Month: June 2019

What are the Betting Odds on Saturday’s Football?

Introduction

 

If you are looking to bet on football, or have seen the odds quoted on a particular match for this Saturday, the terminology and numerology used can seem arcane or hard to understand. In reality, though, once the key concepts behind betting odds are grasped, it is easy to master and apply them to your own betting strategy.

Different System of Odds

Part of the difficulty lies with the fact that there are different ways of expressing odds, depending on where in the world you happen to be.

  • Fractional Odds – Used throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland
  • Decimal Odds – Found in the Rest of Europe, and countries like Australia and Canada
  • Moneyline – The prevailing system in the United States

 

Fractional Odds

Fractional odds are displayed typically in forms such as 3/1, 7/2, or 9/4, and allow a gambler to calculate how much they will win in comparison to their original stake.

For example, at odds of 9/1, for every £1 bet, they will win £9. This can also be calculated as 1/(9 +1) = 0.1 which means that there is a 10% chance that the bet will succeed. Equally, at odds of 7/2, they will win £7 for every £2 bet, which equals to a 2/9 (7+2) or a 22% chance of winning.

Decimal Odds

Decimal odds, by contrast, show a player how much they will win if their bet succeeds. So odds of 7 indicate that they will get back, for every euro bet, €7, consisting of winnings of €6 plus their original €1 staked.

 

Moneyline

Moneyline betting is based on the concept that most people bet on the favourite in a contest, so it sets a figure – the moneyline – that has to be beaten in order for a bet to succeed. A team which carries negative moneyline odds is regarded as the favourite, whereas a positive figure signifies an underdog.

For example, if the odds quoted for a certain team are -110, you would need to bet US $110 to win US $100 (remembering that, in the event of a successful bet, you claim back your original stake). By contrast, if the moneyline odds for another team were +140, that means that a punter would be able to win US $140 by placing a bet of US $100.

Which is Better?

There is no hard and fast rule, and each has its merits. However, the trend in recent years has been to the decimal system because it is easier to understand.

Key Concepts

Whichever system of odds are used, the key concepts behind them are the same. The first one is the principle that betting odds are merely the numerical expression of the likelihood of something to happen, or not. The shorter the odds, the more likely the bookmaker forecasts an outcome will occur, and the vice versa.

The second idea that should be grasped is that, whereas betting on a favourite may not be as attractive as a long shot in terms of the odds on offer, there is a very good reason why the outsider is priced like that. Whilst the returns on your wager will be much higher if the underdog wins a league match or a cup tie this weekend, it needs to be balanced with the fact that the chances of it happening are much diminished.

 

How Bookmakers Calculate the Odds

The odds that you will see displayed by bookmakers – whether online or in a bricks and mortar shop – have been calculated by their in-house actuaries and statisticians, using complex computer models with proprietary algorithms. No two computer models are exactly the same, which Is why two different firms may offer slightly differ odds on the same player or match. However, the direction of travel is almost always consistent – Liverpool will always start favourite to beat Newcastle United at home, irrespective of the odds offered by a particular bookmaker.

Some experienced gamblers collect their own statistics and devise their own models to calculate the odds on matches and players. However, no individual is likely to have the same time and resources to devise a model that has the same sophistication as that used by the leading bookmakers.

Final Thoughts

Now that you understand some of the key concepts involved, look at the odds involved for some of the key matches coming up this Saturday and decide if you want to place a bet. If you do, there are some simple rules to bear in mind, the most important of which is to only bet what you can afford to lose. The sad fact is that more than 80% of all bets fail on average, so do not expect to make any money from gambling in the long term. It should be a bit of harmless fun – if it looks like becoming something more serious than that, seek help.

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What do Odds mean in Football Betting?

Introduction

Many football fans like to add a little spice to their enjoyment of their weekend games by placing s small bet on the outcome of the match – win, lose or draw – or on a variety of other wagers that are made available by bookmakers, such as the scorer of the first goal, total number of goals scored, half-time score or even more exotic wagers such as number of corners awarded, or the amount of yellow and red cards handed out by a referee.

Yet, if they go to the website of an online bookmaker, or set foot inside the door of their local turf accountant for the first time, they are likely to see a wall of odds displayed which, to the uninitiated, can seem as intelligible as an unknown, foreign language.

Therefore, if you want to bet on football, it is important to understand the concept of odds before you lay down your hard earned money.

In simple terms, odds are a numerical expression of the likelihood of an event occurring – Arsenal to beat Southampton, for example, or Manchester City to draw with Liverpool.

 

Why Bookmakers Always Have the Edge

Bookmakers calculate their odds in a variety of ways, employing in-house statisticians and actuaries, and complex proprietary algorithmic models. No two computer programs are the same, which is why different bookmakers may add slightly different odds on the same football match, or sporting event.

It is important to realise that bookmakers always have the edge. They are not offering their services for free – they are commercial enterprises which have shareholders and other stakeholders to satisfy, and there aim is to make a profit. That means that, from a purely statistical viewpoint, the odds displayed by a bookmaker are not correct. They have been weighted in favour of the bookmaker.

Some may not be happy with this. However, if you object to this on ethical grounds, then you probably shouldn’t be betting at all!

 

 

Why Bookmakers Defy the Rules of Mathematics

This can be illustrated by way of an example. If you toss a coin, the chances of it landing heads or tails are 50/50. Even if the coin is weighted so that it is pre-disposed to fall on one side or another, the total of the combined odds percentage can never exceed 100%. That is a mathematical impossibility.

However, when you view the odds offered by bookmakers on a football match, when you add the percentages of the possible outcomes together, they will always exceed 100%.

