Football Betting Odds – The Fundamental Concept of Sports Wagering

Betting lines are a fairly simple concept in football wagering, but they play such an important position in the gambling squad that they deserve the spotlight in this match. We are going to explore what betting odds mean and how they are set. We also examine the different types of lines and the most important operations that involve them.

By the end of this article, you will see all betting odds explained in detail. You'll also be able to count on all the relevant resources for working with odds, such as methods to convert them into different formats, their probabilities, etc.

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What Are Betting Odds in Football?

The simplest representation of what betting odds mean is the potential winnings for a given outcome. This is their truest meaning. Whenever you see a regular 1X2 bet, your inner Archimedes can quickly work out how much quid you'd take home for a win just by looking at the numbers.

Comparing football betting odds

Some other concepts are also implied by betting odds but don't necessarily represent them. Probability, for example, is so closely intertwined with odds that they are commonly mistaken for each other and used interchangeably.

Moreover, there are different formats for presenting lines which represent specific nuances. While it is not necessary to know the details of how fractional, decimal, and moneyline odds are converted, it is vital to understand how to use them. There is no better way to start the learning process than to discover how betting odds are set.

How Betting Odds Are Determined and What It Means for Punters

For football matches, betting odds are prepared by the bookmakers, of course. Usually, they hire odds traders, who are specialists with experience in setting 'the line' or 'the price', which are just different ways of referring to the odds. However, not all sportsbooks rely on a designated odds trader for some (or all) markets. Instead, they outsource their lines from other bookies or betting platforms like SBTech.

The best football bookmakers work with fixed-odds betting and have several objectives to satisfy when they prepare a line:

Include a commission This is the lifeblood of every sportsbook. Bookmakers charge a commission for each placed bet, and it is the primary source of their income. Keep in mind that bookies that charge more than 5% are probably engaging in human sacrifices as well.

Determine the outcome probability This is perhaps the most complicated part of setting the odds. In order to have an idea of how a match will play out, traders should have a very solid understanding of both teams and how the game may play out. Expert punters share this understanding.

Attract bettors In the best-case scenario, bookmakers want to attract punters on both outcomes of an event. This way, they minimise their risk while maximising their commission. However, if a market is badly priced, punters are not willing to bet on it.

Balance the money Contrary to expectations, bookmakers are not gamblers. They collect commissions for all placed bets. However, if there is a substantial imbalance in a given market, it will all come out of the bookie's pocket in the end, and they don't want this to happen

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How Do Betting Odds Work?

There are three types of betting prices: fractional, decimal, and moneyline. If you are wondering which betting odds are the best, keep in mind that each type serves a slightly different purpose. They all represent the same lines, but it is a matter of preference which one you use. Thus, if you are wondering how betting odds pay out, the next few paragraphs are for you.

Fractional Odds Show the Profit from Each Stake

8/1 x £10 = £80

2/1 x £10 = £20

2/3 x £10 = £6.66

1/5 x £10 = £2

Fractional Lines Roll with the Profit

These lines are also known as traditional, or British lines. Legend has it they have been used since Roman times when Britons competed with imperial soldiers in spear-throwing. Naturally, the Britons were manlier and superior in every way, so instead of spears, they had to use ballista bolts to even the odds.

Apart from the patriotism, fractional stakes are very attractive because of how easily they show the potential profit – just multiply them by the betting stake. Moreover, just by looking at them, you can tell whether you are betting on the favourite or the underdog.

Examples of calculating winnings with fractional odds:

£10 x 7.2 = £72 => £72 - £10 = £62

£10 x 3.8 = £38 => £38 - £10 = £28

£10 x 1.2 = £12 => £12 - £10 = £2

£10 x 1.1 = £11 => £11 - £10 = £1

Decimal Odds Keep It Real with the Total Winnings

Decimal lines are also known as European lines. If we multiply decimal odds by our stake, we will receive both the profit and the stake. So, whenever you are wondering about the lump sum you will receive from the bookmaker, you should use decimal prices. That or just look at your betslip but knowing how the numbers work gives you a slight vibe of superiority.

American Odds Are All about the Benjamins

We don't always use American prices, but when we do, it's in a public setting, and we fake a Yankee accent as well. Because sometimes all it takes is to be a bit outlandish.

These lines are also known as 'moneyline', and they come in two types: positive and negative. The first is the life of the party, while the second quietly broods in the corner. Here is how positive and negative moneyline betting odds look like:


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How to Convert Odds from One Format to Another

Now that we know how odds are prepared and what each type represents, true power feels ever closer than before. By learning to convert betting odds from one kind to another, you can master the arcane art of gambling.

Converting fractional odds to decimals is so easy that even some large apes can do it. However, if you have no access to the endangered species or the Internet, you might as well learn to do it yourself. To convert fractional lines to decimals, divide the numerator by the denominator and add one. Here is how it looks: 4/5 + 1 = 0.8 + 1 = 1.8.

There are two ways to convert American moneyline odds to decimals:

How to Calculate the Actual Probability and the Bookmaker's Commission

This is a bonus skill, but many punters highly value it. It is always good to know whether the bookie is charging a fair commission or is stealing alms from orphans. Besides, once you know how much the commission is, the probability in betting will also be clearer. This is an important part of how betting odds work.

West Ham - Man City
Over/Under 2.5 Goals Over Under
Odds 1.53 2.50
In order to convert betting odds to probability for the above example, divide 1 by each line. Then, to calculate the bookie's commission (aka vig, juice, overround), add the two numbers together and subtract 1 from the sum. Here is how it looks for the above example:
Probability 1/1.53 = 0.65 1/2.50= 0.4
Commission = (Probability 1 + Probability 2) – 1 = (0.65 + 0.4) – 1 = .05 = 5%

Defy and Play the Odds to Rise above Them

How do odds work in betting? You should have a very clear idea about this by now. You should be able to easily find the best betting odds to win the Premier League, and from there, the sky is your limit. Or at least the max betting limit of the bookmaker.

Frequently Asked Questions

🔒Q: Are Betting Odds Locked In?

💬A: Betting lines usually change over the course of their existence. However, once a bettor places a stake and confirms it, the betting prices are locked in until the bet is settled. In this case, the line can change only if there is a 'best odds guaranteed' clause in the bet, which upgrades the bet to the best prices.

🔃Q: Why Do Betting Odds Change?

💬A: Whenever a significant event occurs for a given match, bookmakers adjust their odds to reflect the new probabilities and expectations for the match. This can happen with both pre-match and live betting lines, but it is way easier to notice during a live game, where the first goal from the underdog, for example, immediately affects the odds.

🏆Q: Which Betting Site Has the Best Odds?

💬A: Bookmakers' prices are highly dependent on how big a commission they charge. While anything above 5% is equal to daylight robbery, many bookmakers charge in the lower range for their services. Here are the top three bookmakers for the best betting odds: bet365, 888sport, Betway

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