Sports Margins at UK Betting Sites
Margins in Football Betting
Football is without a doubt the most popular betting sport with leagues and competitions being followed by passionate football and betting fans in every corner of the globe. Due to this popularity, you’ll discover that the margins found in football can swing heavily from low to high within a single betting site. This is generally down to one main reason, the betting site is focussing on offering the best possible value in one or two specific markets, say the Europa League for example, but they will offer high margins on other football markets to gain some of their profits back. This is something that Betsafe does very well with 3.36% margins for Europa League events, but up to 11.4% margins can be found in other football markets on their site.
How do operators make their profits through these margins? They set the margins slightly higher than the actual probability of an event happening. For example, a 50/50 coin toss should technically be set to 2.00 odds in what is known as a 100% market, where there is no favour given to punter or operator.
However, in the betting world, the operator might offer 1.95 odds for heads and so punters would not actually be getting the realistic odds. This 0.05 difference is known as the margin and it’s how operators take their advantage and essentially make profit.
Here’s how you would calculate a betting margin for a typical 2-way event:
(1/decimal odds) *100 + (1/decimal odds) *100 = The Betting Margin
For example, take the odds for England (1.54) vs Wales (2.50) in a football match.
(1/1.54)*100 + (1/2.50)*100 = 64.9 + 40 = 104.9%
The 4.9% margin over the true 50/50 100% market is where the operator makes their money. The best value bets are the ones with margins close to 100% whereas bet value starts to decrease as the margin moves away from the 100% mark.
You’ll find a recurring theme amongst most betting sites in that they will offer the lower margins on the top leagues and events, in the hope of attracting the majority of the betting community to their site. The higher margins will be found in the minor leagues where there is less betting activity but just enough to balance out their profits. The end goal for all betting sites is to entice the football betting crowds to bet on their site, and they use the special offers (low margin bets) on the top events to attract them.
Be sure to shop around for the best value markets when betting on the top events such as Champions League and Europa League.
Margins in Tennis Betting
Tennis is a growing betting market with more and more punters looking to the courts to find value bets. The margins found in the tennis markets tend to be a lot more restricted in terms of “margin swing” with the industry average sitting in and around the 6-8% area. This is down to the smaller demands and betting action than the likes of football, however, it still pays to do your homework and find the low-margin bets if you want to build a bigger betting profit over time. You could easily have an extra £100 in your pocket from placing a handful of tennis bets on one site and then opposed to a site that offers higher margins on the exact same markets.
Betting on the tennis at Betfred gives you a stable range of margins between 4.7% and 5.2% and so you know that you’ll always find fair value. Yet it’s a different story when we look at Coral with margins of 7.6-9%. This shows us that betting with Betfred over Coral throughout a tennis season will give you a significantly larger winning potential overall. It’s these little percentages that add up over time.
There are a plenty of sportsbook exchange sites that are worth visiting. Some of them offer a fixed 2% commission across every tennis event and provide a much bigger return on winning bets compared to other exchange commission rates. Typical sportsbook margins differ from 4.7% up to 9% and are offered by various bookmakers. Margins determine the difference between the odds, the customer is offered to bet at, and the actual probability of the outcome. 100% or a 0% margin is a fair market. One site could offer around 101% for the major tennis tournaments when the other one might offer anywhere from 104-109% – the higher the percentage, the worse the odds are on your bet.
The following formula can be used to determine the betting margin for a typical 2-way tennis event on a sportsbook betting platform:
(1/decimal odds) *100 + (1/decimal odds) *100 = The Betting Margin
For example, take the odds for Federer (1.75) vs Nadal (2.10) in a tennis match.
(1/1.75)*100 + (1/2.10)*100 = 57.1 + 47.6 = 104.7%
The 4.7% margin is where the operators make their profit and in a real-life situation, this market would not offer value in comparison to using an exchange.
When it comes to margins, make sure you check them out before you bet on any Tennis event in the future.
