Do Betting Odds Confuse You a Bit? This Guide Will Solve That Issue for You

Author: Orla Byrne,

Sports betting has become very popular, and there are now plenty of different markets that sports betting fans can bet on no matter what sport they like. When gambling, you definitely need to know how odds work or risk making the wrong costly decisions. Forming part of our betting guide series guide will provide all the info you need.

Bookies with the Best Odds

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Betting Odds Explained

odds-guide odds-guide

Betting odds explained in detail right here. What is it that odds represent? Well, we can answer this with a simple example. The Irish are big fans of football, so we will explain odds using a football example.

Let us say that Ireland is playing England in a friendly at the magnificent Wembley stadium. Below you can find some made-up odds that a sportsbook is offering their punters for the match.

England - 1.60

Ireland - 5.50

So, as you can see from the table above, England has odds of 1.60 to win, while Ireland has odds of 5.50 to win. But what exactly does this mean? Well, to put it as simply as possible, odds indicate the chances of an outcome happening. So, from the above example, England are strong favourites to win, while Ireland are big underdogs. According to the bookmaker above, these two teams are far apart in terms of quality, and England should win the game pretty comfortably.

So, what are the actual chances of England winning the match if they have odds of 1.60? Well, we can work this out using a simple equation.

Probability = 1/provided odds in decimals

So, from the above example. England have been given odds of 1.60 to beat Ireland, and the probability of this happening can be seen in the equation below:

1/1.60 = 0.63 = 63%

On the other hand, Ireland has odds of 5.50 to win, so the likelihood of them being victorious is:

1/5.50 = 0.18 = 18%

If you want to win some cash when you are betting on sports, it is vital that you know the probability of something occurring when expressed using betting odds.

How Sporting Odds Work

So, let us say that you like that the bookie has given for an England win. They have a strong team with one of the more dangerous striker forces in international football in the shape of Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, and Jadon Sancho. When these three players play to the best of their abilities, there are not a lot of defenders who can cope with them. Therefore, you hate to say it, but you reckon they will beat Ireland quite easily. So, if you put your money on England to be victorious, what type of profit would you make if they do win?

Well, once again, we can use a simple equation to answer this question:

Stake x odds = Returns

Let us pretend that you place a €30 euro stake on England because you are very confident that they will win. England goes on to win the game 2-0 thanks to a brace from Sterling.

€30 x 1.60 = €48

You would see a €48 return, which would give you a profit of €18 after you have taken away your initial stake.

Why Are Odds Extremely Important?

It is very important that you make use of the best odds around, and the example that we are about to give below will show why this is the case. Let us say that we have two sports betting fans that go by the name of Teodora and Gideon. Both are very experienced gamblers and get about 65% of the bets correct. However, Teodora uses an average odds of 2.00, while Gideon uses an average odds of 1.90. Now, let us pretend that both place 1,000 bets a year - this will equal 650 winning bets and 350 losing bets. If they bet €10 on each wager, their yearly results are:

Teodora: 650 x 1 + 350 x (-1) = 300 x €10 = €3000

Gideon: 650 x 0.9 + 350 x (-1) = 235 x €10 = €2350

Therefore, as the above equations show, Gideon misses out on €650 each year simply because he does not put in as much effort as Teodora when it comes to looking for the best odds.

What Are Value Bets

In order to be successful during your sports betting career, you need to teach yourself how to find value bets. To find out the value of your stake, there is yet another equation that you can make use of. Like with all the other equations that we have made use of in this article, this another pretty simple one, so you do not have to be some type of maths genius in order to increase your chances of winning.

The equation that can use for working out the value of a bet is:

Value = (odds x probability) -1

So, let us give you another football example here to make things a bit easier to understand. Let us pretend that international football is over, and the Premier League is back at the weekend. Manchester United are Playing Liverpool and in the table below you can see the odds that your bookmaker has provided for both teams.

Liverpool - 1.80

Manchester United 3.00

So, Liverpool is 1.80 to win, while United are 3.00 to win. We do some homework to find out a bit more about the current form of the two teams and whether either side will be missing key players due to injuries and suspension, and we conclude that United have around a 45% chance of winning the game. Is this a value bet?

Well, using the above equation, we would get the following:

(3.00 x 0.45) - 1 = 0.35

When you get a value in the equation that is bigger than zero, you will have a value bet. So, as the odds of United winning is 3.00 and we feel that they have a 45% chance of winning, we actually have 10% value with our bet that United will end up beating Liverpool.

So, why should you bet if you can prove that there is a lot of value to have? Well, to be a successful sports betting fan, you have to have the ability to assess likely outcomes better than what your bookie can. In the example that we gave above, we feel that United had a 45% chance of winning, while the bookmaker's odds of 3.00 showed that they believed that United had just a 33.3% chance of winning. Therefore, this is certainly a value bet as we felt that United's chances of winning are higher than what the bookie believes.

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