When a sporting event is approaching, betting providers set their odds based on current information. However, these odds rarely remain constant until the last moment. Various factors can influence bookmakers to either lower or raise the odds. In some cases, unexpected developments may prompt them to adjust their initial estimates. It is crucial for bettors to stay updated and analyze these fluctuations to make informed decisions.

Odds change for long-term bets

Long-term bets, also known as futures bets, refer to wagers placed on events that are far in the future. This includes predicting the next soccer World Cup champion when the tournament is scheduled to take place in one or two years.

However, this category also includes bets on the winner of a national football championship or the Champions League. Furthermore, it encompasses wagering on the outcome of a national soccer league or even the prestigious Champions League. In addition, it entails placing bets on the victor of a domestic football championship or the renowned Champions League. Moreover, it comprises staking on the triumphant team in a national soccer league or the illustrious Champions League. Additionally, it involves wagering on the champion of a local football league or the esteemed Champions League.

The odds of these bets can fluctuate throughout the course of the competition. For instance, if a team initially has low odds of winning the World Cup title but subsequently delivers weak performances, the championship odds for that team will sharply increase across all betting providers.

The opposite principle applies as well. A newcomer to the Bundesliga is typically given a high odds of winning the championship. However, if this club wins the first four or five games and sits at the top of the table, the title odds will rapidly decrease.

The newly established odds, of course, only apply to future bets. For those who have already placed a bet with a higher odds beforehand, it naturally remains valid.

Ein Beispiel für Langzeit-Wetten beim Betting provider Bet365  – hier für die Fußball-WM 2024. (Screenshot: 01.07.2024)

Several factors affect the odds.

The odds for current sports events can change in even shorter periods of time than long-term bets. For instance, after a Bundesliga matchday, the odds for the upcoming weekend's games will be determined. However, it is rare for these odds to remain the same until the start of the match.

The general betting behavior is influenced here by individual players' fluctuations in form, suspensions, or injuries. The overall wagering patterns are impacted by various factors, such as the inconsistent performance of certain players, the occurrence of bans or injuries, as well as the general behavior exhibited by bettors.

When a large number of betting customers wager on the same outcome of an event - as is often the case with a clear favorite bet - the provider will respond by lowering the odds to limit their potential loss. This proactive measure is taken to safeguard their financial interests and maintain a balanced book. By adjusting the odds, the provider aims to discourage excessive betting on the favored outcome and encourage a more diverse range of wagers. This strategy ensures a fair and competitive betting market while mitigating potential risks for the provider.

This can extend to the point where no more bets are accepted on a specific event because the outcome is deemed as virtually certain.

Take, for instance, the 2012/13 Bundesliga season, when Bayern Munich held such a commanding lead that several bookmakers paid out the winnings for the title even before the winter break, declining any further bets on it. It serves as a prime example of how overwhelming dominance can render a competition predictable and leave little room for uncertainty.

Adjustment of the odds moments before the start of the game

When the bookmaker alters the odds for a team's victory, the related odds for a draw or the opposing team's victory are also adjusted accordingly. This ensures the preservation of the value of the odds or payout ratio. In this manner, the bookmaker maintains the original integrity of the odds and payout system.

The general level of odds offered by bookmakers tends to remain consistent. However, some betting providers have been known to increase the odds across the board, including the overall odds level, just before the start of an event, in order to provide an additional incentive for last-minute bettors. This increase is aimed at attracting those who have not yet made up their minds and are looking for that extra push to place their bets.

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