Margins in Basketball Betting
Basketball is predominantly based in America with the official NBA league offering the biggest proportion of markets available to bet on. The global popularity of the sport does mean that you’ll find a wide range of margins being set by various betting sites. The average margin you’ll find is based in and around 6% with 888sport and Bwin offering as low as 4.7% and up to 8.4%. The thing with Basketball is that there are fewer markets available due to the nature of the game. In general, fewer markets equals higher margins. This is due to the overall match or event being more predictable and therefore less profitable for the betting site which, in turn, creates the higher margins.
You’ll find a common bet type in the Basketball markets called the point spread, also commonly known as the spread or the line, and this is used to determine the overall margin when handicapping a team favoured to win. The betting operator will predict that a team will win by a certain number of points in any typical league or cup match. This is displayed as a minus figure such as -10.5 for the favourite and the less-favoured team is displayed as a plus figure such as +10.5. These minus and plus points are what is known as the point spread. Your bet will only payout if your team wins by a number of points greater than the point spread number.
The following formula can be used to determine the betting margin for a typical basketball event where you pick one team to win over the other:
(1/decimal odds) *100 + (1/decimal odds) *100 = The Betting Margin
For example, take the odds for Chicago Bulls (2.15) vs LA Lakers (1.55) in a basketball match.
(1/2.15)*100 + (1/1.55)*100 = 46.5 + 64.5 = 111%
The larger than average 11% margin (over the 100% mark) is where the sportsbook make its profits and in a situation like this, we would recommend looking elsewhere to find lower margins around the 105-108% range. This would offer you a much better value on your bet in this particular basketball market.
Thanks to the big-name players and huge branding that comes with the sport, a large betting customers can be found and betting sites will try to entice these basketball fans with NBA bet specials. This is where you can find the low margin basketball bets and again it goes to show that shopping around the sites for the best value odds will give you bigger returns.
Look out for betting sites that specialise in American sports as you’re more likely to find better value margins and bigger returns on bets.
Results – keep up-to-date with the Latest Sporting Events
Betting brands with a foresight to implement a results section usually partner up with the leading betting data software provider, BetRadar. The company offers a range of sports data and information through its Statistics Centre. They cover over 1,900 events across 40+ sports in 110 countries worldwide, and this means that betting customers can get instant results right after the events take place. The choice that BetRadar provides each betting operator is also impressive with up to 20 years of historical data available. Not all sites will offer this amount of archived results data but most will allow you to search back up to at least one year.
The data itself is owned by BetRadar but this doesn’t take any of the effectiveness of having this on-site feature available. A betting site results section holds a lot of value to the everyday punter. The ability to check your bet results and study the previous form become a useful betting tool, however, this feature is not always present on every site. We search through each of the sites that we review and check for the presence of a results page and what exactly can be found if there is one available.
Statistics as a Main Tool for Successful Betting
In addition to the on-site results page, the statistics and data section are likely to be more valuable to the betting customer nowadays. Finding bet value through insight and knowledge has now become easier via onsite features from Opta and SportRadar – two of the top sports statistics and data providers on the market. Customers can search through huge amounts of data to find those hidden value bets and there is no limit to the type of statistical data available. You’ll have quick access to league tables, upcoming fixtures, and previous results. Clicking through into each team or match will bring up top goalscorers for football or top point scorers for cricket, for example. All of the in-play actions are covered with corners, how many assists, how many cards, injuries, and so on. The depth of data is almost endless if you take the time to search through it all.
Our recent analysis of the top sports betting sites shows that not all operators are actually offering this important betting tool. Surprisingly, big-name brands such as Coral and 888Sport do not have the option available whereas sites like Ladbrokes, Bwin, and Paddy Power are all offering their customers a detailed stats centre service through SportRadar, Touch-Line, and the aforementioned Opta service.
