How a Sportsbook Sets Its Odds

A sportsbook is a place where people can make wagers on different sporting events. These bets are usually placed in person or over the internet, depending on the state where a bettor lives. The odds of an event are clearly labeled, and bettors can choose to bet on favored teams or underdogs. The odds are set so that the sportsbook will be profitable in the long run, even when some of the bets are lost.

When a sportsbook sets its betting lines, it is looking for the best price that will attract action from bettors. This process is called “price discovery.” A book that opens the first line will often have lower limits than other books (typically a few hundred dollars). These “market-making” sportsbooks set their lines before the rest of the market and hope to attract attention and bets.

After a few hours, the initial odds on a game will start to change as bettors move money into one side of the line or another. This is known as “steam” and it causes the line to shift. The sportsbook will then adjust the line to reflect the new action.

In addition to straight bets on individual teams, many sportsbooks also offer bets on player-specific statistics. These bets are known as propositions, or props for short. They can be as simple as whether a player will score over or under a certain number of points, or more specific, like how many yards a quarterback will throw for in a given game.