How Are Bookmaking Betting Odds Generated?

Over the years the way that bookies calculate their odds and betting lines has changed profoundly. Once dominated by oldschool betmakers from Las Vegas, currently the demographics has changed over who participates in that industry, as online sports betting became more and more common nowadays.

But how exactly do they generate the odds and lines for each sports event and are able to change it automatically? We’ll explain below how that works.

No matter if you are talking about traditional paper bookmaking you experience on your travels or online gambling, we can assure you that one thing that always stays the same is the fact that the bookies want to balance the action on both sides of the wager. This is done by calculating the implied probability of an event to happen.

Still, the betting lines are not made accurately to reflect the probability of each outcome, as the bookmakers attempt to get an edge over the difference between the real probability of any event and the implied probability determined by their line.

Betting odds are calculated to attract the same action from both sides of a betting line. Ideally, each side receives the same betting volume of a wager, and no matter which side wins, the house makes anywhere between 5 and 10% of the total cash volume.

In the past, odds were calculated by bookmakers in chalk boards using the so-called “power ratings”, of which the calculation behind it stays a mistery until the present day. It is assumed that some of the parameters involved must include the player schedule, game performance, tealm performance and a few others that will be inputted to the odds sent to the sportsbook. Back in the day, oddsmaking was almost completely reliant on the bookmaker’s gut and expertise, as there was no other way to calculate odds with more data than that.

Nowadays, with statistics and data science playing a major role in sportsbetting as computers and the internet became an integral part of it, bookmakers take a more conservative approach to calculate the betting odds, by assessing betting behavior patterns, managing risk using calculus and incorporating millions of different data inputs to assess and predict the ideal numbers.

One thing to mention, too, is that as sports betting is reaching a market high of all time, there are many high-quality international sportsbooks for all major sports, such as Novibet. In sites like these, odds are updated almost every second. What some competitors do, however, is to simply copy the same data to their platform in order to save costs.

The best ones still dedicate their time and resources to precisely calculate the betting odds in-house. In any case, whenever a sportsbook is offering an unusual and unique type of bet, this means that it was most likely calculated by themselves.

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