Importance of beating the closing odds

Understanding the differences between opening and closing odds is absolutely key if you're going to be successful at betting. Knowing how to calculate the expected value of a bet will allow you to find bets with the best value which is important both in the short and long term.

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The difference between opening odds and closing odds

Finding the opening odds first

Make sure to follow our betting tips which are constantly updated and will always have the best odds helping you to buck the trend and beat the bookies.

The opening odds are the first odds that are released by an online bookmaker

Opening odds are usually released around a week before the match is due to start and are based on information all the information that is currently available to the bookies.

How do the bookies calculate their opening odds?

Bookmakers will calculate their opening odds based on much of the same information that is also available to you as well.

Here are some of the things that bookies take into consideration and so should you!

  • Look for previous statistical analyses of the teams involved
  • Home advantage is an often overlooked factor
  • Looking at recent form is vital to understanding how a team is currently performing
  • Make sure you know exactly who is available. Look at long-term injuries and suspensions etc.

Well ahead of a game and around the time of the opening odds being released these are the types of information available to everyone so don't get caught out!

Remember that as time goes on other factors can contribute to bookmakers adjusting the odds to come in line with as new developments take place. 

A sudden change of manager or a key player being ruled out with illness/injury are just two of many incidences that may see odds altered from how they stood initially.

Bookmakers are able to call upon employees hired specifically to keep ahead of all the information they have access to the odds are as accurate as can be. 

The Best Betting Site for Odds

Betfair Bonus and Odds

Market leading betting exchange

Whether you're looking for football odds or odds on the tennis, Betfair is the place to go. As one of the select few betting sites that are big enough to give you the widest range of odds possible, we recommend Betfair. What sets them apart? The Betfair Exchange of course. Not only will you be able to find traditional odds set by the bookmaker but the Betfair Exchange allows you to take bets set by other punters and to set your own. Throw in a premium welcome bonus on top of that and you've yourself a winner!

Closing Odds

Closing odds are offered by a bookmaker just before a match begins.

The closing odds odds will have factored in all of the information that has arisen in the time between the release of the original odds and the match start. 

Closing odds are much more accurate compared to opening odds

For that reason, closing odds are much more compared to opening odds, and are paid closer attention to.

The likes of Betfair and bet365 are renowned for giving players a clear pointer of how a match will pan out through the most accurate closing odds on the market.

Betting Tips to Boost Your Betting

It can be hard to find real value, or to even understand what real value odds are. One way to beat the closing the odds is to follow expert betting tips. 

Make sure you stay ahead of the bookies, and of the betting curve by following our expert betting tips. Packed full of analysis and written by pros, our betting tips are here to give you the boost your betting needs

Our expert tipsters are guaranteed to find you the best odds for your bets
Give Your Betting the edge it deserves

Just some of the major competitions that our betting tips cover week in, week out.

  • Premier League - The world's most exciting league in full focus
  • Championship - Betting tips from the toughest league in the world
  • Champions League - Europe's elite football tournament every step of the way
  • Serie A - Follow every minute of all the Italian action
  • La Liga - Real Madrid to Messi, La Liga will never disappoint
  • Bundesliga - From Borussia to Bayern, this year is heating up
  • Euro 2020 - From the Euro Qualifiers to the Euro 2020 Final

Betting Tips with the Best Odds

Bet closesTipsterEventBetOddsResult
26 Feb
Marseille vs. Paris Saint-Germain
French Ligue 1
Bet: Over 2.75 Asian goals
26 Feb
Manchester United vs. Newcastle United
League Cup
Bet: Newcastle to lift the trophy
26 Feb
Tottenham Hotspur vs. Chelsea
English Premier League
Bet: Under 2.5 goals

Fluctuations in the odds

Odds will fluctuate from when they are initially released. This is due to betting companies constantly monitoring the market and reacting on trends to make sure they’re not leaving themselves exposed to losing money on a potential outcome.

The bookies will always react quickly to buck the trend

For example, a last-minute cash flow toward a certain pick will result in the bookies having to react swiftly to cover themselves. Here, they’d drop the odds on the side heavily backed and lift the odds on the other side in order to smooth out the money.

Dropping Odds

Punters who play on dropping odds are betting on a bookmaker yet to adjust the odds according to what is currently going on in the market.

It’s all about spotting an anomaly when comparing odds
How to make the most of dropping odds

Let's say the majority of the market offers 1/1 (2.0) for a bet on over 2.5 goals in a match.

You scour through the odds on a number of different betting companies and you find one single bookmaker offering 7/5, (2.40) which is much better value.

If you're deadset on backing this bet then you've found a great opportunity to take advantage of a price that's yet to be adjusted by the bookies.

If the bet goes on to win you'll stand to win more for your bet.

Being able to follow and analyse the meaning of shifting odds is an important step in improving your overall ability in betting. 

