Do Different Sportsbooks Offer Different Odds, and Why?
As a general rule, it is in the best interest of the punter to shop around, in order to find the best price for the wager he or she is intent on making. Different sportsbooks do have different prices, and, while it may be a bit of a drag to shop around for the best one every time, taking the extra time to do so in order to find the lowest vig possible will end up adding to the bettor’s bankroll.
The Odds Given Most Frequently
For sports that are based on the accumulation of sports, the odds offered are usually around -105 or -110. For example, a Canadian bettor may be able to bet on a favourite ice hockey team like Edmonton Oilers at -10 at odds of -110, or the favourite in a baseball team like the Toronto Blue Jays at -3 at -105 odds. If he or she wanted the other side of the wager, they would then take the underdog for the same point spread, +10 and +3 respectively, and would thus be receiving those points instead of giving them. The odds given are usually given very close to even odds, such as -105 or -110, which would mean betting CA$105 or CA$110 in order to win CA$100. Point spreads and moneyline odds are designed to aid the sportsbook balance the risk they face on either side of the wager.
Bookmaker Payouts and the 50/50% Betting Percentage
For our example, a Canadian casino or sportsbook has taken in 100 wagers valued at CA$110 each, or bets which risk CA$110 in order to win CA$100, for a total of CA$11 000. 50% of the wagers, or 50 wagers of CA$110, totalling CA$5 500 are on the favourite to win, and the other half are on the underdog.
The Canadian bookmaker knows that if the favourite team manages to win, they will be required to pay out CA$10 500 to the punters who place bets saying that this would be the result of the match, CA$5 500 on the wagers themselves, plus an additional CA$5 000 in winnings.
In a similar fashion, should the underdog team go on to win, the bookmaker would be required to make payouts equalling CA$10 500.
The bookmaker is happy whatever the outcome, however, since they will have profited no matter what the match results are, thanks to the fact that a total of CA$11 000 was collected and payouts will not exceed CA$10 500.
Bookmaker Payouts and the Centred Game
As well as trying to balance bettors on either side of a wager, Canadian sportsbooks will try to price the odds for each bet so that each of the sporting events they are providing markets for are close to a centred game, or a wager wherein the pricing will reflect the actually likelihood of that particular event to occur.
If the wagers are priced with the true exact probabilities, punters will only be able to win 50% of the point spread bets they make, and the appropriate winning percentage of the moneyline, and the bookmaker will be collecting the profit margin of 4.5% over the long run due to the cushion of the vig.
Different ideas on probabilities result in different odds being offered on the same outcome of an event.