How are NBA Odds Actually Calculated?

How Are NBA Odds Actually Calculated?

Whether you wager on NBA games because you're passionate about betting or just because you want to support your favourite team, you may have wondered about the processes that create the odds you are offered by sportsbooks.

After all, the odds for different teams can change by the minute, while those participating in spread bets will often find totally different spreads depending on which bookmakers they use.

Some might feel that NBA betting odds are just a form of guesswork, but this is rarely the case. Rather, sportsbooks take into account a vast range of data points in order to calculate the most accurate and reliable odds possible on a minute-by-minute basis. Here are the main factors that go into calculating and generating NBA odds. 

Squad Strength and Player Performance

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the most detailed NBA predictions and odds are based on squad strength and player performance. However, this goes far beyond points and plays. Odds are usually calculated via complex algorithms that use hundreds of data points, including injuries, player style, passes, defense, and just about every other on-field factor you can think of. 

Play History

When calculating the odds of a team winning outright or determining the spread, you need to look at who they are up against. Odds are often calculated based on the track record that a particular team might have in historical games against the opponent they are due to face-off against. Bookies will look at the factors that caused success or failure in previous games and calculate up-to-date NBA odds accordingly. 

Field Conditions

Did you know that the weather and the grass on the field can influence odds? It is hardly news that weather can impact a team's performance, with cold, heat, rain, and mud all tilting the odds in different directions. Many professional bookmakers will look at weather forecasts for the game ahead and compare those predicted conditions with player performance, to see if there are any patterns to observe and whether a particular team might fare better or worse in certain conditions. 

Other Sportsbooks

Sportsbooks do not operate in a vacuum. This is why the odds you will find from sportsbook to sportsbook do not vary very much (although spreads can vary significantly) - all bookmakers will check what other bookies are thinking and factor this into their own odds calculations. By consulting what other platforms are doing, it is easier for a sportsbook to determine that their own odds are accurate and fair.

The Public 

Finally, it's important to note that you also play a role in the calculation of odds. All bookmakers pay close attention to public opinion when drawing up their final odds. It might be that the public sees something that bookmakers have missed or the simple fact that teams playing on their home turf surrounded by their fans tend to perform better. Either way, the public always plays an important role when calculating NFL odds.

These are the main factors that go into the generation of NFL odds, so keep these in mind next time you are shopping around for spreads. 


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