The Sports Bookie Blog

Key Betting Terms Explained: Overround

January 29th, 2007

Sports betting odds are based on probability, reflecting the sportsbooks and bookmakers estimates of winning – but they also contain a margin to enable the bookie to make a profit if they get a balanced book.

This “margin” is called Vig, Vigorish, Juice or Overround and all these terms are taking about the same thing – the bookies “built-in” margin on the bets. Therefore it’s obvious that the lower the overround, the better the value in the market.

So how can you tell what the overround is in a market? Let’s work through a couple of examples :

In a handicap market for a European football match between Arsenal and Real Madrid, where both teams had an equal chance of winning (and the draw is refunded), without an overround they would both be fairly priced at even money or 2.00.

However, the bookies do not offer this price, instead they need a margin to make a profit and so they might only offer a price of 10/11 (1.91) on each team. A price of 1.91 reflects a 52.3% chance ( calculated as 1.00 / 1.91 = 0.523) and so the overround on this market would be around 105%. 

For US sports the simplest example is seen in the ATS bet (Against The Spread / handicap bet). Again if the spread was set correctly then without overround both sides prices would be around 2.00 (or +100 is US betting odds) – reflecting a fair price for a 50% chance.

But the effect of the “vig” (US slang for Overround) results in each of the sides usually being priced between 1.90 to 1.96 (depending on your bookmaker) rather than the 2.00

Many bookies will take around 10% margin from each market – however one of the most consistently sharp bookies (especially for US sports bets) is PinnacleSports where they only take out around a 4% margin rather than the 10% “industry standard”.

An underround can occasionally occur when you look at odds between bookies, say, if you could get 11/10 (2.10) on both teams. This is also called an arb. 

(Arbitrage – Where a variation in odds available allows a punter to back both sides and guarantee a win will be the subject of another Key Betting Terms Explained Blog soon).

Sorry, no US bettors at PinnacleSports>>GO TO Pinnacle Sports

>>Key Betting Terms Explained: Spread Betting 
>>Key Betting Terms Explained: Fixed Odds Betting
>>Key Betting Terms Explained: Asian Handicap Betting

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