Offshore odds are the betting lines that are posted at offshore betting establishments such as online sportsbooks. For many years offshore bookmakers set their initial lines based on those created by the large Las Vegas sportsbooks, but there has been a reversal in that trend and now the larger online sportsbooks are setting the initial lines and Las Vegas is following suit. Some of the bigger online sportsbooks have limits that exceed the standard bets accepted in Las Vegas.
The majority of online sportsbooks will look to see what odds the other online sportsbooks have and follow suit. There may be minor differences of a half-point or full point here and there, but an online sportsbook that differs too much from the consensus odds will find themselves getting a large number of bets on one side. If the other online sportsbooks have the Spurs-6 and a sportsbook releases a line of Spurs -4 they will be hit with big money on the Spurs. If the online sportsbook released Spurs-8, a large majority of the bets would come in on the underdog.
One thing to keep in mind when reviewing offshore odds is how they are presented will differ from sportsbook to sportsbook depending on the intended audience. Many online sportsbooks targeting European bettors will show their odds as decimal odds as opposed to fractional odds, such as 2/1 odds, which is what is familiar for most American bettors. Decimal odds present a number that is multiplied by the original bet to give the total payout (wager plus winnings). Decimal odds of 2.25 means that a $100 bet would pay out $225 total.
The majority of sportsbooks do post odds in “American” format and many of those which also target European bettors will allow customers to view odds in the manner that is most familiar to them. Instead of the decimal odds of 2.25, American bettors will be able to choose the more familiar moneyline odds of +125.