With the gold rush of sports betting now here in the United States, odds boosts have become popular to help bring in and retain willing customers. Consequently, one can find this feature across just about all the major sportsbooks, including BetMGM, DraftKings and FanDuel. There is an outstanding question that remains – are odds boosts worth it? The answer to this question is a little bit more tricky. Sometimes a bet boost gives a wager immense value, while other times, one will not have positive expected value. Here, we will discuss what to look for and how to calculate the expected value of a odds boost.
What is an Odds Boost?
In short, an odds boost is a normal bet in which the odds move in favor of the bettor. Typically, a sportsbook operator will select a few contests or props and package them at a better than normal price. The number of odds boosts vary from sportsbook to sportsbook, but typically one will find between three and ten offerings per day. Since these are promotions, the sportsbooks typically limit the amount that can be bet on them to around $100.
Let’s See An Example of A Bet Boost Calculation
The following is a bet boost that is available at BetMGM on March 23rd, 2022.
Is this a good bet? To find out, we need to walk through the process to calculate the true odds of the event occurring. To answer this, we have to ask ourselves the following questions.
- Are the events within the bet boost correlated?
- What are the odds of each event occurring individually?
- Are our expected odds better than the odds boost?
Firstly, in this example, the events are not correlated. Consequently, this is a good thing as it makes the calculation a lot easier (more on this later). This allows us to go on to our second step which is to find the odds of each event occurring. To do this, we need to find the no-vig odds on every game in the parlay. From the game pages on this site, I find that no-vig odds for each team is, -269.5, -203.4, and -233.5, respectively.
I did the calculation in Excel above to show how the math works. However, one can take the no-vig values and place them in our parlay calculator to find the expected odds value of the parlay. Here, we find that to get an expected value of zero the combined odds would need to be around +192. Thus, any odds boost greater than +192 would be a good bet. Obviously, with an offering of only +160 from BetMGM, we would pass here.
Show Me a Good Odds Boost
Here’s another odds boost available today at FanDuel…
This looks exactly like the one from BetMGM but with the Blackhawks replacing the Maple Leafs. The no-vig line on the Blackhawks winning is +113.9, and so the calculation is as follows…
Here, we see that any odds offered over +355.7 would be a good bet and FanDuel is offering odds of +420! This a great bet to get as much money down as possible. Using our CLV calculator, we find 2.71% in closing line value and an expected bet value of $14.11 on a $100 bet. That may not sound like much, but little wins like this can add up big over time.
More times than naught, there is value to be found with odds boosters. However, these bets should not be placed blindly. It is very important to run the numbers to make sure there is value in what is being offered. Lastly, I mentioned correlation earlier and want to expound upon that here. I’d argue that it’s best to avoid these odds boosts as the correlation can sometimes be quite difficult to value. This makes it easier for the sportsbook traders to offer boosts that are more in their favor.
In conclusion, take advantage of these promotions while you can! Odds boosts are one of the best ways to get ahead and beat the sportsbooks.