Learn to Read Between the Lines: How Vegas Sets Football Futures Odds


The art of setting the number is like scotch, it’s an acquired taste. Professionals who learn for example to construct football futures odds do not wake one day and say, “I think I can that!”

While a few Joe Schmooze’s might be correct on a few numbers on teams they know, to accurately assemble college football odds on 128 teams for future’s wagers and not leave the company you work for left open to exposure for a mistake made is imperative.

Bookmaker put up there futures odds awhile back and Todd Fuhrman of Sportsline.com and former Caesar’s oddsmaker probably said it best about making odds, “It’s data, numbers and an understanding of the market.”

Here is the breakdown of each category.

Everything Starts With the Numbers

For any oddsmaker, sharp bettor or quality handicapper, they have power ratings they build. Often this takes years of fine-tuning and really is the lifeblood of setting odds on individual games or futures wagers.

These individuals tend to be extremely confident in what they put together and if questioned, they will come at you like an attack dog, firmly believing they are correct. All 128 teams are assigned numbers, but only the top 45 to 50 even make the cut to be wagered on, because realistically, only 25 to 30 teams even have a chance to win the championship and the number of teams that are truly bet on by volume is half that.

Data Drives Adjustments

While most of the material oddsmakers look at is available to everyone to view on the internet, the fact is most do not comprehensively dig deep enough to find unique nuggets of info that can make a difference or they do not have the time.

This is where those setting lines or futures odds have the edge over those placing college football picks. We have all heard the expression, “They (oddsmakers) must know something we don’t know.” And while that can true, this mostly because it is their job to do so, which is not true of the majority of those betting football.

Elements like returning starters (and at what key positions), coaching, schedules and the programs themselves all are part of the data used to formulate numbers.

Understanding The Market

This is another invaluable asset in the linemakers arsenal, which allows them to generate numbers based on perception through their knowledge.

This season, there again is very public teams that will attract the majority of action. It is easy to rattle off Alabama, Clemson, Oklahoma, LSU, Ohio State and Michigan.




Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here