Lengthen Betting Term Meaning

Lengthening the odds means the bookmaker gives more favourable odds to the punter.

When odds are lengthened, a greater return on the bet is made possible. The flip side is that the bookmaker considers the outcome less likely to occur.

Odds may be lengthened for a variety of reasons, including:

  • The bet doesn’t receive as much activity as expected, therefore the bookmaker lengthens the odds to increase interest in it.

  • New information comes to light which changes the probability of a given outcome occurring.

Let’s now look at an example of a bookmaker lengthening the odds:

Bookmaker bet365 offers 7/1 odds on Bossiney Bay winning the 2.00 Huddington. After several hours, only a few bets have been placed on this horse at this price, so the bookmaker lengthens the odds to 9/1.

If you had bet £10 at the original odds, you’d get £80 returns on the win. If you bet after the bookmaker lengthens the odds, your returns on the win increase to £100.

This carries some risk, of course. You will not know exactly why the bookmaker has lengthened the odds. They may well be privy to information which you are not and may have lengthened the odds based on that information.

How to Spot Lengthened Odds

There are a number of ways to spot lengthened odds, but no reliable way of knowing when they are going to be lengthened.

  • Observe the bets you are interested in for a few days/hours before betting. There’s a chance they may be lengthened as the race/event approaches.

  • Enable notifications if the bookmaker offers them. You might be informed when odds on some events are lengthened. Since bookmakers are usually trying to drum up interest in a bet by lengthening the odds, it stands to reason they will tell people about it.

  • Ask the sportsbook’s customer support agents if there are any lengthened odds bets currently available. They will not be able to tell you why, or about upcoming changes, but they might be able to tell you if odds have recently changed on a given bet.

Should You Bet on Lengthened Odds?

We can’t give you specific betting advice, but we can say that lengthened odds bets are potentially riskier than regular ones. Either the rest of the market does not agree that this outcome is likely, hence they didn't bet on it before, or something has changed which the punters don’t know about. 

Of course, every bet carries risk, and the increased odds are there to offset that extra risk.

Lengthen FAQ

What is lengthen in betting?

Lengthen in betting means the bookmaker odds moves in a favourable way for the punter, eg they get larger.