Example

This can be illustrated by an example.

Arsenal were due to travel to play Watford in the Premier League on September 15th. One of the leading online bookmakers offered the following ante-post odds:

  • Arsenal win 11/10
  • Watford win 11/4
  • Draw 14/5

This was a UK betting site so the odds were displayed using fractional odds, which allow a gambler to work out how much they could win in comparison to their original stake. So, if they wanted to bet on Watford winning, for every £4 bet, they would win £11.

 

 

 

Somebody based in Europe, or a country like Australia or Canada, could gain on a local site and find odds for the same match displayed in a different format. In this case:

  • Arsenal win 2.10
  • Watford win 3.75
  • Draw 3.80

The difference with this system, known as decimal odds, is that it is simpler to understand, because it shows how much a gambler will win if the bet succeeds, including the return of their original stake money (whereas this is just inferred with fractional odds). So again, using the above example, if they bet £1 on a draw and the bet succeeds, then they will get back £3.80.

Whichever system is used, the sum of the probabilities is the same though.

Arsenal to win has a probability of (1/2.10) = 47.62%

Watford to win has a probability of (1/3.75) = 26.67%

The draw has a probability of (1/3.80) = 26.32%

If the sum of the probabilities is added up it equals 100.61% (47.62% + 26.67% + 26.32%). That means that, in this case, the bookmaker’s profit is 0.61% (100.61% – 100%).

In other words, if somebody wanted to cover all the bets, they would need to spend £100.61 to recover £100.

 

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How do Betting Odds work in Football?

Introduction

If you are new to sports gambling and are looking to place a bet on next week’s football games, some of the terminology involved may be confusing, and can be potentially off-putting for the uninitiated.

One of these terms is the betting odds, an expression that everybody knows, but which is not necessarily clearly understood. In essence betting odds is a numerical expression of the likelihood of an event occurring or not.

 

How Odds are Expressed

Odds can be expressed in a variety of ways – Moneyline, which is commonly associated with sports betting in North America, and the two systems most familiar to people in other parts of the world – fractional and decimal odds.

Fractional odds, which are used in the United Kingdom and Ireland, are displayed typically in forms such as 3/1, 7/2, or 9/4, and allow a gambler to calculate how much they will win in comparison to their original stake.

For example, at odds of 9/1, for every £1 bet, they will win £9. This can also be calculated as 1/(9 +1) = 0.1 which means that there is a 10% chance that the bet will succeed. Equally, at odds of 7/2, they will win £7 for every £2 bet, which equals to a 2/9 (7+2) or a 22% chance of winning.

 

 

Decimal odds, by contrast, which are used throughout the rest of Europe, and in countries like Australia or Canada, show a player how much they will win if their bet succeeds. So odds of 7 indicate that they will get back, for every euro bet, €7, consisting of winnings of €6 plus their original €1 staked.

Both methodologies have their merits, but the fashion is trending towards decimal odds because they are easier to understand. This is because factional odds report winnings, and do not take into account the fact that, if a bet succeeds, the punter not only gets their winnings, but also their original stake back as well.

 

How Bookmakers Calculate Their Odds

To gain an understanding of how a bookmaker calculates their odds, then it is important to grasp the idea of implied probability, a concept which can be found also in many market-based transactions, including swaps, futures, bonds, and currency markets. Implied profitability, in essence, is merely the conversion of odds into percentage terms.

Normally the sum of 2 probabilities occurring is 100%. So, for example, if a coin is tossed, there are only two outcomes, heads or tails, and the sum of betting on either will always equal 100%. However, where betting on football – or any other sport, for that matter – is different is that, if all the odds for a particular bet are added together, the total of the probabilities exceeds 100%, This incremental element represents the bookmaker’s profit.

 

 

Practical Examples

This is best represented by examples.

For the forthcoming Premier League fixture between Chelsea and Liverpool, the following odds might be offered by a bookmaker:

  • Chelsea – 3.5 (1.91); Liverpool +3.5 (1.91).

Ignoring the possibility of a draw, if we bet Chelsea win, we either have a pay-out of £0 if they lose or £191 if they win.

Equally, if we bet on Liverpool, we either have a pay-out of £0 if they lose or £191 if they win.

To calculate the implied probability for each outcome, we take the amount staked and divide it by the total pay-out:

  • Chelsea wins 100/191 = 52.4%

Liverpool wins 100/191 = 52.4%

Both outcomes added together are equal to 104.8% which means that, to cover both bets, a player would have to spend £104.80 to win back £100. The £4.80 is the bookmaker’s profit.

The same principle applies when the odds differ. For example:

Chelsea 1.75, Liverpool 2.2.

Betting £100 on Chelsea, we gain nothing in the event of a loss, but win £175 if our bet succeeds. Equally, if we bet £100 on Liverpool, we either win nothing or £220. Again, ignoring the possibility of a draw, the two implied probabilities are:

Chelsea wins 100/175 = 57.14%

Liverpool win 100/220 =45.45%

Adding the two together gives a total of 102.59%, with the incremental part representing the bookmaker’s margin.

 

Final Thoughts

It is worth noting that the odds offered by different bookmakers on the same event may vary. All leading firms employ statisticians and complex algorithmic computer models to calculate probabilities. However, no two algorithms are the same, which is why you will find marginal differences in the odds offered by the leading firms for the same teams, horses, and players etc.

In general, bookmakers make anywhere between 5% and 20% profit, depending on the type of sport on which they are running a book. When choosing your bookmaker, therefore, try and choose the one that is taking the lowest margin in total, as they are likely to be offering the fairest odds.

 

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