Which Australian bookmaker offers the best odds is a question we are often asked, and whilst it is one of the most important factors when comparing bookmakers, you should remember that odds on individual markets will vary across bookmakers. As such, it is important that you sign up with as many bookmakers as possible and then choose the one that has the best odds for any particular bet.
Our analysis here is for Australian online betting companies, but the same odds will also be offered by their international equivalents.
Objectively comparing odds across bookmakers and determining which one offers the best odds is not as straight forward as it may sound. Some bookmakers are market specialists and might offer better odds for one sport, but some are market followers who simply mirror the odds of their competitors (but with a more ‘fat’ to protect themselves).
The ‘fat’ or house edge in this case is called a ‘bookmaker margin’. It is the difference between a fair bet, say a $2 each way on a two way market, and the actual market you will receive- $1.90 each way for instance.
In this example the bookmakers margin calculation is:
Now if the odds were $1.95 each way the house edge would only be 2.6% – so a lower bookmaker margin is better as you can tell.
The other problem with calculating bookmaker margins across different bookmakers is that, whilst it is easy to compare line odds of $1.95 each way to $1.90 each way, when looking at lopsided markets (say a two-way race of $1.05/$10) a bookmaker that might offer better line bets might also have a lower tolerance of risk, and start adding a bigger bookmakers margin to longshots.
Calculation of Margins
In order to take into account the fact that bookmakers offer different odds across different sports, and deal with risk in different ways, we used a multi-sport/multi-market approach to determine the average bookmaker margin, looking at:
- Various sports across:
- Australia (NRL, AFL)
- US (NBA, NFL)
- UK (Premier League)
- International (Rugby Union)
- The two most popular betting options for each market (outright winner and line bets)
- A range of markets from those with a strong favourite (less than $1.20 on the favourite), to roughly even (more than 1.80 on the favourite).
As you can see Pinnacle is the outright the market leader when it comes to odds, and we recommend your joining them here. If you haven’t heard about them and want more information, read our Pinnacle Review.
That said, this comes at a price. Pinnacle is an odds specialist because they cover very few sports and offer very few betting options (typically only head to head, lines, and total points/goals markets) and no promotions.
The outright leader of the mass coverage bookmakers. Sportsbet have a great $150 joining offer you can take advantage of here, and they also pair their great odds with frequent promotions and a wide variety of markets. Incidentally, they can offer great odds across a variety of markets because they mirror the odds of their behemoth international bookmaker parent company Paddy Power.
Pairs great odds with the single widest variety of sports markets.
Also has great odds, along with Betstar and Bookmaker.com.au, which are all owned and managed by Ladbrokes, If you are only going to join one of these, let it be Ladbrokes, as they offer more promotions than the other two.
Whilst all of the other bookmakers worse odds on average, we still suggest you consider joining them. On top of taking advantage of joining offers there will be times when the odds between bookmakers will be so far out of line that one of these bookmakers will have the best odds on one particular side of the bet. Check out the complete list here.