Why Do Sports Betting Sites Have Different Odds?

Content Navigation
  1. What are the Betting Odds?
  2. Odds – How Correct They Are?
  3. Why the Odds are Different?
  4. What Factors Affect the Odds?
  5. Final Verdict

why bookmakers odds are different

What Are Odds?

If you’re interested in gambling on- or offline, you should know and understand what odds are. Simply put, they give us the likelihood of an event or result occurring.

There are various ways to display the odds, namely Decimal (2.00), Fractional (1/1), and American (-100). These are the most common formats, but others do exist. Most sportsbooks have an option for changing the display to your preferred format.

Apart from telling us the probability of an event occurring, odds tell us what the expected returns or winnings are. Fortunately, the calculations are easy. Most betting sites indicate the return on the betting slip if you’re not interested in maths and calculations.

Sports betting sites employ odds compilers (sometimes called oddsmakers) who are responsible for setting the odds. There are countless aspects that they consider, and they do tons of research before releasing the findings.

How Correct Are The Odds?

Now that we have a fundamental understanding of the odds, how do you know how accurate they are? Sportsbooks make money whenever a player places a bet. You might wonder how, given that they pay out the winners, surely they lose money, right?

The odds that we’re offered are slightly altered at every sportsbook because they need to include a profit, known as the juice or “the vig”. This is the reason that it’s uncommon to find even odds at sportsbooks (2.00/ 1/1, -100) when we talk about an event with two possible outcomes.

Instead, you’ll find the odds for either outcome around 1.85, 0.85/1, -118. This alters them ever so slightly so that the bookie makes some profit regardless of the result.

Regular punters have accounts open at several sports betting sites so that they can shop around for the highest odds available. Using the best odds ensures that you earn the maximum winnings possible.

Why Do the Odds Differ at Sportsbooks?

As mentioned previously, sportsbooks employ oddsmakers. These people are responsible for doing thorough research on teams and tracking past events. Once they’ve done the work, they apply the profit to the bookie and present the odds.

Each sports betting site and odds compiler values different factors at varying levels of importance. Much like how no two humans are the same, no two oddsmakers are the same.

The odds that they present will usually be within a close window of each other. The value that the oddsmaker places on various factors, profit margin of the bookie and other sportsbooks, contribute to the variance.

Sports betting sites are always in competition with one another, so the odds variances aren’t always significant. They need to be competitive, but also fair enough that they make a profit. Like any other company, competition keeps them in business.

Another factor that creates the difference in odds is the punters and how they play. If players back one team or player too much, then they’ll adjust the odds. The odds for the favourite to win will shorten, while they’ll lengthen for the underdog.

Adjusting the odds is a tactical move that bookmakers use to encourage punters to wager on the underdog. It also balances their books.

Factors That Affect Odds

Each bookmaker and odds compiler places value on various factors. Each factor is crucial, but the value that they place on them may vary. Nonetheless, let’s discuss what these factors are and how they affect the outcome of games.


This element is one of the most crucial. Injuries frequently occur in sports, and athletes must take caution when recuperating. If a player has an injury or is not in form, the team will suffer, especially if it’s a star player.

Injuries put pressure on the team because they need to play harder and adjust to playing with someone else in the position. Depending on the squad, and who the replacement is, the value the odds compilers place will change. The type of injury plays a crucial role. If the injury takes a player out for one match versus a season, the effect will be very different.

Weather Conditions

The weather affects different sports in different ways. Games such as cricket aren’t played in the rain, while rugby and football sometimes continue if it’s not too heavy. Some players perform better in rainy weather; others don’t.

The area or country in which the match will occur also plays a crucial role in the outcome. Every place in the world has a different climate, and athletes’ bodies must adjust to the change. If a team lands early in the foreign location and gets sufficient practice before game day, they’ll have a better performance.

Oddsmakers need to check weather forecasts and compare how the teams performed under those similar conditions.


It’s common knowledge that a team playing on home territory has an advantage. It’s their home, and they’re accustomed to the environment and conditions, whereas their rivals aren’t. The home team will usually have a confidence boost when at home because they receive support from the locals.

Some teams will travel to the away territory early so that they can train and adjust to the new atmosphere and area. Rival squads sometimes aren’t affected by the region and excel wherever they play.

Odds compilers need to do background checks and find out how well the teams perform at the given venue.


The two teams that are playing will have a history together. Their past performances and most recent games will be analysed and broken down. Oddsmakers see how each squad performed and have a rough estimate on how the upcoming game will play out.

The most recent games against other teams will also have an impact because they may be playing with new tactics. The latest games will also give a clear indication of team morale and form.


The relationship players have with the management team will affect the attitude and team spirit when they hit the field. If the relationship is good, then there’s a higher chance of the team having success.

The opposite is also true. Animosity and tension between management and the squad will most likely lead to a miserable game.


Odds differ between bookmakers because the compilers vary in their judgment. The value and importance that they place on attributing factors of upcoming events aren’t the same.

One of the other contributing factors is the profit margin that the bookie has. No two sports betting sites are the same, so the profit isn’t the same. They also adjust their odds depending on how punters play. These factors are just the tip of the iceberg; there are many attributes that oddsmakers consider before they make a decision.

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