How to Calculate Betting Odds

In all types of sports betting we come across betting odds of some sort. The bookmakers put these into place as a form of prediction as to how the event will turn out. In the case of horse racing, the odds reflect the likelihood of a particular horse winning a race, and directly affect the amount of money you can win on that horse should you bet on it. Understanding these betting odds is vital to not only having a successful and enjoyable experience, but also to be more profitable in the long run.

From Probability To Betting odds

Betting odds are based on probability; i.e. the likelihood of something happening. We use probability every day without realising it, in making decisions such as whether to take a jacket due to rain or if there is going to be traffic on the way to work.

Probability is worked out using the equation:  Favourable outcomes / all possible outcomes. To understand this, let’s look at a boxing match. In boxing you have two competitors, so there is one favourable outcome and two possible outcomes: 1 / 2 which gives us 0.5. So the probability of your favourite fighter wining the match is 0.5

Transferring Probability Into Betting Odds

Working out betting odds from here is not hard at all. Again you will need a simple equation: 1 / probability of your chosen outcome. So in our boxing match the calculated betting odds of your fighter wining is 1 / 0.5 which is 2.0. Of course, no match is exactly even, which is where the bookies come into the equation. All matches will be given odds by various bookies, be they online or not. Working out exactly how fair the odds offered by each bookmaker is, is the whole idea behind being able to calculate betting odds.

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Betting Odds Examples

Betting odds can change all the time for an event as they are decided not only by the bookies, but by public opinion as well. For example, in the recent Maywether /  McGregor fight, the odds changed so much over the year build-up that one had to keep a very sharp eye on various bookies in order to keep up with what was going on. The odds opened with Maywether being the massive favourite at -2500, which translated is 1 / 25 which means that if you bet $25 000, you will only make $100. This swung wildly in all directions during the build-up, eventually ending up with McGregor being a +400 underdog, translating to 4 /1, so if you bet $100 you would get back $400. See why calculating and understanding betting odds is so important?

Horse racing is another sport in Australia where it is very important to be able to work out betting odds. In a race such as the Melbourne Cup, you have up to 22 horses running. Only one horse can win, and no one really knows who that horse will be. A successful bet on an underdog could net you some hefty winnings, while a successful bet on a favourite may see you with not much to show for your day at all. Knowing exactly how to place a bet and read the odds will help your sports betting to be more profitable in the long run. Knowing when to not bet on a winner, and possibly place a bet on a horse to place or even an underdog will make you a much more successful punter.