If you’re a regular of the various local betting shops and online bookies, then chances are that you have noticed that bookmakers’ odds are priced less than the ones available at betting exchanges.
Curious about the reason, I raised the question to Mike, a friend at Bet Bright, and he was so kind to give me an extensive explanation.
– While you might find the whole situation as an attempt to lower user profit margins, you might be surprised to learn that this is due to the fact that bookmakers also feature backing for the outcome. Essentially, each time you place a wager with the operator, you earn the possibility of an arbitrage transaction at the same time.
An interesting twist
Although this fact is available for the vast majority of bookmakers, it is not always the case. At times, when the market is short on liquidity, the bookmakers will try to attract customers by offering a higher price than the one of the betting exchanges. But before you get too excited, you should know that in these situations, the arbitrage is very rarely available. After all, since the market is stagnating, it would be rather difficult to benefit from the notorious lay bet that grants a risk-free profit, irrespective of the event’s outcome.
Even though betting exchanges do offer better revenues, it is necessary to point out that such facilities always follow the prices dictated by major bookmakers – no exception. In all fairness, this is a mandatory move for such a business because otherwise there would be an abundance of arbitrage options and both bookmakers and betting exchanges would lose.
A continuous dance
As a rule of thumb, the market leading bookmakers will divulge their odds in plenty of time before the actual event. While for the smaller leagues the timeframe is usually a week in advance on average, for the popular matches with a high betting expectancy the data is released even one month in advance. More often than not, the first backing offers released on the market are usually way below the final offer that the major bookmakers will have.
While the lay prices are relatively excessive and the gap between the two is absurd, the lay and back bets get very close to each other in the end, 24 hours before the kick-off to be more precise. During this period, the market has time to stabilize and this action should not be perceived as an attempt to matching the bets themselves. A piece of evidence in this sense includes the price fluctuations that appear a couple of hours before the actual event, usually after the first-team lineup details become public.
About odds and expectations
In all fairness, numerous bettors out there believe that odds displayed by both bookmakers and betting exchanges reflect the true outcomes of a certain sporting event. In spite of the fact that they are close in most cases, these odds are not always “right” regarding outcomes and hence, they can’t be seen as true zero odds. In addition, depending on the event itself, bookmakers can take advantage of the fact that a team has an impressive fan base and under-price their odds, while providing extremely high odds for their adversaries.
If you have any other question or are curious about any sports betting related matter I’m sure that the support at BetBright.com will be glad to assist. Moreover they’re offering a fantastic risk free bet up to £30 as a new customer sign-up promotion. If your first bet loses, you get a full cash refund – you literally can’t lose!