Dropping Odds | What Does Dropping Odds Mean?

As a sports bettor, how should you react to dropping odds? This guide on betting terms explains all you need to know, including tips and strategies for high odds when they start to drop.

What is the Meaning of Dropping Odds?

Dropping odds simply means the price on a particular selection is getting lower. Another term that can be used is “shortening odds”.

The bookmaker’s role is to try and offer evenly-balanced markets that attract money on all outcomes, thus resulting in a guaranteed profit for the bookie. Therefore, when the odds are dropping on one selection, they will normally lengthen (go up) on the other possible outcomes from that market.

There are a few reasons for dropping odds, but the main one is money. If bookmakers take many bets on a specific selection, they will reduce its odds to lower their exposure.

Dropping Odds

Dropping Odds in Football

Understandably, dropping odds happen all the time when betting on live football. For instance, when a goal is scored, the odds drop on that team. However, let’s focus on pre-match betting.

Here’s an example of dropping odds. A match between Real Madrid and Barcelona. The odds in the morning had Madrid at 2.00, which is a 50% implied probability.

Real MadridDrawBarcelona
2.003.254.00

Around the time of the line-ups being announced, there was a lot of heavy betting on Real Madrid, which forced betting companies to drop their odds down to 1.65. This is a 17.5% decrease in the payout on Madrid winning. On the other side, both odds of a draw or Barcelona win went up.

Real MadridDrawBarcelona
1.653.805.20

Dropping Odds in Basketball

Regardless of the sport, the concept of dropping odds is the same. In this example, we took the NBA Championship game featuring the Golden State Warriors and the Boston Celtics. The book for Game 5 opened immediately after Game 4 with these odds.

Golden State WarriorsBoston Celtics
1.582.34

Whispers began circulating that Steph Curry’s foot injury may sideline him from the game, which made the price on Boston look very attractive. The lines moved accordingly as the money started to flood in on the Celtics.

Golden State WarriorsBoston Celtics
1.901.90


What are the Best Dropping Odds Strategies?

There are various approaches a bettor can take to hopefully capitalise on markets with dropping odds.

Sleepy Bookmakers

In this digital age, betting companies can adjust their odds at the click of a button. However, the largest bookmakers still have their own traders, so that you may find some variance.

Therefore, the odds may drop on one betting site, but a rival has yet to react. This presents a window of opportunity to still get a better price.

Early Cashout

Some bookmakers allow early cash-out, meaning you can cash out before the event has started. The key to this strategy is looking at the betting markets as soon as the bookmaker publishes them.

For example, you can usually bet on EPL matches more than a week ahead. Typically, the best markets are 1X2, O/U 2.5, and BTTS. Search through the bets to find prices that are higher than usual.

Let’s say you see Everton vs Southampton – BTTS @ 2.10. The chances are that this will be below evens (2.00) at kick-off, so it is a good early cashout opportunity.

How to Predict Dropping Odds?

Predicting dropping odds is no easy task. After all, if it were, then all sports bettors would win most of the time. That said, we can share a few tips that may assist you.

Team News

When pre-match betting on team sports, the most likely time when odds are going to change (drop and rise) is when the teams are announced.

Savvy punters who thoroughly research their wagers can jump ahead here. Perhaps, a star player is coming back from injury, or there’s a doubt over a player due to illness. A smart prediction here could see you get a much better price.

Major International Events

Major events like the FIFA World Cup or the Euros attract punters who bet on their national team – a heart-over-head strategy. For countries like England, with a strong betting culture, this always lowers their odds.

However, as the tournament approaches, serious money comes in for the other teams that stand a good chance of winning. Bettors can maximise this opportunity by seeing where the early money has gone and assessing the value on the other sides.

Long Shots

Staying with football, although it can apply to most other sports. This tip focuses on heavy outsiders. For instance, bookmakers rarely give good odds on Liverpool or Manchester City if they play a team outside the top 6.

Their odds are excessively short, which means longer odds for the other team. Often, the prices on the outsider will drop as more bettors take a speculative punt. These types of markets are good for a dropping odds cash-out strategy.

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FAQs

For more information about dropping odds, read our commonly asked questions below.

Why do odds decrease?

Several variables can cause odds to decrease, but the main factor is money. The more cash that is wagered on a selection, the more the odds will decrease.

How do you interpret dropping odds?

It is often subjective to interpret dropping odds, as different bettors may have different beliefs about why the prices are shortening. However, everyone would agree that it signals confidence in a particular selection or outcome.

Should I accept odd changes?

You should only accept dropping odds if you believe there is still value in the bet. This is calculated by using your own probability prediction and comparing it with the bookmaker’s implied probability.

What happens if odds change after a bet?

Other than racing, all bets are taken at the odds at the time of placing the bet. Any changes after your bet have no impact on your payout. But they will alter the cash-out value – positively or negatively – depending on whether the odds go up or down.