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How Do Oddsmakers Get Their Numbers?

If you’re like me you’re not really sure either how or what the place any bets on if it’s your game, so we wanted to share this to see if it helps out or not.

It’s submitted for your reading:

Odds are the backbone of sports betting websites, but also some Canadian Online Casino websites that have sports betting as part of their standard offering. 

And at the heart of these numbers lies the expertise of oddsmakers — individuals who can analyze sporting events and assign probabilities to various outcomes. 

But how do they arrive at their numbers? What factors shape their decisions? 

If you have been wondering, this article reveals how oddsmakers calculate those numbers by analyzing different aspects of the participating teams. 

You’ll also discover how pertinent factors such as recent performance, historical data, and the condition of players impact the odds for those games with big wins.

Team/Player Performance

Oddsmakers start by thoroughly examining the participating teams by delving into a wealth of data, including recent results, winning streaks, home or away records, head-to-head matchups, and individual statistics. By analyzing these indicators, oddsmakers gain valuable insights into the participants’ strengths, weaknesses, and overall form. 

Whether it’s by studying a basketball team’s shooting percentages or a tennis player’s serving accuracy, team and player performance plays a crucial role in potential outcomes.

Injuries and Suspensions

Oddsmakers also closely monitor information around injuries, suspensions, or significant absences that may affect the outcome of a sporting event, ensuring they stay up to date with injury reports, team announcements, player health, and any other related news. 

Injuries to star players or key contributors can significantly alter the dynamics of a match, potentially shifting the probabilities of various outcomes. 

Similarly, suspensions or disciplinary actions can sideline important players, leading to required adjustments in the odds.

Historical Data

Another consideration for deciding their numbers is how a team has performed in the past. 

Data from previous encounters, including score lines, margins of victory, and playing styles, helps them to gain insight into trends and patterns (such as a tendency for defensive play style on home turf or a player’s likelihood to attempt a 3-pointer) and to predict better the team’s strengths, weaknesses, and tendencies against other teams and players.

It may not be all there is to consider, but historical data gives oddsmakers a solid basis for forming informed judgments.

Venue and Weather Conditions

Factors like home-field advantage, altitude, and weather elements such as wind, rain, or extreme temperatures can all come into play when deciding numbers. 

In outdoor sports like golf or tennis, the weather conditions can affect ball flight and player strategies, or passing and ball control in soccer — some players might even have a preference or edge when playing on particular surfaces.

Betting Market and Public Perception

Another means oddsmakers generate their numbers is by closely monitoring the betting market and public perception of an upcoming event like a rivalry matchup or race. 

They monitor the wagers placed by bettors, the distribution of bets on different outcomes, and any notable shifts in betting patterns. 

In response to that sentiment, oddsmakers adjust their numbers to ensure a balanced book and manage risk.

Expert Analysis

Oddsmakers recognize the importance of tapping into the collective wisdom of sports analysts, commentators, and other knowledgeable sources. 

A combination of broader perspectives, well-informed commentary, statistical trends, and qualitative evaluations help oddsmakers form an understanding of sporting events and their potential outcomes. 

These insights complement their expertise, increasing the accuracy and reliability of their assessments and predictions and enriching their final numbers.

Types of Odds

There are three types of odds: fractional, decimal, and American (moneyline). You can even convert them using this table.

Fractional odds, also known as British or traditional odds, can be written as a fraction (e.g. 3/1) or as a ratio (e.g. three-to-one).

When it comes to decimal odds, the amount won per every $1 that is bet is shown. 

For example, if the odds are 2.00 for a specific horse to win, a $100 bet would result in a $200 payout.

Moneyline odds, also known as American odds, are denoted by a plus (+) or minus (-) sign, with the plus sign indicating the underdog with a higher potential payout, while the minus sign is assigned to the favourite with a lower payout.

Bookmakers always add a profit margin to the odds displayed, which means that the payout to the successful punter is always less than the true probability or chance of an event occurring (or not occurring).


While oddsmakers may not possess a crystal ball, their work is founded on a deep understanding of the sporting terrain and goes far beyond “crunching the numbers.” 

It’s also important to note that oddsmakers don’t try to predict actual outcomes. 

Through a blend of data, intuition, and market sentiment, oddsmakers provide a framework for bettors to engage with their favourite sports in an exciting and calculated manner. 

Behind each digit lies a multitude of factors considered, and the next time you place a bet, take a moment to appreciate all the work that goes into obtaining the odds.


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In December 2022 he was Awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Pin.
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