How are individual betting odds created in a tournament setting?

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I’m not exactly sure how to word this, but this is what I’m going for:

My friends and I are having a golf tournament (around 40 people total) and we want to set betting lines for everyone as nearly everyone is into sports betting. Friends who aren’t participating will be putting small bets on players mostly as a joke but we’d like to make it fair.

Our first attempt had everyone somewhere between +500 and +2000 although I know for a fact these lines are mostly too low and the implied probabilities of everyone winning sum to way above 100%.

Is there a mathematical way to set this up where the odds are realistic and wouldn’t provide an edge to either bettors or the house? For some reason we can’t seem to figure out a way to do this. American odds are confusing to begin with. Any help or guidance is appreciated. Thanks!

In: Mathematics

4 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

The mathematical way is called “pari-mutuel” or pool betting. They do this in horse racing. People bet on who they think will win and the payout is determined by how much is bet in total. The house takes a cut from the total and then they split the rest of the total money between all the people who bet for the winner.

If most people bet on the winner the return is low. If most people bet on someone else, the return is very high for the few people who picked the winner.

This is probably the most fun for a group of friends.

Setting the odds ahead of time requires a bookmaker to smartly set odds in such a way that the returns will be about as even as possible. It’s much harder to do.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Let the market decide. Auction off each player, whoever buys the winner gets all the money raised from the auction.

Anonymous 0 Comments

so its a “For fun” golf tournament; but you want there to be sports betting where the organizers have a chance to walk away with proceeds and betters lose to the house.

why not take a much simpler approach:

all bets go to pool

“house” takes 10% to pay for beer

people bet on podium placement (i think the points work)

* 1st 10 pts
* 2nd 7 pts
* 3rd 3 pts
* 4th 1pt

cards with the most points win/split the pot

Anonymous 0 Comments

This is honestly a fun use case for some type of AI.

If your friends all are golfers, then they should each know their approximate handicap. Ask for each handicap, pop it in chat GPT or something like that, and ask if for estimated odds.

You can ask it to set the implied odds for the totality land around 100% (no dealer edge) or some other value if you desire. Often, for professional events, there’s typically a 130-140% total implied odds if you sum up every everyone.