Football Odds Quirk with Sportingbet

After wading through countless odds markets over the years I’ve become used to seeing errors in the odds and markets, but usually they are fixed by the bookmaker very quickly. On lingering quirk I’ve observed with Sportingbet seems to have been overlooked by the bookmaker. The quirk lies in the disparity between the Half Ball (+0.5) market and the Winning Margin market in football games.

Below are a couple screenshots for an upcoming West Ham v Chelsea fixture.

Half Ball (+0.5) Market

Winning Margin Market

A (+0.5) handicap bet on West Ham wins if West Ham either draws or wins the match. It is equivalent to a bet that Chelsea will lose the game. In the winning margin market Sportingbet offers the selections “West Ham United Doesn’t Win” and “Chelsea FC Doesn’t Win”. These are equivalent to the (+0.5) handicap bets. What is strange is the fact that for two identical wagers Sportingbet offers disparate odds, with the winning margin market offering superior value. It may be that the betting limits are higher in the handicap market, but for small-time punters the two markets are essentially identical, apart from the odds.

This quirk has been found in every league I’ve observed. Below are odds comparisons for the upcoming round of English Premier League matches:

  Home Handicap (+0.5) Away Team Doesn’t Win Away Handicap (+0.5) Home Team Doesn’t Win
West Ham v Chelsea 1.86 1.92 1.20 1.23
Liverpool v Southampton 1.04 1.07 2.90 3.04
Man City v Everton 1.11 1.14 2.30 2.40
QPR v Aston Villa 1.24 1.28 1.74 1.80
West Brom v Stoke City 1.23 1.27 1.76 1.82
Arsenal v Swansea 1.05 1.09 2.70 2.85
Fulham v Tottenham 1.54 1.58 1.37 1.41
Reading v Man Utd 2.45 2.80 1.02 1.08
Norwich v Sunderland 1.29 1.32 1.64 1.68
Newcastle v Wigan 1.22 1.25 1.81 1.86


It just goes to show, it pays to shop around for odds, even if it’s with the same bookmaker!

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