Importance of Understanding Odds

Importance of Understanding Odds

Odds are a very important part of sports betting and knowing how they work is vital for those wanting to become successful at sports betting.  Odds are used to work out how much money a bettor will be paid out if they win a wager.  There are also different ways that odds are presented and odds also play an important role in the probability of winning.  Odds are also an indicator of whether a certain bet is a good or bad idea and this is also important when placing a bet.

Canadian bettors may see the term “price” of a bet and this refers to a bet that is odds on or odds against.  Odds on is the amount that can be won less the amount that is bet and odds against is the amount that can be won which will be more than the amount that is bet.  Canadian bettors will still be able to profit an odds on bet as the amount that is bet is included in the payout but this is riskier as bettors will bet an amount that is more than the potential winnings.  Odds on bets are more popular though as the chance of winning is greater.  If the bet has more of a chance of losing they will usually be odds against.  There are also even money odds where bettors will be paid out the amount bet in profit as well as the amount that was originally bet, which means double the money.

Odds Formats

Odds can be found in three main formats, decimal, moneyline or American and fractional.  The decimal format is the most common one and is the easiest of the three.  Decimal odds are showed using two decimal places and shows how much a bettor will be paid out for each unit bet.

Moneyline or American odds are used mainly in the US and this format is a bit more complex.  These odds can be either positive (preceded by +) or negative (preceded by -).  The positive odds reflect how much a bettor will win if they bet $100, which means if the odds are +150 bettors will win $150 for every $100 they bet.  Bettors will also get their bet back so will receive in total $250.

Fractional odds are used predominantly in the UK, for example 2/1 would be two to one.  Most bettors prefer to convert fractional odds to decimal odds as it makes working out the payout easier.  This is done by dividing the first number by the second number and then adding one.  For example 5/2 converted to decimal odds format would be 3.5 and 6/1 would be 7.0.

Difference between Odds and Probability

Canadian bettors must understand the difference between odds and probability.  Both are linked to each other, but odds are not a true reflection of the possibility of something happening or not.  Probability when it comes to sports betting is subjective.  Bettors and sports books are not going to agree when it comes to predicting how a game or match will turn out.  Probabilities usually have a variance of around 5% to 10%.  For Canadians to be successful at sports betting they will need to be able to accurately assess the probability of an outcome and also decide if the odds of the outcome make the bet worthwhile.

For Canadian sports bettors understanding the odds and how they affect various bets are vital to the successful outcome of a bet.