How Accurate Are Vegas Odds When Sports Betting?

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Vegas Odds are often the most common way to bet on all the biggest sporting occasions throughout the year. Whether it be the Super Bowl, the Kentucky Derby or the NBA Finals, you will always find the odds for the latest action. However, gamblers are often left questioning whether they should trust the odds that are shown on these markets as a guaranteed outcome. Does that mean that Vegas Odds are accurate when it comes to all of the major sports?

How Vegas Odds Are Determined

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Many gamblers are often amazed at how often Vegas Odds can be correct, as it is very rare that the odds that point to a clear favorite in the Money Line or Spread are wrong. The oddsmakers often look to industry experts to help them ensure that the best lines are offered, which gives them the best chance of the sportsbook staying in profit.

This means that games with a -7 line in the NBA very often see the favored team by eight points. How this works is by asking a vast number of experts their opinions, before then setting the line at the average number from the answers that the experts have predicted. The Money Line markets are typically the most accurate as these see experts picking between two teams.

This is especially the case when it comes to sports such as soccer, basketball and football. For example, if the Lakers are playing against the Hornets in early 2021, then it is clear that the form, history and head-to-head record would all indicate a win for the Lakers. That will be shown in the odds which presents Lakers as the clear favorites. Gamblers can expect no surprise when the Lakers win the match and the potential profit for betting on them reflect that. However, it isn’t the case for all sports.

More Difficult Sports To Predict

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The Money Line for betting on major leagues such as the NBA, NFL and NHL will be accurate more often than not. However, that isn’t the case for all sports. Two of the most valuable sports, according to the odds are horse racing and golf. The biggest reason for this is that there are much bigger fields, which means that finding a selection that all experts agree on is much more difficult.

Of course, there are still times when the Vegas Odds are correct, like where they correctly had Tiz The Law as the -125 favorite to win the Belmont Stakes. However, they have also been wrong in the past, with Authentic being valued at +450 in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

Golf is typically a sport where there is great value in the Vegas Odds, with a recent example being Tiger Woods. He was valued at +1600 to win the Masters in 2019, which led to one gambler from Wisconsin winning $1.2 million on the selection.

Five Times Outside Vegas Odds Selections Have Won

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The accuracy of odds is something to behold, as Vegas odds are typically very accurate. However, there have been examples in the past that show gamblers shouldn’t always side with the selections that are at the top of the betting in the Vegas Odds markets. These are five examples of the odds being upset (by a lot):

  • Mine That Bird wins the Kentucky Derby at +5000
  • Buster Douglas knocking out Mike Tyson at +4200
  • Leicester City winning the Premier League at +500000
  • St Louis Cardinals winning the World Series at +99900
  • Greece winning the European Championships at +8000


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