One of the challenges of sports betting is maximizing each bet that you make, and making sure that you get the best odds and the most value out of every wager you do. Bet builders allow you to create a combination of bets that is tailor-made to your picks and risk sensitivity. But how does a bet builder really work for sports betting sites?
Bet Builders Explained
A bet builder is a service offered by online sportsbooks to combine multiple bets on a single game into an acca (accumulator). It's basically a way to create a parlay from several picks on a single event's markets. Bet builders generally offer recommendations for bets you can and cannot add to your ticket based on compatibility.
Most mainstream UK bookmakers offer bet builders though some use a different feature name:
- Bet365 with Bet Builder
- Betfair with Bet Builder
- Ladbrokes with #GetAPrice
- William Hill with #BuildYourOdds
- Coral with Build Your Bet
Bet builders are very popular in the United Kingdom and tend to focus mostly on football matches. Bet builder odds are much higher than simply combining single bets because a single failed selection voids the entire ticket.
Here is an example of a bet builder slip from Betfair, for a football game between AC Milan and Liverpool.
In this example, the bet builder's final bet slip would contain the following selections:
|AC Milan v Liverpool
|AC Milan v Liverpool
|2-1 for AC Milan
|AC Milan v Liverpool
The odds for this treble bet built using a bet builder is 28.69 so a £10 wager would return £286.90 in total, for a net profit of £276.90.
If you placed three singles for a total of £10, you would be getting potential returns of £48.64 for a potential profit of £38.64. See the below singles bet slip.
Bet builders are glorified accumulators but focus on a single event or game. You cannot bet on two different matches via bet builders, you must remain in a single game. More so, you must only place compatible bets.
Take for example football betting, in a match between AC Milan and Liverpool. You place your pick for AC Milan to win. If you are using a bet builder, the option to bet on the final score as 1-2 for Liverpool would then be unavailable, as it would fall contradictory to your initial win bet for AC Milan.
Bet Builder vs Acca
Bet builders are different from accumulators (acca) because acca can span across multiple events or matches. Bet builders are only allowed within a single game or event. Additionally, bet builders prevent you from picking incompatible selections whereas an acca is giving you complete freedom.
Although they both combine multiple bets across different betting markets, a builder makes sure that you do not end up having a contradictory wager anywhere in your picks. On the other hand, if you are not careful enough in using an accumulator, you could end up making a big bet only to realize in the end that it won't work. Another difference between an accumulator and a bet builder is that the former deals with multiple games, while a bet builder deals only with a single game.
Some consider a bet builder to be a sports betting system that ensures that any bettor gets the best odds and the best potential profit. This is done by building the perfect combination of picks based on the markets you choose. However, a bet builder is different from a "magic betting system" (which you should steer clear from) - a bet builder does not claim to give you a surefire pick. Rather, what it does is give you the best odds based on the picks that you make.
How to Use Bet Builders
A bet builder usually allows you to combine up to six different types of bet, including but not limited to match results, totals, over/under goal, cards total, and player score. As mentioned, a bet builder would not let you make a contradictory bet, as it will analyze each pick you make not only to make sure that the entire bet would work but to give you the best odds possible.
In using online sportsbooks like Bet365 or Betfair, the odds presented to you get adjusted based on the pick that you make. This allows you to play around with what picks are best combined based on your preference.
Take for example a match between Liverpool and Brighton. If you pick that Liverpool wins, you can then pick to bet that Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah scores the first goal. Then, you can pick an over/under bet for the final score, and perhaps even an over/under for total corners for the match. If you like the odds you have at the end of your "bet building", you can then finalize your bet and place it as one huge wager.
Depending on your chosen online sportsbook, you can use a bet builder to place your bet pre-match or in-play. However, some markets may not be available for a certain period.
Bet Builder Strategy & Tips
Although using a bet builder may sound complicated and complex, the truth is that it is a simple and straightforward process. Here are some strategies and tips on how you can make the most out of a bet builder.
When using a bet builder, you might encounter overs that look to have bigger single payouts. Most of the time, it is not advisable to go for this. There is what you call a low-variance overs, which refers to picks that may seem to payout smaller profits in a single bet. Instead of chasing bigger wins for single bets (which can also lead to bigger losses should the bet fail), the more ideal pick is low-variance lines that may look smaller in individual value, but can yield a bigger overall profit over time.
You always hear the common betting advice to bet against the public, or to not bet on the favorites as much as possible. Although the favorite is most of the time an obvious winner in any sport, not just in football, the odds for it usually carry low value for your money. You need to wager more to win less and risk losing more, too.
This is where betting for the underdogs comes in. Since the betting public tends to lean more towards the favorites, the underdogs often have a higher value of odds, which also means higher profit potential.
So, assess the actual odds - how does the current underdog stand against the other team when it comes to actual probabilities? If you think that they have a good chance of beating the favorites (which happens a lot, by the way), then the strategic choice is to place your money on the underdogs.
Yellow Card Bets
In football, a yellow card is used by the referee to indicate that a player has been warned or cautioned over a certain violation. In football, a yellow card usually works as an emotional catalyst as it heats up the tension in a match - if a player gets issued a YC, the tendency is for that player and team to be more cautious and the opposing team to take advantage of the other team being shaken by the YC.
There are several ways you can bet on a yellow card - totals for each or both teams, which team gets the first yellow card, or which team gets the most yellow card. Usually, YC bets are in the form of an over/under.
