A Betting Question from an Ignorant Non Gambler

Sorry if this sounds ridicuolus but i’ve never been interested in betting or any form of gambling but I look at the odds now and then when tipping etc but…

How are odds calculated and what parameters are looked at or considered when comig up with the numbers we see for say Premiership favourites?

The reason for my question is that I heard on the MMM this morning that after Manly’s win they are 4th favoutites after Dragons, Melbourne and us? There are now 6 teams on a 4-2 win loss but we are 3rd favourites, Why?

Apart from that it would be interesting to know anyway


Whilst I am not aware of the finer details of how the TAB or Centrebet for instance calculate odds exactly, the short answer is that they look at a range of factors in determining the opening price for the season or for a single match. Past success for instance, and whether a team has recruited well in the off-season, any injuries or even off-field issues that may dampen morale or even public opinion.

After this point, fluctuations can also be influenced by the amount of money coming in for one particular team. If 75% of the money is coming in for the ousider, than the odds are going to be reduced for that team, and the favourites odds will push out a bit. A bookie generally wants to try keep the betting as even as possible, that is, have an even amount of money coming in for both sides. By moving the odds are changing the lines for instance they steer punters of a favoured team and onto a team with ‘more value’. Keeping the odds even reduces risk for the bookie, basically the losers money will be used to pay the winners money - there will be left-overs and this is what the bookie keeps. This is why public opinion may influence the setting of odds, because the bookie can assume that it will reflect the money coming in to an extent.

In relation to this years premiership odds - I guess they still think the Tigers look good at this point, better than the other teams with the same win/loss. That is a pretty fair assessment.

thanks Centaur I think I understand most of that.

Also a non-gambler here, but I’d like to know what ‘line start’ means, like some games a team is +14 start and the number fluctuates during the game?

  • just reminded me, some punter lost $286k on Melbourne last night - 😆 that’s gotta hurt

The line is basically the “line” above or below zero that a team has to win by. It is a hypothetical advantage/disadvantage given to teams by the betting agency.


Tigers vs Souths

Tigers -6.5 paying $1.90
Souths +6.5 paying $1.90

Let’s say the game ended

Let’s say you bet on the Tigers (-6.5) - Subtract 6.5 from the Tigers score (36 - 6.5 = 29.5)
This means that the hypothetical score is now:
Tigers 29.5
Souths 30

Souths Win! You lose your bet - Should have backed Souths (+6.5)!

excellent, thanks for the explanation!

A fancy new way of what was once call ‘points start’

Good post too centaur

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