While the sports, markets, and online bookmakers may change, one constant remains in the world of online sports betting. Numbers are the core element of the field and most of the time these take the form of odds. You may think you have a grasp on odds and a basic understanding of how they are determined, but to be consistently profitable you need to have a grasp on more than just the basics. Breaking down the odds should be at the heart of your betting strategy and you should always be looking to compare what’s on offer. In this guide we will look at how you can compare odds and read the numbers listed in front on you on a betting slip.
It’s all in the numbers
Gambling in any form is based upon the act of chance, an element that is usually calculated by a percentage. For example, when you flip a coin it is a 50/50 chance that it will land on either heads or tails, with both outcomes adding up to 100%. Another example is should you role a 6-sided dice; the chance of it landing on any particular number is 1/6, which comes a 16.66% chance of it occurring. Next time you get involved in online sports betting, remember that it’s all in the numbers.
Understanding bookmaker’s odds
What odds represent are the bookmaker’s thoughts on a certain outcome during an upcoming or in-progress sporting event. In many ways it is the percentage chance blended with third-party factors that creates a fraction figure that is presented to punters. The key format used by bookmakers is fraction or decimal odds, with the latter commonly known as European odds. Relating the decimal odds to a percentage is pretty easy. Say you are facing odds of 5.0 for a team to win, this means that for every £1 bet you stake you will get £5 back should the team come through. Similarly should you wager £10, your winnings would be £50. You can deter from this that your stake is returned is amongst the winnings, as European odds times the stake equals the winning payout.
Fractional odds are the leading odds format in the United Kingdom. These odds are dictated by a figure such as 4/1, 10/1, or something along those lines. What 4/1 odds represent is that for every single wager you put down the resulting returns will be four times that amount. In percentage terms it means that you will have an 80% chance of losing and a 20% chance of winning. Using an example, say your football team of choice has a 4/1 chance of winning listed at an online bookmaker. Then should you bet £10 at that price you will win £40 in total, including the return of your original £10 stake. The final odds variation you need to be familiar with in order to start making comparisons is US odds, usually specifically reserved for US sporting events and often dubbed “money line odds”. US odds work on a plus and minus setup, with “+” representing how much you would win with a 100 unit stake and “-“ indicating how much you would need to wager to win a 100 unit return. For conversation purposes you can view US odds in a similar way to fraction odds. For example, should you bet $100 on a boxer at +400 then your return would be $400 including original stake.
Making a comparison
Now you understand what makes up the odds you see at an online bookmaker you are in the best position to start comparing odds. The art of actually comparing odds actually involves little to do with numbers, it has more to do with research and figuring out what is being offered by which bookmaker and when. Everyone usually has their preferred online bookmaker and that’s fine, but you can’t limit yourself to such when it comes to odds.
I always recommended that punters undertake manual research; reason being that you’ll be able to see all that is on offer instead of just a small selection. This method does have some issues though, because when you factor in the level of analysis required, plus the time it takes to see each odds offering, it all mounts up to being a very time consuming experience. While it isn’t always recommended, there are easier ways to see what’s out there. Odds comparison and odds checker websites are now sprinkled all throughout the World Wide Web. They advertise themselves as a one-stop shop for those who are looking for the best odds deal. On paper these websites look like a goldmine for information, but they can only be that way when approached properly. First, when it comes to odds comparison website you can’t take what you read as gospel, as odds change by the moment. So, while it is rare, it can be a case that you don’t actually get the odds offered. You should also look out for commission and fee input from the odds comparison website and make sure that you don’t end up paying for any kind of “hidden” service. Lastly, always remember that not all bookmakers subscribe to odds comparison websites, as some prepare to operate independently. Odds comparison websites can without doubt be a useful tool, but you should be aware of the pitfalls before you start using them.
Comparing what’s out there
Odds are the core, nucleus, and beating heart of the online sports betting world, so they are an element you need to take seriously. From the bet types available to the true meaning behind the numbers, the odds are going to dictate what you can win and how you can win. Thanks to this guide you will now understand how to read the odds in front of you, more importantly you will understand how to compare them in order to get the very best possible deal for your money.