Compare the Odds to Actual Probabilities
Always keep in mind that the odds set by the bookies, while it is loosely based on stats and real forecasts, are still mostly adjusted to keep the numbers in favor of the bookies. The odds almost never reflect the true probabilities of a game outcome.
On the other hand, the real probability is based on a number of factors - player stats, team history, injury, who plays home and who visits, and even the weather are vital factors in determining the real probability.
Be reminded, however, that the probability is not as simple as: "I feel like Arsenal will not play well today and I feel like they would lose this one." Real probabilities are based on facts, and not on personal intuition or gut instinct, as other people might put it.
So, learn to compare and contrast the value presented by the odds against the real probability. If the odds offer you a good value, does the real probability align with it?
Line Shop Bet Builder Bookies
There is no one perfect bet builder offered by any sportsbook. Some may offer better odds in some markets, but not so good numbers for other markets. This is why shopping for lines is important before making the decision of where to place your wager.
In sports betting, "shopping" for betting lines simply means going through several bookies to check which one offers the best odds - be it based on potential profit or based on overall value. Bet365, for example, is known for its user-friendly bet builder interface along with the good lines they offer. Another major sportsbook that offers a bet builder is Ladbrokes, and they have a wide range of sports you can use the builder for, too.
Shopping around for the best line has been made easy, too. Traditionally, a punter would have to physically go to the place of another sportsbook to check their lines and compare. Now, all it takes is just a switch between apps or sites and a wide range of information would then be available to you.
Since you can play around with bet builders without finalizing anything, you can experiment with pick combinations from different bookies until you see a combination or final odds that you feel works best for you.
Bet Builders: Pros & Cons
Using a bet builder has a number of benefits and advantages, and there is no doubt about that. On the other hand, there are some disadvantages to using one, too. Before making your bet, make sure you understand both the pros and cons of using a bet builder.
Here are some of them.
- You have control. You only make the picks you want to pick, and you are in full control of which betting markets you want to place money on and which ones you do not want to.
- You get better odds. Since you are combining multiple bets across multiple betting markets, you get significantly better odds. That, of course, translates to a better payout should you win the entire bet you built.
- You get to bet on both sides. In a bet builder, if you bet that Arsenal would win against Liverpool, it does not necessarily mean that you cannot bet on Liverpool scoring the first goal. Once you figure out how to fully utilize a bet builder, the possibilities can be virtually endless.
- It is fun. There is no other way of putting it, using a bet builder is fun! Playing around with the odds and tweaking your bets to get the best combination is a fun experience. Of course, it would be more fun if you actually win the bet, too.
- You can have a huge payday. Since you are combining multiple bets and thus inflating odds, the value for your money also increases.
- You are usually limited on how much you can stake. There is one reason why high rollers do not go and sue a bet builder, This is because there is usually a limit on how much money you can place when using one. This makes a bet builder a good choice only for low to medium spenders. If you are a high roller, a parlay bet may be a better choice instead.
- Although you inflate the odds by using a bet builder, it does not always translate to a better value for your bet. Sometimes, though the odds are increased, the value of your bet decreases - this means you have to bet more units to win a specific number of units back.
- A bet builder is available for a limited number of sports for now. Most bet builders only cater the biggest and most popular sports like football, tennis, and basketball. Some may offer more or some may offer less. For the best answers, it is ideal you check with your bookie which sports they carry within their bet builder system.
- Limited options. Not every sportsbook offers a bet builder. The most popular names in the industry most probably have one, but smaller companies and less prominent bookies may not have this option.
Bet Builders: FAQ
Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about bet builders.
What are bet builders?
Bet builders are a betting system offered by a bookie that lets punters combine multiple picks in one single bet. Punters get to choose to make a bet from different markets of their choice and get an inflated, combined odds at the end. However, this does not always mean a better bet value.
Are bet builders different from bet accumulators?
A bet builder is similar to an accumulator in a way that they both combine multiple bets from different betting markets. However, a bet builder deals only with a single game, while an accumulator may deal with multiple events.
What are the markets can I choose for my bet builders?
You can bet on up to six of these different markets: match results (half and full time), total goals, players to score, both teams to score, totals corners, total cards, and a wager on to qualify or to lift the trophy. Betting markets to choose from may differ from one bookie to another, so it is always best to check with your bookie first before finalizing anything.
Is it possible to add bet builders wagers to bet accumulators?
It is possible to add bet builder wagers to accumulators. Take the bet builder of bet365 as an example. Once you finish your builder picks, you can add them to the bet accumulator option.
Can I use bet builders for eSports matches?
Yes, there are bookies that are starting to offer a bet builder for eSports matches. Bet builders for eSports work the same way, although markets may differ a little from that of a traditional sport like football. Sportsflare is one sportsbook, in fact, the first one, that offers a bet builder for eSports games.
How do bookmakers profit from bet builders?
Bookies make money from bet builders the same way they make money out of any type of bet - through the margin of profit they add to the odds they present. This is more commonly known as the vigorish or simply the vig.
Are bet builders worth taking?
There are a number of reasons that make bet builders worth doing and using to place your bet on a game. Make sure you understand these as well as the downsides of using the tool before utilizing one.
A bet builder is yet another tool in sports betting that can help you both place bets easier, and can also help you get more profit out of your wager. As with all tools and ways to bet, doing your research and learning how things work. At the end of it all, don't forget to have fun while you make your bet!