How Are In-Running Odds Calculated?

SHARE

How Are In-Running Odds Calculated?

You know what’s it like: an early red card, an injury, a break of serve…these incidents can change the whole nature of a sports event. Outsiders suddenly become favourites and the most-backed selection suddenly looks very vulnerable. All of which has a huge impact on the odds. At least, it does now. Thanks to in-play betting.

In-play betting was created to offer punters an opportunity to wager on markets that are dynamic in nature, with key incidents helping to shape new prices 'in running'. It’s added an entirely different dimension to sports betting. But who is responsible for calculating in-running odds?

And how do specific events within matches dictate the level of fluctuation? The art of bookmaking is about minimising risk while producing prices that remain attractive to the betting community. This is sometimes easier said than done – especially with in-running betting, where the unforeseen can shift price points almost beyond recognition.

When that Third Division team takes the lead away from home against a Premier League side in the FA Cup, that sound you can hear is odds compilers across the land trying manfully to reset their prices.

What are In-Running Odds?

We all know about betting odds that are compiled prior to a ball being hit, kicked or potted, but what happens when the match has started? Technological advancements have facilitated in-play betting, with mobile punters having access to an ever-changing landscape of odds as a sporting event unfolds. The creative minds behind bookmakers are smart, and they recognised a new opportunity for leveraging additional profit.

In 'the old days', to coin a phrase, bets were taken prior to the start of an event and that was it. Now, in-play punters can place their wagers up until the final whistle is blown, the match-winning point converted or the final putt sunk. This presents opportunities – and risks – for a bookie, so pricing up their reactive markets accurately is essential.

The best example to use is that of a football match. So much can happen in the space of 90 minutes that the likely winner of the match can change numerous times within the length of the game. Team A may have been a heavy favourite prior to kick off, but what happens if they are a goal down at half time? Maybe their best player succumbs to an injury after 15 minutes?

Clearly, this harms their chances of winning and promotes the cause of their opponents. Live betting odds try to reflect these changes, and enable punters to find value hidden within the minutiae of a sporting event. As momentum fluctuates, so too do the markets.

How Are In-Running Odds Created?

To understand how in-running odds are created we must first understand how pre-match prices are calculated. As any sports fan knows, there is never an equal chance of certain events occurring. So if Manchester City are playing Hull City, there isn’t a 33% chance that the hosts will win, 33% the visitors and 33% the draw; we know that through implication.

We might put our own theoretical numbers on it: Manchester City might have a 60% chance of winning in our minds, the draw might come in 30% of times and Hull might get the win once out of ten. This, in essence, is how betting odds are calculated. Let’s price up that example in betting parlance:

Manchester City (Evens), Hull City (5/1), Draw (2/1)

These odds imply that Manchester City have a 1 in 2 chance of winning (50%), Hull a 1 in 6 (16.6%) and the draw comes in 1 in 3 (33.3%). Here’s the key difference though: if all three outcomes add up to 100%, then that is a ‘perfect market’, and the bookmakers won’t make any money!

So instead they run a book at around 108%, which assumes that no matter what the outcome of the event, the bookies will trouser a profit. With that in mind, we can see the basic building blocks from which in-play betting odds are devised. The actual events that cause them to fluctuate will differ from market to market, however the odds compiler will never veer from the bookmakers’ ‘over-round’, which is typically 7-10%.

Who Creates In-Running Betting Odds?

The lucky individuals that get to compile in-running prices are called odds compilers or traders, and ultimately their first aim is to minimise the amount of risk attached to each event and market. They do this by accurately setting their prices according to the profit margin outlined above. But of course they still need to prepare prices that are enticing to the bettor.

Most punters with an appreciation of mathematics can weigh up whether certain sets of prices are fair and represent the actual possibility of the outcome occurring, and with a number of different odds comparison sites available these days – most of which are updated ‘in running’ – a punter has options at their disposal in seeking out the very best odds.

Those players interested in some live betting now that you've heard all about how in-running odds are created, browse our list of topnotch live betting sites to find the perfect bookie for your next live event. If you're looking for a recommendation from the list, check out NetBet's stellar live-betting section and start in-play betting today!

Recommended Betting Sites

Terms and Conditions apply for all bonuses. Must be +18 to participate.

Betting Strategy Articles


Backing Montgomery in Grand Slam Could Mean Bullseye
Backing Montgomery in Grand Slam Could Mean Bullseye

The 11th Grand Slam of Darts gets underway on 11 November at Wolverhampton Civic Hall, with 32 players competing for eight days to carve a slice of the £450,000 prize fund. But which supremo will be t ... Read More

Why You Should Be Wagering the ATP World Tour Finals 2017
Why You Should Be Wagering the ATP World Tour Finals 2017

The 2017 ATP World Tour Finals are shaping up to be an intriguing week of tennis, with several new faces and a new sponsor to spice things up. Time to take a look at the runners and riders and see whe ... Read More

Hamilton Securing Title Means Betting Value in Brazil 2017
Hamilton Securing Title Means Betting Value in Brazil 2017

The penultimate race of the Formula One season takes place this weekend. The drivers’ championship may be over but there's still plenty of interest in the Brazilian Grand Prix, and time to place your ... Read More

Top Horses Experts are Backing at the Melbourne Cup 2017
Top Horses Experts are Backing at the Melbourne Cup 2017

The weather at the 2017 Melbourne Cup is expected to be less than sunny, though the real storm clouds have gathered above the stables of Harlem and Jon Snow. With the AU$6.25 million Emirates Melbourn ... Read More

Experts Make Picks for Best Bets of The Breeder’s Cup 2017
Experts Make Picks for Best Bets of The Breeder’s Cup 2017

America's Breeders' Cup is back this weekend, offering bettors a challenge. One thing's for sure, though, betting on these races is exhilarating, challenging and potentially rewarding if you're able t ... Read More

Browns vs Vikings in London is Packed with Betting Value
Browns vs Vikings in London is Packed with Betting Value

When the Minnesota Vikings and Cleveland Browns clash at Wembley Stadium on October 29, the showdown will not only be a chance for UK fans to see some live NFL, but for the latter to revive their seas ... Read More

Betting Navigation

Newsletter

Sign up for the free Gambling.com Newsletter to stay on top of all the best bonuses!
We will never share or misuse your personal information. Privacy Policy

Latest Betting Strategy

BettingGuides

Country Guide