Can you even think of going for sports betting without knowing how do betting odds work? We know we cannot. Odds are the heart of sports betting. And for any punter, it is crucial to read odds like plain English.
The goal of our post is to educate you on sports betting odds. We will go over all the different types of odds. We will also share tips and tricks on how you can use the odds to your advantage. Stick to the end of it because it is going to be awesome!
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What Are Sports Odds?
Before knowing how do sports odds work, you should always know what sports odds are.
In simple terms, odds are the probability of an outcome. If we take rolling dice for simplicity, the odds are 1/6 for all 6 outcomes. And it translates to sports betting as well. But in a different way.
Sports betting odds can indicate a few different things. It can indicate the likelihood of a team winning. It also indicates the payout you can expect for your stakes.
All of these might seem very complicated to you. Just bear with us because we are going to break it down as we go forward.
Why Are Betting Odds Necessary?
Knowing how do betting odds work is your first job if you want to call yourself a punter. The gambling industry is solely dependent on luck and probability. But how do you represent probability?
You should have already guessed it. With Odds!
Without the concept of betting odds, there would not be any sports betting industry. You will find the truth to our statement when you visit any online bookmaker in Canada. All you are going to see are various numbers here and there. And all of those are derived from odds.
To better understand why sports betting odds are important, think of it as the bookmaker’s view on the match. The odds are calculated by the professionals at a sportsbook. That is why you see different odds for the same events at different sportsbooks in Canada.
How Do Betting Odds Work?
To understand how sports odds work, we need to look at examples. And a lot of them. It is not a concept you can expect to master overnight. But give it enough time and you will become the jack of all sports odds!
And that is where reading odds come into play. You cannot make any predictions if you cannot read the odds. Reading the odds requires you to understand different types of representations.
So, how do betting odds work?
There are three main types of odds in sports betting. Decimal Odds (European), Moneyline Odds (American), and Fractional Odds (British). Let us explore them one after another.
If you are new in understanding how do betting odds work, you might not have heard about decimal odds. But if you keep an interest in sports betting, we can guarantee that you have seen these odds countless times.
If you hear your friends talking about European odds, continental odds, or digital odds, they are referring to decimal odds. In Canada, this is the most popular type of odds and that is why it made the first position in our guide.
If you see 2.10 after a soccer team, that is a decimal odd. The reason it is called a decimal odd is that it is denoted with 3 decimal numbers. Punters from Australia, Europe, New Zealand uses this odd extensively because it is the simplest of them all.
For decimal odds, all you have to do is multiply the odds with your wager to calculate your total winning.
Let us take an example using a soccer game. Two of the world’s most popular teams in soccer would be France and Germany. And they are about to participate in a friendly match.
Now, you can go into any of your preferred sportsbooks in Canada.
Here, you can see the odds on France is 2.10 and odds on Germany is 1.91. But what do they mean? How do betting odds work in this case?
Let us take the simplest bet, the outright bet. In an outright bet, you place your money on one team. If it wins, you win the bet. If it does not, you lose all of it.
For a C$100 wager on France, you can expect to win $210 as the total payout. And if you place your money on Germany, you can expect to win C$191. For both cases, your profit is C$110 and C$91 respectively.
Decimal odds play out in the same way for all other bets like over under, handicaps, live betting, arbitrage betting and so on.
It is the second-most common form of odds. And you must know how do betting odds work in this format. While it looks scarier than decimal odds, the concept is very similar.
Moneyline odds also go by the name of American odds. It is because this format of sports betting odds is widely used in the USA. Whenever you see an odd like -150 or +210, that is a moneyline odd right there.
So, how do the payouts work? This aspect is a little complicated. So, pay attention, please.
Let us take our previous example of France and Germany. France is the clear favourite. So, you might see -110 odds for France and +110 for Germany. In American odds, the minus (-) indicates the favourite.
So, what do -110 and +100 mean? For -110, it means you must wager C$110 if you want to win C$100. So, your final payout would be C$210 if you placed your bets in favour of France.
And +110 means you can expect to win C$110 for every C$100 you wager. They are a little different, but not drastically. In this case, your final payout would be C$210.
The example we took is a very idealized scenario. In reality, the difference between the odds would be wider. When it goes over the threshold, the bookmakers will introduce handicaps to bring things down to equilibrium.
Fractional odds are often called British odds. The British initially started using these odds when people used to bet on horse racing. Still, bookmakers from England and Ireland tend to stick to their heritage.
If you decide to know how do betting odds work in Canada and visit a British bookmaker, chances are you will come across fractional odds.
The reason these are called fractional odds is because of the ‘/’. Some bookmakers may use ‘-’ to denote a British odd as well. If you see an odd like 6/1 for England in EURO 2020, that is a fractional odd for you! It is pronounced as 6 to 1 or six-to-1 odds. William Hill is a great example of bookmakers who still uses the UK odds.
An odd of 6/1 in fractional odds mean you can win C$6 for every C$1 you put at stake. So, if your bet works out well, your total payout would be C$7.
Let us get back to your trusted friend, the example of France vs Germany soccer match. If the odds on France are 11/2 and 15/2 for Germany, it means you win C$5.5 for every C$1 wagered in favour of France. And for Germany, it is C$7.5 for C$1.
Odds for Different Bets
In our journey for knowing how do betting odds work, we have only covered the outright bets for simpler understanding. But to master the art of sports betting, you need to know how to use those odds for different bets.
How Do Betting Odds Work with Over Under Bets?
