How to Understand Sports Betting Odds for the Best Results

September 21, 2020

If want to make a profit from sports betting it is imperative to gain an in-depth understanding of how the different odds work.

In simple terms, betting odds are a prediction of how likely it is that a particular event will happen and they provide punters with a guide to how much they win if a selection is successful.

Read on as we explain how to get to grips with betting odds in order to improve your chances of getting the best results from your wagering activities.

Reading Betting Odds

Bookmakers generally present odds in three different formats – Fractional, Decimal, or American – all of which work in a similar way.

Sports betting odds are set prior to an event and effectively offer punters an insight into what the bookie believes will be the most likely outcome.

For example, if you were to check out the betting odds at 888sport you may see odds of 1/2 for a team to win a match in the Premier League.

This means that the team is fancied to record a victory and the bookie thinks they have a 66.7% chance of achieving the feat.

By contrast, a team priced at 5/1 is predicted to have less chance of winning the game, with the odds implying a probability of just 16.7%.

Your returns on a £50 bet on the 1/2 team would be £75 if they won (£25 profit + £50 stake), while the same stake on a 5/1 winner would give you £300 (£250 profit + £50 stake).

Fractional Odds

Fractional odds are most commonly associated with betting in the United Kingdom, with the majority of bookies using them to price up different events.

The odds are displayed as fractions, with the number on the right stating the amount that must be wagered to win the number on the left.

For instance, if you place a £10 bet on Bayern Munich to win the Champions League at odds of 3/1 you would receive £40 if they are successful (£10 x 3 = £30 + £10 stake).

Decimal Odds

Decimal odds have become increasingly prevalent over the past few years, with betting exchanges utilizing them to great effect on their sites.

They are perhaps a little easier to understand than other types of odds, particularly amongst punters who have been educated during the decimal era.

An example of decimal odds would be Enable to win the Prix De L’arc De Triomphe at odds of 3.00. If you stake £10 and the horse wins you receive £30 (£10 x 3.00 = £30).

American Odds

Bookmakers in North America favor American odds, with plus (+) and minus (-) mathematical symbols used to display the odds.

For example, a £300 bet on the Los Angeles Lakers at odds of -300 to win the NBA Championship would return £400 if they are successful (£300 stake + £100 profit).

By contrast, a £100 wager on the Miami Heat at odds of +550 to achieve the same feat would return £650 if they lifted the trophy (£100 stake + £550 profit).

Understanding Betting Value

Anyone aiming to make a consistent profit from sports betting must understand the concept of ‘value’ and how it applies to your wagering activities.

Betting value is a situation where the odds being offered by a bookie are higher than the probability of a particular event coming to fruition.

To be a successful bettor you must be able to identify value bets and have the confidence to follow your instincts and wager on them.

Bookies are extremely proficient at setting accurate odds in order to ensure that they generate a profit from every market.

However, the variable nature of the sport means that there are often occasions where the bookie is out of step with their odds and this is the time to take advantage.

To find value bets you need to become skilled in calculating your own odds and comparing them to what the bookies are offering.

Once you have done this, you can use betting exchanges to back or lay the selections that you believe represent value.

Niche markets often offer value wagering opportunities and specializing in these can be a great way to generate a consistent profit from your sports betting.

Sports Betting Odds – The Final Word

The unpredictability of top-class sport means that it often throws up opportunities to cash in on the odds being offered by bookies.

Understanding how odds work provides punters with a great platform to succeed and allows them to identify value thereafter.

Once you have identified value, it is vital to have the courage of your convictions to take full advantage of those opportunities.

With those basic tools in place, you should be well on your way to consistently getting the best possible results from your sports betting.

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