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Understand How Sports Betting Odds Are Calculated to Choose the Right Bookie

For most of those wishing to bet on their favourite team, their favourite player, their favourite horse of even on who will win the next general election, they typically go to their nearest bookmaker to place their wager. Unless you are a serious gambler or have a solid background in maths, you probably don’t understand how bookies calculate sports betting odds. It can get a bit involved but there are a few things you should keep in mind when placing your next bet.

Odds and Probability

You have heard it said a million times, “What are the odds of that happening,” or “What are the odds of that longshot horse coming in first place?” Yes, you’ve heard about odds forever and a day but what are odds really? Actually, they are nothing more than the probability of something happening and that is expressed mathematically as a ratio. “I bet you ten to one that Brexit will be a hard leaving and not a prolonged amicable parting of ways.” This is how you’d get your odds at a bookie – ten to one that horse will come in first. In other words, only one time out of ten would it be likely that your horse will win.

Choosing the Right Bookmaker

Before going any further in trying to understand how a bookie calculates betting odds, it is vital that you choose your bookie carefully! While those in the industry don’t like to say this, the truth is, they are out to make money just like you. You are hoping for a big win and so are they. However, when you win big, they lose. When they win big, you lose. Because of this, you want a reputable bookmaker who will play fairly with you. Have you ever been to a bookmaker who said, “If it were me, I’d do this?”

While this isn’t legal or ethical in many places, they will often try to throw you off because, again, their win is your loss and they, being in business to make a profit, certainly don’t want to pay out any more than they need to. In reality? They probably don’t want you to win huge amounts! Your takeaway here? Check out Bookmaker Ratings to review the bookmakers before placing your first bet.

Compare Odds between Bookies

Another thing you can do once you understand odds and probability as well as the fact that bookies are in it to make money is to compare odds between bookmakers. Just because one bookmaker gives you odds of 20:1 doesn’t mean the next one down the road won’t have odds of 15:1 or 10:1. They each go on the probability of an outcome based on criteria they are assessing.

Some may put more weight on total wins whilst others might weigh in more heavily on how the star player has fared in the past against the opposing team’s star player. It is important to know exactly how a bookmaker derives his/her odds based on the probability within the parameters they are assessing. Always compare odds between at least two or three bookies if you are placing a sizeable wager.

Learn the Maths but Also Learn the Bookies!

In the end, there are two very different things you need to study. Yes, you need to learn how to calculate odds/probability with a mathematical formula that has been devised a long, long time ago. But, you also need to learn your bookmakers. Learn what they factor into the odds they give you because one might be more in keeping with how you are making your bet.

Are you betting on a team’s outcome based on a player or are you betting team against team? It matters because you will find the odds you are looking for with the bookie that thinks like you. That’s what you need to know in a nutshell.