How a Sportsbook Adjusts the Odds

A sportsbook is a venue, either online or in a brick-and-mortar building, where people can place wagers on various sporting events. Whether a sportsbook is legal depends on the state where it is located and its gambling laws, but there are some general rules that apply. The most important one is that winning bettors are paid out, regardless of the outcome of a particular game. The other is that the odds must be accurate. This can be achieved through different means, including moving handicaps and totals in moneyline bets or over/under bets.

While sports betting volumes ebb and flow throughout the year, there are certain times when a sportsbook will receive more action than others. This is usually because some types of games are more popular with bettors at a particular point in time. It also happens when a major event is in season. In both cases, the sportsbook must be able to handle this influx of activity and still make a profit.

This is where adjusting the odds comes into play. When a sportsbook moves the odds, it is doing so to attract action on both sides of an event. For example, if a football team’s over/under is at -110, and they are taking a lot of action on the over side, they may raise the total to -135 to induce more bets on the under side. In addition, sportsbooks may move the odds in other bets like props and futures to achieve the same goal.