Oddsmaker Explained

What is an Oddsmaker?

Many punters may not think about exactly how prices are calculated on betting sites, however bookmakers must do, with an oddsmaker being the person in charge of predicting how events may play out, whether it be a football match or motor car race. For those who are searching for answers to the question “what is an oddsmaker?”, this page will deliver all of the relevant information, allowing punters to understand precisely how odds are the way in which they are with bookies.

What is an Oddsmaker? – Key Points

  • Bookmakers hire oddsmakers in order to accurately calculate odds
  • Ideally, oddsmakers look to attract interest from punters on both sides of the betting line
  • Most betting sites do not have in-house oddsmakers anymore, with work being outsourced instead
  • Any mistakes in this area can lead to value bets.
  • As opposed to betting exchanges, sportsbooks must come up with their own odds for all markets

The Role of an Oddsmaker

Effectively, an oddsmaker is looking to price markets so that they receive an equal number of bets on both sides. They take on board all of the necessary information, including recent form, player availability, head to head records, home advantage and motivation for victory, calculating odds based on such details. Oddsmakers are the same as punters in this sense, as they are basically on the lookout for any form of edge, while they may alter prices if they feel like customers will be willing to stake at inflated prices.

Who Is Involved in Oddsmaking Today?

With the number of markets found on bookmaker websites being greater than ever before, oddsmaking today involves a large amount of individuals. The sense of oddsmakers now plays a very small role in calculating odds, with expert statisticians and mathematicians playing an important part in the process instead. Oddsmaking requires a good understanding of individual markets, along with the relevant data, with key trends often having a major impact when it comes to prices offered by bookmakers.

Differences Between an Oddsmaker and a Bookmaker

When it comes to sports betting, oddsmakers and bookmakers are perhaps the key parties. However, the duo are certainly not the same thing, with an oddsmaker looking in detail at upcoming events, before setting all betting lines. Meanwhile, a bookmaker uses the prices calculated by an oddsmaker, ahead of making any necessary changes and offering them to customers in the hope of making a profit. Bookmakers will sometimes carry out their own oddsmaking, especially when it comes to ensuring for equal bets on both sides.

Bookmakers Outsourcing Oddsmaking

In an attempt to save themselves time and money, while still operating legally in the UK, many bookmakers have decided to outsource their oddsmaking, meaning that prices are not calculated in-house. With bookies having to invest further when it comes to marketing in order to get one over on their competitors, oddsmaking is one of the areas that has been impacted. Companies offering quick and accurate oddsmaking are hugely appealing to betting sites, as it allows them the time and finances to focus upon other areas of their operation. However, even when such work is outsourced, an oddsmaker is still likely to have the final say in terms of the prices offered by a bookmaker.

Copy-Cat Bookmakers

Odds are one of the first things in which punters will take into consideration when potentially signing up with an online bookmaker, meaning that it perhaps comes as little surprise that the prices on certain sportsbooks have simply been copied from their rivals. If a bookie can take advantage of the odds found on other sites then they are likely to be in a position to put their energy into other areas of their operation, which can potentially help them stand out from the crowd. Despite this, there are still market leaders when it comes to oddsmaking and price calculating, with bookmakers altering odds in order to best suit their customers.

Oddsmaking –  Special Markets

The majority of online bookmakers available to punters in the UK will offer a variety of unique or special markets, whether it be surrounding the latest political events or major television programmes. In this case, it is likely that the odds are calculated by individual oddsmakers, rather than being outsourced elsewhere. However, useful software and programs may still be used, with the final say going to an oddsmaker.

The Future of the Oddsmaker

As part of our oddsmaker explained guide, we have to note that it would appear that the future of oddsmakers is under threat, with automated systems likely to come further into play in the coming years. Predictive sports betting algorithms are likely to solve many issues for bookmakers, which will potentially mean that mathematicians and statisticians are no longer of use. Fewer and fewer human oddsmakers are likely to be required as time goes on, with profitable markets being calculated by other means, even when it comes to in-play betting.

Other Guides & Strategies Available at Betting.co.uk

Now that you have taken on board this oddsmaker explained page and exactly what the role of such individuals are at bookmaker sites, be sure to check out the other guides and strategies in which we have covered. Whether you are a sports betting customer wishing to learn more about live streaming and its advantages; you’re hoping to find out more about the legality of betting in the UK; or an experienced punter looking for a new gambling strategy, such as matched betting, we have all bases covered.


As we have highlighted throughout our oddsmaker explained guide, the role of an oddsmaker is hugely important, with the prices calculated ultimately determining how much money you can potentially make from placing a successful bet, as well as whether bookmaker’s can attract customers on a consistent basis. Oddsmaking may well change significantly in the near future and result in a redefinition of what we consider to be an oddsmaker explained guide; however for now, oddsmakers remain among the most important members of staff with bookmakers.

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