How Accuracy of Sportsbook Odds and Totals Can Affect a Sportsbook’s Profitability


A sportsbook is a gaming establishment that accepts bets on a wide variety of sporting events. It is at the center of many online gambling platforms and often comes paired with a racebook, casino, and live casino. It offers multiple payment methods and high-level security measures. Its success depends on the ability to offer a range of sports and events, understand client expectations, and stay informed about market trends.

Sportsbooks make money by setting odds that ensure a profit for every bet placed. They do this by adjusting the betting odds for each event to balance action on both sides of the bet. They may also move lines if there is a change in the expected probability of a particular outcome. For example, if an injury causes one team to lose a key player, the sportsbook will adjust the line to reflect this.

In addition to adjusting odds, sportsbooks also offer over/under bets, which are bets on the total number of points scored in a game. These bets are popular among betting enthusiasts and can add a bit of excitement to the viewing experience. However, over/under bets do not guarantee a winner, and bettors should be aware of the risk involved in placing this type of wager.

In this paper, we study the accuracy of sportsbook point spreads and totals by analyzing a large dataset of NFL matches. We find that the average error on a unit bet is lower bounded by 2.4 percentiles, and the maximum error rate is upper bounded by 4.7 percentiles.

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