Sports Betting Odds and Probabilities
Sports Betting Odds and Probabilities Overview
For centuries, people have been placing wagers on their favorite sports in hopes of winning real money. Many individuals choose to place small wagers amongst their friends on their preferred teams as a way of making the game more exciting. However, many other people are discovering how lucrative it can be to wager on sports online. Hundreds of sports betting sites, known as online sportsbooks, are offering real money wagering on all types of sports, from soccer and horse racing to NBA basketball and cricket. Both casual sports bettors and high rollers will find a sportsbook that suits their needs.
Sports Betting Odds and Probabilities Information
When you’re ready to dive into the world of sports betting, it’s important to understand some of the odds and probabilities involved. When it comes to sports betting, the term “odds” generally refers to the payout ratio of a given wager. By understanding the odds of a specific sporting event, you can make the safest, most lucrative wagers. Sports betting sites can often be confusing, with a plethora of numbers and wagering options. Although sportsbooks can be overwhelming for beginners, individuals who gain a basic comprehension of the various wagering types available will be able to maximize their betting profits in a short amount of time.
Although it’s very important to understand the numbers involved in sports betting odds and probabilities, it’s just as crucial to understand concepts such as house edge and wagering types such as parlays and futures. Most sportsbook websites contain handy FAQ guides designed to further educate their customers in these areas.
Sports Betting Odds and Probabilities: House Edge
If you’ve ever played at a live or online casino, you probably already have a passing familiarity with the concept of house edge. Essentially, the house edge is the advantage that the casino, or in this case sportsbook, has over the customer. Generally, the house edge at most sportsbooks is quite small, and is only intended to ensure that the sportsbook itself generates enough revenue to continue providing sports betting services.
In a friendly bet with a peer, you might wager $10 in order to win $10. In this case, there is no house edge whatsoever, because there is no “house” involved. However, in the case of an online sportsbook, you will encounter a house edge. For example, you might need to wager $11 in order to win $10. This gives the sportsbook a house edge of approximately 4.54%. This is an example of a straight bet, in which you simply wager on the ultimate outcome of a game.
When it comes to other wagering types, such as parlays, the concept of a house edge becomes somewhat more complicated. This is because in a parlay, you’re wagering on multiple games within a single bet. If one component of the parlay fails to come true, you lose the entire bet. The house edge of a parlay is further complicated when you consider that the payout ratio of each might vary from one parlay to the next.
For example, in a Pick 2 parlay with a 2.5 payout ratio, the house edge is 12.5%. When you raise the payout ratio of the same parlay to 2.9, the house edge diminishes to 2.5%. The house edge of a Pick 4 parlay with a payout ratio of 10 is 31.25%, making it a highly unwise wager unless you’re absolutely confident in the outcomes of the games involved. When you increase the number of wagers involved to an extreme, such as in a Pick 20 parlay, the payout ratio must be astronomical in order for the wager to be a good choice. In this example, a payout ratio of 200,000 would still yield a terrible house edge of 80.93%.
Sports Betting Odds and Probabilities: The Numbers
The numbers involved with sports betting odds and probabilities can vary wildly depending on the type of wager you choose to use. As mentioned previously, a straight bet is a wager on the ultimate outcome of a game. There are a few important numbers involved with straight bets. For example, when wagering on an NFL game, you might see that the Vikings are -10 while the Lions are +10. These are essentially corrections that will be made to the final score of the game, and these numbers are intended to even the odds in a lopsided match up. These numbers, in the realm of sports betting odds and probabilities, are referred to as the points spread.
Straight bets are sometimes called money line bets. You might see an additional number next to each team name, such as Vikings -300, Lions +200. This means that you’d need to place a $300 bet on the Vikings in order to win $100, or a $100 bet on the Lions in order to win $200. The above example isn’t very generous to the bettor, and the odds and probabilities of winning would indicate a high house edge.
Total bets are similar to straight bets, except that they are a wager on the combined final score of the game. For example, on a sportsbook website, you might see a total bet being offered for the Vikings – Lions game, with a 44 next to it. If you wager that the total score will exceed 44, the combined score must do so in order for you to win. These are also sometimes referred to as over/under bets. Generally, you’ll have a higher probability of winning if you wager on over in the case of a predicted low scoring game, or if you wager on under in a high scoring game.
Additional Sports Betting Odds and Probabilities Information
Teasers are another types of sports wager. A teaser is similar to a point spread bet, except that the point spread is moved in the player’s favor. In a football bet, the points move in the player’s favor either 6 or 7 points, and 4 to 5 points in basketball. The tradeoff is that the payout ratio is much lower. Teasers are often popular amongst casual bettors who like to rely on a small handicap while still wagering for real cash.
Another wagering type popular among sportsbooks is a future. A future is a wager on an event that will take place in the coming weeks or months. Typically, a future has a low probability of succeeding due to the number of options involved, though the payout ratio can be quite strong. For example, you might wager $50 on the winner of the Superbowl before the season even starts. A correct pick might win you $2,000, $5,000 or more. The “house” is still able to make a large sum of money due to the amount of incoming incorrect wagers.
As you dive deeper into sports betting odds and probabilities, you might find that the numbers become increasingly complicated. However, you can enjoy sports wagering and make a tidy sum of money simply by comprehending the basics. As mentioned, virtually every online sportsbook provides additional information on odds and probabilities in order to create a transparent and fair betting environment.