However, instances where dropping odds can be easily identified and exploited are now few and far between. Betting companies, now armed with more advanced software, are able to monitor changes made within a market in much greater detail and adjust odds almost instantly.

But exactly what brings about these changes in odds? Is it solid info or is there a much simpler explanation?

Following the crowd

Closing odds are an accurate reflection of the outcome of an event due to being decided by what the market is saying. 

As in any walk of life, you’ll often find punters following the “herd mentality” where a punter will observe odds for a specific team dropping and won’t hesitate in following suit and betting on it also. Why? Because the knowledge shared between the masses, is likely to be far more accurate than one single expert’s prediction. 

The more people bet on one market, the more the bookies will look to drop their odds   

The caveat of this though rests with the amount of profit made, which you can expect to be low.

The larger the market, the greater likelihood of the closing odds being correct which is fine in showing an outcome for what it’s worth but doesn’t provide much in the way of value.

Think of the value, not just the likelihood of placing a winning bet

At the same time, it’s important to beat the final odds in popular competitions and large market such as the English Premier League for example.

The more obscure sports simply do not attract the masses and so will have markets with low turnovers, low limitations and less chance of making a profit from the start.

How to Find the Best Odds By Yourself

The expected value of is the average expected return for each bet.

Becoming familiar with how to calculate the Expected Value (EV) of a bet is an important step for increasing your level of expertise in betting.

It’s unlikely you’ve asked yourself whether a bet has a positive or negative value but the answer could help determine whether or not you’ll become successful at betting in the long run. 

Understand the Expected Value (EV) of a bet

In order to gain a better understanding of expected value, we’ll use the classic method of a coin toss by way of an example.

This is a completely even playing field with a 50% chance of the toss being either heads or tails. Odds of higher than 1/1 (2.00) are needed for a positive expected value, while odds of less than 1/1 (2.00) would give you a negative expected value.

So, with odds of 11/10 (2.10) you'll have a positive value for your bet. For every pound you invest you can expect to get 50 pence back in winnings.

Remember though, not all bets will result in a win – after 50 tosses you could be behind in terms of profit despite having a positive expected outcome. However, going by the EV calculation, in the long run, let’s say after 1000 coin tosses, you’ll be in the black as your expected value was positive.

Calculating the Expected Value for a match

You'll first need to find out the true odds of an outcome by calculating its probability.

It sounds complicated but you can quickly and easily do it yourself by dividing the odds by 1.

So if you have odds of 1/1 (2.20) then you would do the sum:  1 ÷ 2.20 = 0.45. That would mean that the probability is 45%.

Formula for calculating the expected value in a match

(Probability of winning) x (Winning amount per bet) minus

(Probability of losing) x (Lost amount per bet)

Find the best odds quick and easy

Let's take a look at our formula in practice in a real life situation.

West Ham are playing away at Chelsea and you’re considering betting on the away team to win.

The odds are as follows: Chelsea - 1/5 (1.20), Draw – 11/2 (6.50), Sunderland – 16/1 (17.00)

A £50 bet on Sunderland will yield a profit of £800. The probability of winning is 1/17 = 0.58 = 5.8%.

The probability of Sunderland not winning is the amount between a Chelsea win (0.83) and a draw (0.15), this being 0.83+0.15 = 0.98 = 98%.

Transferred into the formula used above, the calculation would read:

(0.058 x £800) – (0.98 x £50) = -£2.60

The expected value comes out as a negative (-£2.60) meaning a loss can be expected in the long run if you bet on a Sunderland win with those odds.

A negative EV doesn’t mean you’re going to lose money

Unlike a coin toss, sports betting odds are subjective which means money can be made if you’re able to outsmart the bookmaker.

The key to success here is not dependent on individual results which can be determined by luck. It’s important instead to search for bets that have a positive expected value in order to be a winner in the long run. While this offers no guarantee of success when betting on individual matches, your chances will increase significantly.

Beat the Odds with Live Betting

Do you prefer to test your wits when you've got the gave right in front of your eyes? Then we'd recommend you go for live betting instead.

What is live betting? 

Up until a few years ago the only way to bet was to back pre-match odds set by the bookies. Now you can follow the game in real time and place bets as you see the action unfold in front of your eyes.

Live betting means you can react to changes in the game quicker than ever

Live Betting That Makes the Difference

bet365 Live Betting

Best bet builder features

bet365 is one of our favourite betting sites for odds. They offer a great selection of pre-match betting markets whatever the match, whatever the sport. Where bet365 really shines though is when it comes to live betting. Their live betting package is the best in the business bar none. If you don't find live odds with bet365 you probably won't find them anywhere. Add to that live streaming, live stats and cash out and you've got everything you need to bet in-play to the best of your ability.

The Best Betting Sites for Odds

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