Race Weekend Central

How Betting Odds Impact Your Betting Success

Editor’s Note: This article on betting odds is posted in collaboration with an outside sponsorship client. The opinions and information contained within do not necessarily represent Frontstretch and its staff.

The drive for bettors is to put some profit from their wagers into their pockets. But how do the odds that are being played impact your betting success? This is an interesting angle of sports betting that perhaps gets a little bit glossed over.

It’s not uncommon to see some punters, especially those a bit newer to sports betting, just snap up the odds that are in front of them – especially in motorsports. It is more about just picking the selection that the punter wants than trying to get the best possible odds for that particular bet, or understanding whether it’s a good wager or not.

Understanding exactly what betting odds are and how the bookmakers set them can help you to make better decisions when it comes time to pick out your selections.

What Are Betting Odds?

Betting odds are numbers that represent the probability of an event happening and the amount of money you can win if you successfully place a bet on that event. For example, in soccer, if you bet 10 dollars on Arsenal who are 2.0 odds and they win, you will get 20 dollars back (10 x 2). If you bet 10 dollars on Tottenham at 3.0 and they win, you will get 30 dollars back (10 x 3).

In racing, the odds to win is often the most popular bet. If you bet 10 dollars on 3.5 odds that Max Verstappen will win a Formula One grand prix, for example, you would end up with 35 dollars back (10 x 3.5).

Look through any list of online bookmakers, for instance, like the one presented at https://legalbet.uk/rating-user/, and you will see a large range of markets and betting odds. Those numbers are not just randomly plucked out of the air, they are based on the results of bookmaker analysis of mostly statistical factors.

Within those odds, bookmakers have added their margin, which is a way of them making some profit, regardless of what happens in terms of the outcome. A bookmaker won’t offer you true odds on a balanced market as there is an :overround” worked in.

The simple explanation is that if the true odds for a coin toss are 2.0 for heads and 2.0 for tails, a bookmaker might instead offer 1.9 for heads and 1.9 for tails. This means that they pay out less than what the true odds would be, and in this case, the bookmaker has a five percent profit margin on that market.

How Do Odds Impact Winnings?

The odds in a market do paint a picture of how that particular event is likely to play itself out. That’s why you see big favorites in football betting, especially if a team at the top of the table is playing a relegation-threatened side, for example.

A simple instance is seeing Liverpool to win at 1.65. It may not sound too appealing to you. There’s not a great profit margin to be gained from those short odds, so you may be tempted to look elsewhere.

The short odds may drive you away from what you wanted to bet on, in search of better odds. The alternative is you stick to your guns by backing Liverpool, but perhaps risk more stake in trying to pull in better winnings.

The odds that you see don’t actually impact the probability of a particular outcome happening. They just represent that chance. However, the odds will impact the potential amount of money that is returned from a winning bet, the risk involved, and that, in turn, will likely influence the type of bet that you pick.

What To Do

Those are a couple of ways that the odds in a betting market impact your winnings. It is why it is always worth setting out a betting strategy so that you know exactly what you are going to do in a given situation.

Your strategy could be playing a set amount of stake only on selections between 1.65 and 1.80 odds for example, if you like the risk aversion approach to betting. There’s nothing wrong with those odds, it’s just understanding what they will do for you.

Value bets are a good approach to take as well. By creating your own implied probability of outcomes, you can then find the bookmakers that have the odds on that selection which at least matches what you expect to see. If it’s better odds then you expected, great!

Boiling things down, the type of odds and the size of them will always exert subtle influence over what you do. It is why you will see so much advice about fully understanding them for sports betting.

About the author

The Frontstretch Staff is made up of a group of talented men and women spread out all over the United States and Canada. Residing in 15 states throughout the country, plus Ontario, and widely ranging in age, the staff showcases a wide variety of diverse opinions that will keep you coming back for more week in and week out.

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