A Brief Guide to Understanding Betting Odds

It is vital to understand betting odds when sports betting. A misunderstanding or miscalculation can see a very different outcome in results which can be disappointing, and you may mistake how bookmakers have ranked the match or competition. As such, knowing odds in terms of how they work and what they signify is important, as is the ability to identify bookies with the best odds for better play.  

High Odds and Low Odds

If you’re new to sports betting it is important to understand that high odds do not mean there is a high chance of something happening, and low odds mean that there is a low chance of something to happening. In fact, it is the opposite and has nothing to do with probability.

The odds of team A beating team B for example are determined by current form, players, performance over a season and many other factors. A bookmaker will give the team he or she believes to be better lower odds while the team that the bookmaker believes will lose, higher odds.

This is one way bookmakers make their money.

For example, Team A is favoured by the bookies and the odds for a straight win are set at 2/3. Team B on the other hand is 3/1. So the lower odds are more likely to happen in the bookmaker’s view. And this is the key difference between probability and sports book odds.

Odds Terminology

Low odds are also called short odds as any payout is likely to be shorter than high odds. Conversely, high odds are sometimes called long odds as their payout is substantially more than short odds.

A Good Bet

During sports betting there will be times when you’re faced with betting on low odds bets. Although the payout is small the chances of winning are higher than high odd bets. Several wins can extend your bankroll and allow you to have longer play sessions.

Every so often, you’ll come across occasions when the bookmaker is offering higher odds than what you would expect on a match. When this happens, you may find that odds you would expect to be say 3/1, are now 5/1. This is a substantial difference and not one to be ignored.

This kind of opportunity doesn’t happen every day but is one to leverage when you spot it. In fact, pro bettors look for exploitations like this from their chosen sports.

Always go for the Best Odds

Not all sports books are created equal and as such, it is a good idea to have accounts on several trusted online bookies. This is down to different bookmakers offering different odds and you want to maximise your potential winnings.

Don’t Just Bet on High Odds

It is a mistake to bet on high odd bets only. Although bookmakers do make mistakes it is rare, and more often than not their predictions will come true.

Now you have a good understanding of odds, make a few accounts, do a few bets, and most of all have fun.

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