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Sports Betting: How Bookmakers Create the Betting Odds

Though an incredibly old practice, sports betting has certainly changed over the years. While people have been betting on physical and athletic competitions for as long as these competitions have been around, modern sports betting came about in the 19th century. Even then, the practice has significantly changed.

One of the biggest change ups is how bookies create the odds. In this article, we are going to explore the ways in which a bookmaker determines odds in 2023. We will also explore the question thoroughly, and provide you with some context for the future. Without further ado, let us get into the meat and potatoes of this article.

What are Odds?

Odds are exactly what they sound like. They are the numerical evaluation of the likelihood of an outcome. For example, if the odds are in Team X’s favor, then it is much more likely that Team X will beat Team Y in the game.

But, what goes into determining odds? There are quite a few factors that impact the decision. Most of the UK betting sites go over the players’ history, the team’s track record, the management, and even the most minute aspect of the game, such as the weather. They then translate these factors into numbers, and set up the odds.

How are the Odds Determined?

But, where do the numbers come from? The truth is, sports betting is a form of entertainment, so bookies take action and enjoyment into account as well. Basically, sportsbooks will engineer to draw in a wider audience, and make the action exciting on both sides. In the best case scenario, a bookie sets the odds at 50/50, at which point, both sides of the fan base are excited, and the bookie earns between around 10%.

It is also important to note that odds are not necessarily a reflection of the reality. Rather, they factor in risk mitigation and user safety. In other words, bookies are risk managers, whose job it is to ensure you don’t lose too much money if things don’t go your way.

In order to achieve this sort of risk mitigation, bookies must balance the action on both sides of the fence. In other words, the numbers you see at sportsbooks aren’t necessarily a reflection on reality. They exist to create a safe and entertaining way to place a bet on your favorite athletes and sports teams.

Who Sets the Odds?

Quite a few people participate in the oddsmaking process. In fact, in the era of online bookies, oddsmaking is more complex than ever before. Mathematicians, statisticians, and sports experts all play a huge role in determining the odds. One thing that isn’t as prevalent in sports betting as it once was is the bookie’s “gut feeling.” Which brings us to our next point.

What Not to Do!

If there is one thing we can warn you not to do, it would be “going with your gut.” Sadly, this is a sentiment you hear often among punters. The truth is, betting is, essentially, a game of math. If your gut is telling you something, it is better to confirm these rumors by going over the facts.

We aren’t saying that a “gut feeling” is necessarily wrong. Rather, what we are saying is that you should confirm any gut feeling you may have by looking at the facts, statistics, and odds. It could be that the numbers back up what you are feeling.

Another thing that you should avoid is placing bets on your favorite team. Or rather, you should avoid betting on your favorite team, because they are your favorite. If the odds and numbers are in favor of the team you love, then feel free to back them. However, backing your favorite team just because they are your favorite is not the best decision.

How Online Sportsbooks Changed Oddsmaking

As we said, oddsmaking and sports betting have always been around, for as long as there have been sports. However, it is certainly true that the practice has changed in the 21st century. Nowadays, oddsmaking is a lot more streamlined, in part thanks to online bookies.

Oddsmakers in 2023 can keep in constant contact, review their calculations at a moment’s notice, and debate the results while being an ocean apart. However, in the early and mid-20th century, this was not the case.

If we look at historical sports betting data, we will find that a lot has changed. For example, back in the 1900s, most sports betting companies were based in Vegas, because Nevada had legalized sports betting. We can imagine a group of people, sports experts, mathematicians, and statisticians, all huddled around a blackboard, arguing over what the best example of odds would be.

Thanks to the digital age, oddsmaking in 2023 is a lot simpler and certainly less taxing. But, many wonder how it might look like ten or twenty years from now. In this final section, we are going to discuss sports betting in the future.

Sports Betting and Odds in the Future

Sports betting in the future will almost certainly be a lot easier, and so will creating the odds. One major innovation that will certainly impact the hobby is Artificial Intelligence. Already, companies have begun incorporating AI in their work. Sportsbooks are no different.

However, in ten to twenty years there might come a time when AI can easily calculate odds and set up fair and balanced ones. If that does occur, then oddsmaking will be simpler than ever. All a bookie would have to do is type instructions for an AI, and let the machine intelligence do the rest.

Final Say

Sports betting continues to grow in popularity. The hobby already has millions of fans around the world, and more are joining each month. We hope that this article can help you to better understand the world of sports betting, especially how odds are made and determined. After all, oddsmaking is, by far, the most important part of modern-day sports betting.