Top Football Leagues & Events from Leading Bookmakers in UK
All betting sites nowadays should be covering the top events, leagues, and competitions across the world. As these are the main markets that the majority of the betting crowd tend to place their bets on, from the casual weekend punter to the daily betting professional. The obvious choices are the Premier League and other big European leagues such as Spain’s Primera Division and Italy’s Serie A. The betting markets available across these popular leagues are all well covered, with all of the popular bets available such as 1×2, both teams to score, over/under goals, through to the niche markets based on individual players and specific events within the match such as ‘Player X to score last’ and ‘Number of goals scored in the 2nd half’.
As we previously mentioned, you are more than likely to find better margins amongst the popular leagues and matches due to the increased interest and betting action. Betting sites are given more room to lower their margins thanks to the sheer volume in bets being placed on these particular markets. Always be on the lookout for specials during these popular events because there will be times when you’ll find some extremely valuable bets being offered.
Premier League Betting Odds
The Premier League is the top-level football division in England and has been running since 1992, preceded by the English First Division that was founded way back in 1888. It’s considered to be the best football league in the world with many of the top players, managers, and stadiums all making their name there. The most successful team in the Premier League period has been Manchester United with 13 titles to their name, followed by Chelsea and Manchester City with 5 and 4 titles respectively. Leicester City made headlines around the world with their recent Premiership title during the 2015-16 season, breaking the dominance of a handful of clubs to win the title in the previous 10 years – Man United, Man City, and Chelsea.
The Premiership has welcomed some of the very best players in the world from the homegrown talent of Wayne Rooney and Michael Owen to international superstars like Cristiano Ronaldo, Thierry Henry, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The current Premiership top goalscorer is Alan Shearer with 260 although Sergio Aguero and Harry Kane are about to catch up if they keep their impressive goal-scoring form up. The Premiership is a highly-rated league with fans all across the world from America to Asia, so you’ll always find plenty of related markets available at the top betting sites.
Serie A Betting Odds
The top football league in Italy was traditionally known as ‘Lega Nazionale Professionisti Serie A’ but across Europe it is now affectionately known simply as Serie A. The league was formed back in 1898 and it has been restructured many times throughout its 100+ years, but what has always remained is the typical Italian style of football, the ‘Catenaccio’. In simple terms, this means a strong priority on an organised and unbreakable back line of defence. The long list of defenders in the Italian hall of fame goes to show how effective this system has been with the likes of Franco Baresi, Paolo Maldini, and Alessandro Nesta to name just a few.
Juventus are undoubtedly the most successful team to have played in Serie A with 35 titles to their name, almost double their nearest rivals AC Milan and Inter Milan with 18 titles each. To find the top goalscorer, you need to go back to 1952 when Silvio Piola of Cagliari Calcio retired on a total of 274 goals. Next in line leads you to the more recent years and efforts of Roma legend Francesco Totti with 250 goals. Serie A has always attracted attention from football fans across the world and none more so than this season with Cristiano Ronaldo currently playing out his last years in Juventus.
Primera Division Betting Odds
Formed back in 1929, the ‘Campeonato Nacional de Liga de Primera División’ is Spain’s top flight football division, although most of Europe and the world know it by the much simpler name of La Liga. Much like the Premiership and Serie A, La Liga has been home and is still home to many legends of the game with names such as Alfredo Di Stefano, Ronaldinho, Raul, Iniesta, Xavi, both Ronaldo’s, and of course, Lionel Messi all gracing the La Liga football pitches with their talent. A style of Spanish football has also been formed over the last 20-30 years in the form of Tiki-Taka. The short passing and movement tactics honed and perfected by Johan Cruyff’s management days in the 1990s at Barcelona.
Real Madrid holds the prize for most titles won so far with a total of 33 and this is followed by Barcelona with 26 titles. It has been these two teams at the top for quite some while and with their buying power in the transfer market, it looks like that they will dominate the league for many years to come as well. You’ll find both of the top goalscorers under these two club names with Barcelona’s Messi first, followed by Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo.