Betting Guides

Betting Guide: How to Derive a Sportsbook’s Expected Score

The Sportsbook Has a Score in a Mind for Every Game

If you think that the sportsbooks are just throwing odds out there without an expected score, it would just be unrealistic.  There’s an expected score for every game and it is up to you to see how your score stacks up to that expected score to determine whether the game is worthy of taking any position.  What is the sportsbook expecting in a given sporting event and how does it differ from your expectations?  Are there injuries, weather conditions or suspensions to consider that may have caused bookmakers to have a different line from your expectations or have forced bookmakers to alter their lines?

It is important to know the expected score (implied score) of the sportsbook, so let’s show you how to figure it out!

Santa Clara is a 6 point favorite over Fresno State and the two teams are expected to score 141 points combined.  So what is the expected/implied total score of this College Basketball game?

Favorite Score =  (Total/2) + (Absolute Spread/2)

Underdog Score = (Total/2) – (Absolute Spread/2)

Now in practice with the above example.

73.5 = (141/2) + (6/2)

67.5 = (141/2) – (6/2)

The expected score is Santa Clara 73.5 Fresno State 67.5.  Now, there are no half points in Basketball, but this is implied score from these odds.

Let’s try this for another example, let’s do it for a Football game.

38.5 = (62.5/2) + (14.5/2)  FAVORITE:  Arkansas

24 = (62.5/2) – (14.5/2)  UNDERDOG:  Missouri

As you can see, the formula does not change even though the sport is different.  This can be applied to any sport.  The implied score in this case would be Missouri 38.5 Arkansas 24.

Come up with your predicted score and contrast it to the score that the oddsmakers have implied and you will be able to come up with a confidence level.