The importance of understanding betting odds


Importance of Sports Betting Odds

Understanding the odds of sports betting will help you make more informed choices and will ultimately help you win more. If you don’t understand odds, you can’t properly understand sports betting. Basically, knowing the odds is what helps you determine whether or not a wager is worth making. The potential payout of a wager is calculated with a combination of the relevant odds, and the amount of money you stake. Before you start betting, its crucial to take some time to learn how betting odds work.

What Do Odds Tell You?

Betting odds tell you both how likely an event is to happen, and how much money you stand to win for a particular wager. The higher the odds are, the more money you stand to win, but the less likely it is that you win. So higher odds mean higher payouts, lower likelihood of winning, and lower odds mean lower payout and higher likelihood of winning. If the odds are ‘even money’ this means there is a 50/50 chance of winning.

Understanding Odds Formats

There are a number of different ways that odds can be displayed, but this doesn’t translate to any difference in the odds themselves. Moneyline odds, or American odds, are those most used in the USA. They are displayed as a positive or negative number, and show how much you stand to win if you bet $100 or how much you need to stake to win $100. So odds of +150 mean that you stand to win $150, plus your initial stake of $100. If you see a negative number like -150, this means that you need to stake $150 to win $100, plus your initial stake of $150.

Fractional odds are not very common anymore, but they are still sometimes used in the UK. These odds are shown as a fraction, such as 3/1, or “three to one”. With a 3/1 wager, you can win three units for every one unit staked. Calculating these becomes tricky when there are odds like 5/2, which is why decimal odds are taking over.

Decimal odds are the ones you’re most likely to see in Canada, as well as Europe and Australia, and are becoming the standard in most other parts of the world too. They are the most straightforward, expressed as a single positive number. The number shows your potential total payout, if you multiply it by your stake. So odds of 1.50 would return $1.50 for every $1 staked. An even money bet is expressed as 2.00.

Why Do Different Bookmakers Have Different Odds?

For many wagers on sporting events, such as harness racing betting, different bookmakers will offer slightly different odds. This is because each bookmaker calculates their own odds, and it isn’t an exact science, and often predicting who will win comes down to a matter of opinion. Not all bookmakers will have exactly the same ideas about the likelihood of a certain outcome. For this reason, its always a good idea to shop around various bookmakers to see who will give you the most favourable odds for your selection. It also means that if you’re good at predicting the outcomes of sporting events, you may just be better than the  bookmaker and use this to turn a big profit. But if you’re a newbie, first get to grips with understanding how odds work before starting to venture beyond them.