How Do Betting Odds Work?

Learn all there is to know about betting odds.

One of the first things you need to understand about betting is how sports betting odds operate if you are new to it.

The odds represent the bookmakers’ perception of your selection’s possibility of winning and how much you stand to win if it does.

Although betting odds might be confusing at first, knowing how they operate can help you get the latest sports odds and make betting on your favourite sport simpler.

What Exactly Is Probability?

Probability refers to the likelihood of something occurring.

If the bookmaker predicts a high probability result for an event, it is more likely to occur than not.

If an event is assigned a low probability, it is less likely to occur than not.

British bookmakers usually show probability as fractional odds, which would be two integers separated by a forward slash, such as 1/2.

A coin flip with two potential outcomes, heads or tails, is a basic probability explanation.

The likelihood of obtaining leads is one in two, which may be expressed by odds of 1/1, implying that the result has a 50% chance of winning.

How to Determine Probability Using Sports Betting Odds

Now that you know how odds are two numbers separated by a forward slash, you may use them to calculate sports betting odds.

This will also help you read betting odds and help calculate the probability of an event occurring.

How to Interpret Betting Odds

You can use the betting odds to determine the potential winnings if you bet on an event now that you know how to calculate the possibility of it happening.

The possible rewards are shown as fractional odds of the investment you put into the water.

For instance, if you bet $1 on Liverpool to defeat Burnley at 5/1, you will get $6 if you win, which essentially is a $5 profit plus your $1 wager.

Any chances where the first number is more than the second are considered odds against, while any odds where the first number is less than the second are considered odds on.

Bookmakers believe that odds-on events are more likely to occur than odds-against ones, and vice versa for odds-against events.

What Are Decimal Odds?

The bet is included in the possible winnings when converted to decimals, so multiply the stake by the odds.

Decimal odds are usually used on betting exchanges, such as Neds because the user controls the odds rather than the bookmaker.

The following are some examples of how to understand decimal betting odds.

  • 10.00 odds = $1 bet returns $11 plus stake
  • 3.5 odds = $1 bet returns $5.50 plus stake
  • 1.5 odds = $1 bet returns $1.50 plus stake
What Are Decimal Odds?
What Are Decimal Odds?

The American Odds System

It’s still good to know how the American version of betting works, even though fractional and decimal odds are the most common way that a bookmaker shows their prices on a certain event.

Returning to the coin toss example, the chances for heads and tails are either money or 1/1 (fractional) or 2.0 (decimal), implying that a $1 bet will yield $2, a $1 profit plus the $1 bet.

The heads and tails results would be -100 or +100 in American or moneyline odds. 

And 100 is the important number. It is an American football game this time, and the American odds are as follows:

  • The New England Patriots are a -145 favourite.
  • +120 for the Minnesota Vikings

If you predict the Minnesota Vikings will win, the +120 indicates that for every $100 you bet on them, you will receive $220 ($120 plus your initial bet of $100).

With a $10 bet, you would gain $23 – your £10 investment plus £13 profit (calculated as £10/£100 x 120).

The – sign in front of the New England Patriots odds indicates favourites, and the computation differs.

The -145 suggests that you will gain $100 for every $145 wagered. So, a $10 bet would yield $16.90 – your $10 risk plus $6.90 profit (calculated as $10/$145 x 100).

In both cases, the computation for the $10 investment is:

(Actual stake/American odds stake) multiplied by American odds or Moneyline odds wins.

In summary

When it comes to sports betting, it is critical to understand how betting odds work.

Now that you have mastered the art of reading sports, odds get out there and start making money at your favourite sports betting sites!

Sharp bettors are well-informed bettors, and not every sport is the same.


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