How Do Bookies Set Odds For Football?

How do bookies set odds for football? This is a question we often get asked and the answer is it’s all about opinions. The bookies employ odds compilers to study statistics and come up with odds for a wide variety of leagues, cup competitions, matches, and markets. As punters and tipsters, it’s then our job to search for odds that are bigger than we think they should be and place value bets.

An Example Of An Outright Football Betting Market

Most football match betting markets have three possible outcomes, a win for the home side, a draw, and a win for the away side. If these three outcomes were all deemed to have identical chances of happening, the odds for each of them happening should be 2/1.

This can be demonstrated by placing a hypothetical £10 bet on all three outcomes. This would cost you £30 (£10 x3) and you would be guaranteed to get your £30 back. £10 x 2/1 = £30 (£20 winnings + £10 stake). This is what is sometimes referred to as a 100% book as, if you stake the market correctly, you’ll always get back 100% of what you bet.

To elaborate on this. 2/1 is 33.33% of the betting market. To work out this percentage, you simply add 1 to 2/1 to get 3. You then divide 1 by 3 to get 33.33%. 33.33% + 33.33% + 33.33 = 100%.

The problem with being a punter is the bookies don’t bet to 100%, as they build in a percentage for themselves. This way, if all three selections are bet equally, they are guaranteed to make a profit.

For example, the odds for a match between Arsenal and Chelsea may be Arsenal 7/4, Draw 2/1, and Chelsea 7/4. 7/4 as a percentage = 36.36%. That means the bookies are betting to 36.36% + 33.33% + 36.36% = 106.05%. That means, if all three selections are backed to win the same amount of money, the bookies would win 6.05% of the total staked regardless of the outcome.

Why Do Bookmakers Bet At More Than 100%?

Bookmakers bet at more than 100% to primarily try and make a profit. But starting with a market that is over 100% also gives them some wiggle room to increase or contract odds if the demand for one outcome is much greater than the other. They may also decide to change the odds because of late injury news, etc.

How Do I Beat The Bookmakers Betting On Football?

Just because bookmakers typically bet to over 100%, there are still lots of bets out there that offer value and give you the chance to profit from football betting. If you think that Arsenal should be 6/4 to beat Chelsea and the bookies are offering 7/4, you should have a bet. Of course, it’s deciding why you think Arsenal should be 6/4 to beat Chelsea.

It could be as simple as they have won four of their last 10 matches against Chelsea, which makes them a 6/4 chance on that statistic. However, you may also want a few more factors on your side, such as Chelsea’s best striker being injured, etc.

How Do You Pick Winning Bets In Football?

Everyone can pick winning bets in football. There are only three possible outcomes in the winner markets, so you will get it right sooner or later. However, simply betting on the outcome you think is most likely to happen is not always the correct approach.

What you need to do is constantly look for value. You won’t win every bet if you back Arsenal at 7/4 when they should be 6/4 but finding this sort of value in the long run is the way to make a profit.

For example, 6/4 chances should win on average four times out of 10. If you had £10 on each of these bets, you would lose 6 x £10 but get back 4 x £25 = £100 (£60 winnings + £40 stake). This means in the long term you would break even.

But if you had managed to get 7/4 about your bets, you would have still staked £100 but your return would be 4 x £27.50 = £110. You can now see you have got back £110 for your £100 stake, which is a 10% ROI on your money. That’s why it’s important to always get value odds.

How Do I Get Value Odds For Football?

Luckily, we don’t just have to bet with one bookmaker. Bookmaker-A may price up the Arsenal vs Chelsea match Arsenal 6/4, Draw 2/1, Chelsea 2/1, but bookmaker-B may price it up Arsenal 7/4, Draw 2/1, Chelsea 7/4. That’s why it’s important to have accounts with lots of the top bookmakers, so you can take advantage of value prices.

How Do I Pick Value Football Selections?

Picking value football selection takes hard work and study. You’ll need to check statistics and the latest news. You’ll also have to have your own opinions about how teams are playing, how they may improve, or how they may benefit from playing against teams that play a certain way. Putting in the time studying various factors should pay dividends but finding the time isn’t always easy.

For our football tipsters, football betting is a full-time job. They’re happy to study a wide range of matches and statistics to find what might be just a few value bets each day or each week. Sure, they’ll have opinions about most matches, but they won’t bet on them unless they can find some value.

If you haven’t got the time to study football form, then check out free football tips here or the subscription services of our best football tipsters.

What Sort Of Markets Do Football Tipsters Bet On?

Our football tipsters cover a wide range of markers, including outright betting on many matches. Other popular markets include both teams to score, over or under goals markets, first goalscorer, etc. You’ll also find advice on our blog for long-term markets, such as who will win the Premier League, the Golden Boot winner, relegations, and football handicap betting.

We hope that’s answered your question, how do bookies set odds for football?


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