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In-Depth Analysis of Soccer Betting Odds Movements

Stefan Budur in Soccer Betting Strategies 26 Mar 2024

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Experienced bettors meticulously examine movements in soccer betting odds to find the best price before placing a wager.

Think of the odds as a seller’s price offer for a good or service. Seeking the finest possible deal is your goal. The odds are the same. The likelihood of getting a better return, consequently, the reward is higher with larger odds.

Being aware of the odds and the variables affecting them before you make a wager will put you in a stronger position.

What are soccer betting odds?

Soccer betting odds are numbers attributed for an outcome to occur. The higher the odds, the lower the probability of occurring for that outcome.

For instance, the odds for Sheffield United to defeat Liverpool at Anfield are among the highest in soccer betting. This is due to the near impossibility of such an event to come out. An Anfield upset by the Blades would yield a 20x return on investment.

The full-time outcome odds favour a  Liverpool win. A draw is also extremely costly, given Liverpool’s dominance in the home games.

Why do soccer betting odds fluctuate

Football betting odds change both before and during the match. Skilled gamblers can interpret changes in the odds and take advantage of this chance to acquire a better deal. When something happens during the game, the in-play odds will alter if specified circumstances affect the pre-match soccer odds.

Using the Liverpool vs. Sheffield United game as an example, the full-time result odds will go up for a Liverpool win and down for a draw or a Sheff Utd win if, the Reds have a player sent off after the visitors are awarded a penalty.

Pre-match soccer betting odds movements

Have you ever observed a difference in the soccer odds between the odds price provided right before kickoff and one night before the game? You could wonder, why is that?

What transpired between the start of the game and the referee’s first whistle? Let’s have a look at some of the most important factors that contribute to soccer betting odds movements:

  • bookmaker’s odds calculation algorithm
  • bookmakers profit margin
  • market liquidity
  • risk management

Whether you are building Accumulators or, placing single bets on bookings and corners, consider all the variables mentioned above before you place a bet.

Bookmaker odds algorithm calculation

Each bookmaker has an algorithm that determines the likelihood of a sporting event. The betting site with the biggest odds indicates that the bookie intends to have the smallest profit margin using a fairer algorithm.

Often, the newly emerging betting companies look to attract customers by displaying the highest odds in the sportsbook section on top of a great welcome bonus.

The bookies that stood the test of time have perfected their odds algorithm introducing new variables each time an unexpected event happens.

Bookmaker profit margin

Every bookmaker has a margin that guarantees a profit for every event, no matter how it turns out. The shorter the odds, the bigger the profit margin. Regardless of the kind of wager you will make, I suggest opening multiple betting accounts and comparing the odds to identify the best value.

Also, exploring the profit margin is famously used in arbitrage betting. A type of betting strategy that uses multiple betting accounts and covers all the outcomes of an event, returning a small profit each time.

Market liquidity

Think about a World Cup final. Millions of soccer fans will watch this match. Every betting market will be overflowed with a substantial amount of money. As a result, the betting market will become unstable, causing bookmakers to change the odds frequently.

Other soccer events that will have a volatile market liquidity are:

  • Champions League knock-out games
  • promotion and relegation match finals
  • soccer matches where key players get injured very early in the game

These are key games you need to pay attention to spot market liquidity fluctuations.

Risk management

Risk management experts are important for bookmakers. One of their many attributes is to mitigate the risk associated with odds movement. They check the amount of money wagered on each market provided in the sportsbook section every minute.

If they see a lot of money being bet on a certain event, they will reduce the odds to control the risk. As the offer becomes less alluring, the gamblers will stop placing bets, preventing the formation of a bubble.

Live betting odds movement

In-play betting is one of the best ways to follow and understand the soccer odds movement. During a soccer match, the odds fluctuate greatly across all the betting markets available. The two important variables that influence odds change during a live soccer game are:

  • time
  • an unexpected event

If the time variable’s influence on the soccer odds movement is easier to predict, an unexpected event can surprise even the most experienced bookmaker.

Sweden and Albania played a friendly game at Solna Stadium. The match was expected to be a tight contest and the halftime score (0-0) confirmed that statement.

In-Depth Analysis of Soccer Betting Odds Movements

However, the hosts were on the front foot creating many chances to score, missing narrowly a couple of times in the 1st half. As time passed, the odds for Sweden or Albania to win increased. Conversely, a Solna Stadium stalemate decreased, lowering the odds.

A somewhat expected goal scored by Sweden following pressure on Albania’s defence was an affair that changed the full-time odds result.

Sweden’s goal scored in the 62 minutes of the game was the act that initiated the soccer odds change. The price for a home win dropped drastically, while a draw or, Albania to emerge victorious saw a surge.

Consider the tips in this article to protect your bets from the odds movements. Gamble responsibly using only the money you can afford to lose. Take advantage of the soccer betting odds movements to spot the best price.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Stefan Budur


Former owner of Betting Mojo, experienced bettor and former punter at Betadvisor, Stefan has done it all when it comes to soccer betting. With more than 15 years of experience in the gambling industry, he gained a lot of knowledge that he'd like to share with SoccerNews.com readers so you can position yourself better every time you place a bet.

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