By Ted Jolly – Pay Per Head Agent News
Sports Betting lines can seem to some bookmakers to be an exercise in randomness and chaos. How do the odds makers know how many points will be scored in a game and based on that come up with an intermediate number that determines the under or the over? How do they determine whether a team should be favored by 3 or 3.5? Of all the main betting lines, Money Lines seem to be the most obvious to determine but how do they decide how much is too much for the betting public?
Every Bookmaker and agent at some point in his career has asked these questions. Maybe you’ve done a little research into how it works or, like many, you’ve simply accepted the process for what it is and trusted that the odds makers know what they’re doing. After all if you’re making money who cares how they make the betting lines.
There are 2 essential aspects that go into generating betting odds on sporting events every single day. First of these is the most grueling, data collection. Odds makers gather data on every conceivable element that is involved in the contest. Player stats, injuries and personalities are a big factor. How will the field of play affect performances? Who is the home team and will the weather affect the game? There are many historical considerations that are taken into account that previous match-ups. There are league wide variables that must also be considered, how is the sport performing as a whole?
It’s like a super-high-tech computer crime lab where determining the line is like finding out who dun-it. All of this data gets poured into the super processors and run through predictive and analytical programs to give a rough idea of what to expect from the game. Armed with this data the oddsmaker knows what he should expect and now has to figure out how to post a betting line that will give balanced action to the Sports Books.
This is where the 2nd most important element in setting the line comes in, the psychology of the betting public. Now that the Odds Maker has figured out a theoretical result he has to come up with numbers that will appeal to a broad spectrum of gamblers on both sides of the game. To that he must go beyond the raw data and into the thinking process of the sports bettors. Let’s say for example team “A” is on a 10 game winning streak. The Oddsmaker knows that he could inflate the line against them because many people will bet that side automatically.
There are many psychological tools that Odds Makers use to adjust the lines after all the data is analyzed. Even going so far as to factor in the private lives of players and coaches. They are not much different than professional handicappers in this respect. Every aspect of the game is assigned a value and once you add it all up you have a betting line that will get millions of dollars of action.