They’re trying to control how you choose to risk your money and increase their likelihood of making more from you over the long-term.

Winning a lot from a little is very, very, very rare and this will end up losing lots of your money over the long term. If Bookmakers think long-term, then maybe we should do the same thing…

Good Luck!



Tags: Bookmakers, odds

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