A linemaker, or an oddsmaker, is a person who does the statistical calculations used for deciding how much to pay bettors on a match. They are the people responsible for making money for the bookmaker. If the bookmaker loses money, it is the oddsmaker who typically gets the blame.
If this is the job you want, you are in the right place. We will provide you with an overview of how to become an oddsmaker. In the end, you will also find out if this career is worth it or not.
What is the job of an oddsmaker?
An oddsmaker is not merely about predicting the winner of the outcome. It is only one of the oddsmaker’s duties. It is also the task of the oddsmaker to statistically gauge the public’s opinion on who is going to win. These factors are taken into account, and then he makes a line, or the odds, for the bets that you see on websites like Vulkan Bet.
Apart from these, you are also expected to do these things:
- Produce odds for live events;
- Publish the line bets accurately;
- Monitor matches and calculates the odds;
- Update prices according to market movement.
As you can see, it is not merely a task that involves statistics. You need to have adequate knowledge about sociology and marketing. As an oddsmaker, you need to “feel” what the people are feeling. If the public deems that one team is the underdog, then you need to factor that in your odds pricing.
On top of your statistical and social skills, you are expected to know the status of a player or a team. In football, for example, you should know if any star player is injured or if there are trades that happened before the match. All of these things can affect the outcome of the game.
Skills you need as an oddsmaker
So, what skills do you need as an oddsmaker? The main skills you need are statistical and analytical skills. Oddsmakers are great at numbers. They need to prove, with numbers, whether their lines or odds will make money for their company.
Here is a very simple example (in reality, the odds are not equal numbers):
- Fight – Pacquiao vs Mayweather
- Underdog - Pacquiao
- Pacquiao Odds – 2:1
- Mayweather Odds – 1:1
Let us say that 1 person put a bet on Manny ($2,000), and one person put a bet on Mayweather ($1,000). Now, you have $3,000 in your pocket as the bookmaker. Here are the following scenarios:
- Mayweather wins – you give back $1,000 to the bettor, plus $1,000 for the prize. Your profit is $1,000.
- Pacquiao wins – you give back the $2,000, then pay $1,000 as a prize. Your profit is $0.
If Floyd wins, you make money, but if Pacquiao wins, you do not lose money, except that you have to pay the margin.
As an oddsmaker, you either make a profit for your outfit or you bankrupt it.
On top of that, you need to be able to analyze who the real underdog is, especially in team sports. This is why you need to be an avid follower of sports to become an oddsmaker. If a player is injured, you need to be able to calculate the impact of his absence on the team’s performance in the match.
How do you do this?
If the injured player is making 20 points per game on average in basketball, then it is wise to presume that without him, the other players have to make up for the 20 points he should have made.
Now, you have to ask yourself, can they do this? If you look back at the team’s history, how did they fare against the same opponent in the past? You have to consider all these factors before making a betting line or odds.
Salary of an oddsmaker
How much does an oddsmaker earn? The range is between $28,000 and $101,000 per year, with the low range reserved for those who are merely starting out.
The bottom 10% of oddsmakers earn $28,000, while only the top 10% are in the range of $100,000 per year.
As you progress in your career, make sure that you learn as much as you can. Those who are on the top tier know many types of sports, and this is what makes them valuable. They can make odds for football, basketball, MMA, boxing, cricket, and so much more. You can only do this if you have enough passion for sports, to the point where you will watch any match.
So, it is worth being an oddsmaker? Yes, it is definitely worth it. However, you need some serious statistical skills. These skills are not great to have but rather a must-have. You will never get a foot in the door if you have no clue about what statistics is about.
Next, you need to be passionate enough to watch different kinds of sports. You need to know how the public feels about a match and then use that knowledge to the advantage of your company. At the end of the day, the matches you make must make money for your company.