Right after outrights, come the over under bets. They are also known as totals bet in many online bookmakers in Canada. In an over under bet, you bet either over or under the predetermined score by the bookmaker.
For soccer, 1.5, 2.5, 3.5, etc. are some of the over under bets. What it means is that the bookmaker thinks that the total number of goals in a soccer match could be either 1.5, 2.5, or 3.5. It is a classic example of multiline over under bets.
Your first task is to not confuse between the odds and the score. It is very easy to confuse between the decimal odds and over under bet values due to how they are denoted.
The next question that might pop up in your mind might be how could a soccer match have fractional scores? That is a very good question you have asked.
It is deliberately done by the sportsbooks to eliminate the possibility of a tie. If the predetermined value by the bookmaker is 3, what would be the result of an over under bet if the score is actually 3? How do betting odds work when you tie with the bookmaker?
That is exactly why you will see over under bet values in fractional value rather than in integers.
As decimal odds are the simplest of the bunch, you just multiply them with your initial stake. Let us explain with an example. Do not you just love examples?
The specified score for our France vs Germany match is 2.5. The odds are 2.10 and 1.91 for over and under respectively.
If the total score of the match goes over 2.5, the over bet with 2.10 odds win. If you placed C$100 on this bet, you get a total payout of C$210. Similarly, if you placed your bets on under, you can expect a payout of C$191.
The same principle follows for fractional and moneyline odds.
In moneyline odds, the -110 odds on over bet means you must wager C$110 to win C$100. And +110 means you can win C$110 for your C$100 wager. Do the math for under as well.
And for fractional odds, 6/1 odds mean you can win C$600 in profit for your C$100 wager when the bet goes into your favour.
How Do Betting Odds Work with Handicaps?
Handicaps are another common form of betting, especially in soccer. When the odds are calculated, the overall performance of each team is kept into consideration. It works well until two very drastically different teams come into play.
For example, you do not need any handicaps for France and Germany. Both of them are very capable teams and the odds reflect that.
But when you pair Germany against India, that is not a fair match. Germany is clearly the favourite and the odds will be drastically different for both teams. In such scenarios, the bookmakers will give India a virtual advantage and take away some of Germany’s advantages. It is known as handicaps in soccer betting.
Handicaps are denoted inside brackets for easier understanding. For Germany vs India, a handicap might look like Germany (-1.5) vs India (1.5). What it means is India can start the match with a 1.5 goals advantage. And Germany must score more than 1.5 for the bet to win.
For India, they can either win the game, draw or lose by 1 goal. The bet will payout in all cases. As you can see, the odds give the weaker team an edge over the strong opponent. So, keep that in mind when you place the bets.
How Do Betting Odds Work Between Favorites and Underdogs?
Up until this point, we have kept the discrepancy between odds very minimal. We did it purposefully so that you can easily understand the mechanics of sports odds.
Let us get to the real deal. Are you ready?
For almost all sports, sportsbooks offer more competitive odds for the underdogs. It is obvious that most people will put bets on the favourite team. What is the fun in that?
So, if we tweak the example and take Uruguay vs France, the money line odds may look like -580 for France and +700 for Uruguay. Do you know what it means?
It means you must wager C$580 to win C$100 if France wins the match. And it most likely wood. But in case if you put C$100 on Uruguay, you can win a whopping C$700! Can you see how odds can dramatically change the payout?
It is true for decimal odds and fractional odds as well. For favourites, you are always going to make less when they win. And for underdogs, you can make a fortune if your luck shines on that day!
You can, however, take things up a notch when you know how do betting odds work. With arbitrage betting. If you do not know what arbitrage betting or arbing is, it is the method of placing the same wagers on opposing outcomes on different bookmakers.
If you place a wager of C$100 for Germany to win at Betfair and another C$100 for Uruguay to win at Bet365, you can make money either way.
Sports Odds Tips
To utilize sports odds to your benefit, there are a few tips we would like to share with you. However, keep in mind that sports betting is a completely unpredictable series of events and no strategy will save you if your luck does not favour.
Do Your Research to Know How Do Betting Odds Work
If you consider yourself a serious punter, you should not rely solely on the odds by the bookmakers. They have done their research to come up with the odds. It is your turn to either prove them right or wrong.
If your research tells you to go against the favourite for a particular match, go for it. As you already know, the payouts for underdogs are significantly higher.
And you can only gain the knowledge by knowing both teams inside out. Then comes the weather. The weather of the day might influence the outcome of a match. For example, India is used to playing soccer under heavy rain, Germany is not.
So, even if Germany is the clear favourite, the weather might give India what it is looking for. And you need to grab that opportunity to hit the jackpot!
Do not rely on a single bookmaker for odds. Always compare the odds for an event you are about to place bets on. While one bookmaker might see an event one way, the other might offer more competitive odds.
It is a healthy practice to look for better odds whenever you can. Nothing is stopping you from opening accounts at multiple bookmakers. So, get your magnifying glasses on and find out the best odds from the plethora of sportsbooks we have here!
How Do Betting Odds Work- The Wrap Up
So, what have you learned today? We are pretty confident you have a clear understanding of how do betting odds work. It is the first step of becoming a punter. The better you can read odds, the better you can increase your chance of winning!
Whether you are betting with decimal odds, moneyline odds, or fractional odds, do not let the numbers intimidate you. Instead, get good enough with the practice so that you can intimidate the numbers!
If you think you understand what betting odds are, try your luck at the best sportsbooks in Canada from our list.