How are NFL Odds Set?

by | Sep 30, 2020

Every week during the NFL season, lines for individual games are continually evolving. There are usually not massive changes compared to the initial release, but a person putting money down on Monday might not have the same opportunities on Friday.

How do bookmakers calculate odds, and what makes them change throughout the week? Knowing this information can make people betting on the NFL make smarter decisions. While the bookmakers are always looking for ways to win, placing bets at the right time can give people the advantage for a change.

Examining NFL pricing 

The goal of every company accepting sports bets is to put the price of a game at the most enticing spot. Not only do they want to make it roughly fair from a win/loss perspective, but they also need to factor in appealing to super fans, and those willing to take huge risks.

Remember, the odds are not going to add up to 100, since the bookie is always looking to win. That means if a team has a 2/1 chance of winning, the odds provided by the company will be something more like 19/10, or 9/5. This profit margin is known as either the vig or overround in gambling terms.

Calculating odds

A lot of statistics are used initially for making odds, but they move when new information comes out. Players might be missing games because of injury, or there could be a chance that players are held out for COVID-19 issues this football season. It is tough to predict what will happen too far advance, which is why a lot of people will wait until as late as possible to place bets.

The, suggestion from the experts here at Sports Information Traders is to jump on any line that seems like great value sooner rather than later. It might seem obvious to a seasoned pro, but some people wait too long to capitalize and then miss out on a reasonable price.

Remember, after that initlal line, the public dictates how the line moves. It no longer is a true reflection of which team might win, but instead trying to even out the money on both sides coming in.

Striving for even action

Speaking of which, people confuse lines in sports betting as an exact prediction on the odds of each team winning. While odds might start looking that way, it all comes down to places wanting to make sure that they bring in even money on both sides. This is the way that they are going to make money in the long run, and it just makes a lot of sense for them to be reactive based on trends.

To make them as even as possible from the beginning, one common method used for a long time has been power ratings. This holds especially true in the NFL. Oddsmakers assign a numerical value to each team based on performance so far that year, and a bit of production into the future. Then, it is a simple as plugging things in and adjusting for home and road production to get the line.

Betting early contributes to great results (at times)

It might seem a little risky to bet early on with so many unknowns, but this is the best opportunity to get a line that might not be entirely accurate. The action that starts pouring and will help to dictate the line a bit, so it becomes skewed one way or the other. A lot of people like getting in early and hoping that they can find and inefficiency so they can have success.

Waiting works too, especially if the initial line does not seem enticing. There is no reason to jump on a particular bet early if it looks like there will be a shift.

Outsmarting the oddsmakers

The house might always win, but there are winning opportunities in the NFL during the week for individuals who know their stuff. Identify early odds that stick out, and do not be afraid to pay close attention to late changes on game day as well.

People might be under the impression that the oddsmakers are always going to outsmart gamblers. Remember, they only need to outsmart the majority of gamblers. There are still opportunities to make money out there if a person knows their stuff and strikes at the right time.


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