Who Sets the Odds for Sports Betting?

The answer to this question may surprise you – it’s not the casinos or the bookies. In most cases, the odds for sports betting are set by algorithms.

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The Bookmaker

The bookmaker, also known as the oddsmaker or simply the odds setter, is the person who sets the odds for sporting events. The odds setter is usually an employee of the casino, sportsbook, or race track, but there are also independent oddsmakers.

The bookmaker’s margin

The bookmaker’s margin is the percentage of the total amount bet that the bookmaker keeps as their fee. For example, if you bet $100 on a football match with a bookmaker who has a 10% margin, then the bookmaker will keep $10 and pay out $90 if you win.

The bookmaker’s margin is very important for setting the odds for sports betting. If the bookmaker has a higher margin, then they will be more likely to set higher odds which will favour them. Conversely, if they have a lower margin, they will be more likely to set lower odds which favour the punter.

It is important to remember that the bookmaker’s margin is not constant and can change over time. This means that it is important to shop around and compare margins before placing a bet.


Overround is the bookmaker’s margin in a betting market. It is the percentage by which they expect to make a profit on that market. In order for a bookmaker to make a profit, they must set their markets so that the overround is in their favour.

The overround can be calculated for an individual market, or for an entire book. To calculate the overround for a market, simply divide 100 by the sum of the decimal odds. For example, if the decimal odds for three outcomes in a market are 2.00, 3.00 and 4.00, then the overround would be 100/ (2+3+4) = 100/9 = 11.11%.

The overround for a book is simply the average of all of the overrounds for each market in that book.

The Betting Exchange

The betting exchange is a platform where punters can bet against each other instead of against the bookie. This allows punters to set their own odds and take on as much or as little risk as they want. The exchange makes its money by charging a commission on winning bets.

The commission

In a betting exchange, all bets are made between customers of the exchange, who set their own odds for the bets they are willing to make. For each bet accepted by another customer, the betting exchange charges a commission, which is a percentage of the stake. This commission encourages customers to bet against each other rather than bet against the betting exchange, which would be unprofitable. The commission also reduces the incentive for customers to shop around for better odds, since all customers pay the same commission.

The liquidity

The liquidity of a market is extremely important for a betting exchange and this is one of the key factors that determines the success of any given exchange. Liquidity is simply the amount of money that is available to be traded in a market. The more money that is available, the easier it will be to make trades and the less likely it is that prices will be affected by sudden changes.

The betting exchange with the most liquidity will generally be the most successful, as this will allow users to make trades without having to worry about sudden price changes or the lack of availability of funds. There are a few ways to increase the liquidity of a betting exchange, but the most effective method is to encourage more users to sign up and use the exchange.

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