Understanding how odds in betting work can help players make wiser wagers, increase their chances of winning, and thus amplifies the enjoyment of the game.
Odds are also important for betting sites as it balances both sides of a wager, meaning that the house still gets their due.
To profit from sports betting, you must understand the difference between odds and probability. Odds aren't always a direct representation of the chances of anything happening or not happening, even though the two are essentially related.
Simply said, probability in sports betting is subjective. When it comes to forecasting the likely outcome of a game, both bettors and bookies will have opposing viewpoints.
Probabilities generally range between 5% to 10%, with some cases being less and others being greater. Making correct evaluations about the probability of a result, and then assessing if the odds of that outcome offer bets value, are key to successful sports betting.
How do sports betting odds work?
The amount paid out on winning wagers is determined by the odds. This is why they're typically referred to as a wager's "price."
A wager might have either an odds on or odds-against price. Odds on means the potential winnings are less than what was put up and odds against means that the amount bettors can win will be greater than what they waged.
You'll still make money if you win an odds on bet because your initial deposit is returned, but you'll have to risk more than you stand to win.
Because they are more likely to win, big favorites are frequently odds on. When a gamble has a higher chance of losing than winning, it is called odds against.
Even money odds are possible. A winning even money bet will pay out the exact amount wagered plus the initial stake. As a result, you've effectively doubled your money. Remember that the higher the odds, the less likely a gamble will win, but the higher the payout.
Types of sports odds
The default odds format may differ depending on the region. Gambling sites, on the other hand, make this easy by eagerly accommodating players who want a different odds structure by letting them adjust the odds format to the format they're used to. Some of the best betting sites even provide a variety of odds types.
The betting odds formats we'll go through are the most common in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Europe — Moneyline, Decimal, and Fractional odds.
- Moneyline odds are most popular in America and work differently for crowd favorites and underdogs.
- Fractional odds are also often known as British odds, UK odds, or Traditional odds.
- Decimal odds are considered to be the easiest betting format to understand. It's most popular in Europe, Canada, and Australia, but most sportsbooks offer the option to show the odds in the decimal odds format.
How to read sports odds
If you’re unsure about what you see when you look at betting odds, then you can’t accurately find value in betting markets, which is the key to success in sports betting.
American odds are quite different from other betting formats as it usually highlights a favorite and an underdog.
The odds for the favorite side to win will usually be displayed with a ' - ' sign. The number next to it shows how much a bettor would need to wager for them to win $100.
The underdog's figure will be listed with a '+' sign, which indicates how much a player will win if they stake a $100.
For example, Team A is the favorite to win the Sunday game at -110 odds. If bettors place a $110 bet on Team A, they'll receive $100 and get their $110 bet back, for a total of $210 in payouts.
In the case of underdogs, say a punter put $100 on Team B at +240 odds. If Team B wins the game, they'll receive $240 plus the $100 original wager. This gives a total payout of $340.
These odds represent the net sum that the bettor will get if they win after factoring in their stake.
To illustrate, say the Friday night game between Team A and Team B has a 5/1 and 1/5, respectively. If a bettor wages $5 on Team A and they emerge victoriously, we take the $5 and multiply by five, which is the numerator of the odds.
Therefore, their bet for Team A will win you $25 plus your original $5 bet — a total payout of $30.
A bet on Team B with odds of 1/5, on the other hand, will only return $1 for every $5 staked. This corresponds to a total payment of $6 for a $5 stake.
Fractional odds are most commonly used in horse racing. So if a bettor bets $50 on Noble Feet at a 20/1 and Noble Feet wins, they will get your original bet multiplied by the odds, which is 50 times 20. Therefore, they'll win $1000 on your wager plus the $50 bet for a total of $1150 payout.
Decimal odds are more straightforward betting odds than the other two. The figure indicated for decimal odds is the precise amount that will be paid out if the wager is a winner. Suppose the fight on Saturday night has 2.0 odds on Fighter A and 5.5 for Fighter B.
If a punter bets $100 on Fighter A and they win, the $100 will be multiplied by the odds, in this case, 2.0. Therefore, their total winnings and payout will be $200. If they bet on Fighter B with the same amount, they win a total payout of $550.