How to Set the Odds at a Sportsbook


Sportsbooks are online casinos that accept bets on a variety of sports, including football, basketball, baseball, hockey, soccer, boxing and more. While there are many sportsbooks on the Internet, some operate illegally, so you need to make sure that the ones you choose are legal.

The legality of sports betting depends on the country in which you live and whether or not it’s legal for you to place a bet. It’s important to research the laws in your state and to contact an attorney who specializes in iGaming laws.


In most sports, oddsmakers set lines that determine the favorite and underdog in a game. The line is typically a percentage of the total points that both teams will score. The moneyline is a great way to get the best possible odds on a sports game, but it also comes with a significant risk.

Oddsmakers can change these lines at any time, and this is why it’s so important to shop around for the best odds. The difference between -180 and -190 won’t break your bankroll right away, but it can add up over time, especially if you bet on the Chicago Cubs to win the World Series.

Bettors often have a high interest in certain sports during specific seasons, and it’s therefore common for them to bet on these events before the games have even begun. This is called pre-season betting and can be a profitable venture for sportsbook owners.

If you’re interested in running a sportsbook, it’s vital to understand how to set the lines and odds correctly. This is a crucial part of ensuring that your business is profitable and that customers are satisfied with the service.

You should also know how to use the vig, which is a charge you pay to the bookmaker for every winning wager. This amount usually ranges from 100% to 110% of the total value of the bet.

The vig can help protect your sportsbook from large losses and is one of the best things you can do to ensure that your company runs smoothly. It can also be used to reduce your operating expenses.

Layoff Accounts

Another key aspect of setting the odds is deciding whether to set a tiebreaker or layoff account for a bet. This is a good idea if your business is unbalanced and you’re losing on certain bets, or if you’re trying to reduce your costs by offsetting a large loss on a single bet with similar money on the other side of the betting table.

This can be a very complicated and tedious process, so it’s not recommended that you attempt to set the lines on your own unless you have years of experience in this field. You can get advice from experienced bookies or seek out a sportsbook management package to help you with this step.


A sportsbook’s bonuses are a great way to get more money back on your bets. Some offer a number of free bets or a deposit match, while others give you money when you lose a bet. Choosing the best bonus will ensure that your sportsbook offers you the most bang for your buck.