Follow the flock. This is the clear motto when it comes to rapid odds movements in sports betting. By deciding to place your own stake where other bettor’s money already are, you have to accept that you’re part of the crowd. Betting on so-called popular bets is one of the most common habits to the average punter. The ultimate tool for doing so is by observing certain websites, that inform about the latest odds movement taking place in all the matches.
This tactic seems logical enough. After all, if you put your money on a popular bet, this means you agree with the majority of bettors from around the world. Thing is though, that when it comes to betting, the majority is not always right. As you may have noticed, it's actually the other way around as bookmakers have clearly the upper hand when it comes to who's winning week-in-week-out.
You think this is an exaggeration? Take a close look without thinking about alleged conspiracy theories. What would happen if let's say 90% of the most wagered bets were actually confirmed? The sheer amount of payouts would bankrupt all of the online betting sites in a few moments. Betting would be a simple process as a few punters would start by backing a choice and the majority of bets would influence the outcome of every event.
Evaluating the information
Now we're not advocating that overwhelmingly backed choices can not offer helpful conclusions altogether. Whatever information we can get out of a match, it can prove to be invaluable provided that its used the right way. Every bit of data, such as numbers, injuries/suspensions, latest news and obviously odds changes can guide you into making a right or wrong decision, depending entirely on the way you choose to interpret them.
The "odds changes" peddlers
Apart from internet websites, that provide direct information about odds changes, there are various other characters trying to take advantage of them. They make it appear as if they're selling inside information about such changes, informing their subscribers directly from their secretive source or, even better, trying to justify the reason for odds movements. In most cases they're just glancing at numbers, without even knowing why a specific outcome is suddenly receiving large amount of bets.
These odds changes are most obvious in minor league matches. The reasoning behind this is quite simple: English Premier League or German Bundesliga ties are avidly watched by millions of football fans, many of whom place their bets entirely on these leagues. It's practically impossible to witness significant odds changes as the total stakes on betting sites like Bet365 or Betfair are usually measured in millions of pounds. This means that unless the entire market changes their initial view en masse (due to an unexpected injury or head-coach change) the odds will usually remain close to their initial prices. On minor leagues on the other hand, even a £10,000 stake can cause and odds movement as the total amount wagered is much smaller and more susceptible to price volatility.
"Who?" and "why?"
Before you observe how odds change, you have to wonder about another variable: Who are the people behind these stakes? There are three different answers to this: You might follow a wave of punters from around the world, who happen to have the same opinion about the match result. The odds changes could have derived from high roller activity. Or the bookie himself could manipulate the odds to lure more bettors to a supposedly attractive choice and balance his commission.
Of course, you can never get a straight answer to this question, unless you’re the bookie himself. But you can ask yourself “why?” and look for the reasoning behind some odds movements. Finding this out is not only fun, but can also offer some useful conclusions, especially if you see that people are flocking towards a choice simply due to market movement. No matter which reason you might do this, unless you find solid info that supports or counters a choice, you are advised to not risk any money on it.
In virtually 99% of such cases, you won’t find out the cause before the bookie does, so it's impossible to catch the bookie by surprise. If you see that a bookmaker has not changed his odds despite receiving large amounts of money, then trust me, it's not happening by mistake. There are some cases, though, that a bookies may prefer to "freeze" a match for a while by temporarily withdrawing it or by not accepting any bets. In such a case he is realizing his initial view was wrong and is now trying to desperately adapt to market fluctuation. However, like we mentioned above this mainly happens in minor league matches, where the total amount of money waged is typically low.
An alarm clock, not a compass
So, how can you take advantage of odds movements info? Look at it more like an alarm clock for your choices instead of a compass. When you see a notable change, you should take notice and find the reasoning behind the bettors and bookies decision. If you believe there's value to be found, then you should place your bet accordingly.
Whatever the case might be, make sure to not make a rash choice. Even experienced punters are prone to making this mistake, as they look at the odds without taking the time to see what caused them to drop or rise. This is happening many times during a week and sometimes odds changes are so significant, that no one can quite explain why this is all happening. There’s a “don’t miss the chance” mood, which can prove to be disastrous if you blindly follow the hype.