How to understand betting odds

2019-12-13 News

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If you are going to be a successful bettor, you definitely need to know how betting odds work. When you consider some of the traits that successful bettors share, one of the predominant odds is an appreciation of math and calculation as well as the ability to quickly calculate odds. If you don't know what odds are and how they work, chances are you're going to have a slow walk to success.

What do odds mean?

When we say odds, it means the likelihood of something happening. When we say something has a high odd, it means it is not very likely to happen while something with low odd is very likely to happen. Confusing? We hope not. Here is another example. Imagine if has been raining for the past 2 weeks and you wake up in the morning to a cloudy sky. If you were to speak about the situation, you would be right to say, "there are high odds that it won't rain today." Similarly, you could say "the odds that it will rain today are very low." Generally, when we talk about high odds, we talk about things not very likely to happen. The higher the odds, the less likely it is to happen. When someone says "the odds are in your favour”, it simply means that whatever you hope to happen is very likely to happen. We hope it’s clear now. Great!

Odds and probability

When we talk about odds, people rarely feel they have a lot in common with it but in truth, we all make use of odds in our daily lives. When you say "how sure are you that she will come?", "How sure are you that she will return the money?" or "how sure are you that he will still be there?" In all these instances, we are gauging the likelihood and probability of an event happening. Remember probability in junior secondary school maths? If you toss a coin, there is a chance that it will be either the head or the tail. Sometimes, probability and odds are used interchangeably but they are quite different.

How are odds determined?

There is an equal chance for a tossed coin giving head or tail all things being equal right? This simply means is the only way this can happen is if everything is equal. However, in football, things are never equal. There are various things that can influence the probability of things to happen. Some include:

Players: Each team has players and each player has his own strengths.

Coaches: some coaches are more experienced and tactically wiser than others.

Location: A team playing in their home stadium has an edge over the visitors’ thanks to the 12th players (their fans).

There are other things that can lead to unequal opportunities on either side. Betting companies, with the help of algorithm machines, consider all these things and decide how likely a particular outcome is. Also, betting is not always about winning or losing. There are various other outcomes and types of bets. For example:

1x2 Bets: this involves predicting who will win or lose. It is quite straightforward.

Double chance bets: this type lets you choose two out of the three possible outcomes which are a win, lose, or draw.

Under/over goals: this involves predicting the number of goals will be scored in a match.

Handicap bets: this lets you give a particular team some points ahead of the other one and still claim they'll win with it.

Goal/No Goal: deals with betting on whether both sides are going to have goals. These are are just some of the many options available. In summary, the probability of a particular outcome is analyzed and then, odds are appropriately assigned. A team with great players, great coach, and a strong lineup are more likely to win than a team with average players and a less tactical coach. The odds for a better team to win are usually lower than the odds for the other team. However, there are times when the odds of teams are almost evenly matched. Then, it becomes a real headache to make a choice. Also, upsets do happen. A smaller team with a shoestring budget beating a bigger team with Arab money. You can imagine the odds. People who are brave enough to gamble on these rare upsets usually smile to the bank. Remember, the higher the odds, the less likely it is to happen. This is why you should never be swayed by odds.

How to calculate odds

Here’s how to calculate the odds on a bet. Assuming that there is a particular outcome with 2.5 odds attached, how much are you likely to make from it if it comes out as planned? This answer depends on how much you stake. Your stake is the amount you bet. For example, if you bet ₦200, your stake is ₦200. To find how much you will make, you simply multiply your odds by your stake. In this case, you will multiply 2.5 by ₦200. You will have ₦500. However, ₦500 isn't your profit. Remember that your stake is like your capital and your profit or gain is what you earn minus your capital. So when you take away ₦200 from your ₦500, you realize that you have ₦300. You might be thinking that ₦300 is not much. The truth is that it’s not really much. But 2.5 odds is a good odd especially if it is likely. There are two ways to make the best use of odds.

1. To combine several games on one ticket: If you combine ten games of different odds, simply add the odds together and multiply by the stake.

2. The second trick is to stake sensible amounts. If you stake ₦1000 on a game of 2.5 odds, you make ₦2500 which means you make a ₦1500 profit. Choose the one that suits you best.

So with these, you will be ready to bet and bet from an informed perspective as to what odds are, and on how to navigate your way through them.

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