Making money on bets looks very simple: you place a stake on the leading participant, wait for a win, get the winnings, and cheer for your favorite team along the way. Sports betting does not seem like a game of chance but rather a dispute with a bookmaker’s office about who plays better. In fact, in wagering, it’s just like in a casino: sometimes you guess the victor and win big, but in the long run, the sportsbook will take it all back and even may push you into the red. It’s the idea behind bookmaking – no one will accept a really unprofitable bet.
And in order to understand how to make money from bookies, you need first to find out what is a bookie’s job and its operating principles. To be sitting on profits, a sports-betting firm must generate income. Otherwise, a company simply won’t have the funds for further activities, moreover, the funds already invested may be in jeopardy. So, the paramount question every sportsbook faces is how to make money as a bookie. The betting business is profitable, but only when the company calculates the odds competently. For each event, the bookmaker sets a certain margin, which is taken away, regardless of what outcome the players wager on.
What’s all this about? Let’s illustrate it by way of bets on boxing. Say, we have a battle between equally matched fighters – Lyndon Arthur and Anthony Yarde. In such a case, the odds on a victory of each of them could be 2.0 and 2.0. But the actual values displayed in the line are 1.95 and 1.95, which is to say, 5 points from each side are the operator’s margin for its services. Let’s move to the match between mismatched teams in betting online on football. A heavy favorite faces a clear underdog – Chelsea vs. Burnley. In order to be in a fortunate position, the sportsbook sets high odds values on the latter and very low ones on the former. Is it quiet enough to generate profit? No! Even in the first example, the situation may have the following scenario: more players stake on Lyndon Arthur’s triumph. Or, in the case with Chelsea vs. Burnley encounter, no punter backs on Burnley. The bookmaker’s main task here is to balance the coefficients so that they won’t incur losses. If most players wager on a certain result, the odds on it are lowered. But it is not always possible to balance values as in the case of the Chelsea – Burnley matchup.
Do you think the operator is panicking and getting ready to go bankrupt? No, it isn’t. How does a bookmaker make money in this context? Even if ‘The Blues’ gain a victory today, and the operator suffers some losses, the next time, ‘The Blues’ may fail, and the bookmaker will get a huge profit.
Sportsbooks think long-term, on a serial basis, and they don’t care about the outcome of a particular match. The more players punt on deliberately unprofitable odds during this series, the more profit the office would get in the end. That’s what a punter should be well aware of. And the answer to the question “do bookies make a lot of money” is obviously positive, with an average monthly income amounting to $1,500,000.
The mathematics of betting is such that you can only beat an operator if it makes a mistake in predictions and overestimates the coefficients. This happens, but in order to find out such errors, you need to analyze and sift through a wealth of information. And you have to search out a good many mistakes – a few stakes are not enough to earn!