How To Compare Betting Odds

Being a savvy punter means shopping around for value and, to do that, you need to be able to compare betting odds effectively in order to find the best available option.

Why compare betting odds? The benefits

Odds for the same match, contest, race or whichever event you want to bet on can vary greatly across different bookmakers. This can translate to big differences in potential winnings, depending on the size of the wager you’re considering placing.

Therefore, being well informed of the odds on offer across as many bookmakers as possible before you place your wager is the smartest way to ensure the best possible return. Having accounts with as many bookies as possible will also allow you to take advantage of the best odds, as this will make the whole betting process more smooth.

The easiest way to compare betting odds is to load up two betting sites and read them next to each other for your chosen market, but this can be time consuming and impractical.

Betting Exchanges: A comprehensive tool for comparing odds

If you want to see how the UK is holding up in terms of live prices, we recommend you use the Betfair betting exchange.

With an exchange you get prices that are both live and a reflection of the market trades, rather than a single human odds compiler working at a betting site deciding the odds themselves.

The majority of odds compilers use an exchange like Betfair these days. Betting exchanges are a handy way to compare betting odds but there are also other methods.

Odds Comparison Tools: Surveying the betting market

Odds Comparison tools compile and compare the prices offered on a range of events by different bookmakers, allowing you to easily analyse who has the best odds and making the decision a lot easier when it comes to placing your bet.

As mentioned above, prices can vary greatly across different bookies, and this can be even more noticeable for bigger prices and more unusual or niche bet selections. 

Oddschecker is the most famous website when it comes to being able to compare betting odds. They are one of the longest-running odds comparison sites, and also one of the most popular.

They cover all betting markets and list up to 30 betting sites across which you can compare odds, when you narrow your search down to a single market.

The market movers is a useful tool. It includes steamers, where the odds are shortening and therefore indicating that bookies fear the outcome is becoming more likely. For example, a horse going from 10/1 in the morning to 3/1 by midday would be considered a steamer.

Opposite to that you have drifters, which means an outcome is becoming less likely. Again, this is usually attributed more to horse racing, with an example being a horse that started with good odds like 4/1 but which has now drifted out to 8/1.

Oddschecker do offer steamers and drifters on other markets like football and tennis, but circumstances in these sports markets tend not to change as much so the movements tend to be smaller.

You can use Oddschecker to see who is moving with their prices. So let’s say you see a horse steaming from 10/1 into 8/1 and then it goes to 5/1. You can use Oddschecker to compare the betting odds across all bookies, so Betvictor might still be sat at 8/1 when others have moved to 5/1. You’d then try and get on Betvictor before they go to 5/1 to get the better price.

This is where the real value of odds comparison tools is found, but you need to be properly set up with an account on a number of bookmakers’ websites to be able to move swiftly and take advantage of better comparative odds once you spot them.

Further Odds Comparison Tools: Alternatives to Oddschecker

Naturally, with odds comparison tools you’re probably looking for the betting site offering the best price for your single bet, and this is the main function that users will require from an odds comparison site.

Placing your bet through an odds comparison site is not all that common, although they do operate affiliate schemes where they will refer website users to bookmaker websites to sign up and place bets.

This is common practice, so don’t be put off using a betting site advertised by a site Oddschecker or any other site that helps you compare betting odds.

There are alternatives to Oddschecker, if you want a slightly different selection of bookmakers’ odds compared. In general, all odd comparison sites operate off the same principles: gathering and comparing as many bookies’ odds in as simple and direct a manner as possible.

Easyodds is a good alternative, with the added incentive of some pro tips thrown in, while Odds Portal is another well-known and popular site. Best Betting is perhaps not as advanced as the aforementioned site when it comes to website features and presentation of odds to be compared, but its simplicity is also a positive as the information is clear and easy to digest.

About The Gambler

Ryan Murton is the Editor-in-chief at Bookies Reviews. He is a keen football & boxing fan. He also has an interest in the NFL. He is a passionate Burnley supporter & also likes the Green Bay Packers.

Ryan has previously worked for bookmakers like Betfair & Paddy Power, as well as working at Oddschecker, the odds comparison platform.

You can follow Ryan on Twitter or find him on LinkedIn.