How Do Sportsbooks Calculate Odds?

You’ve probably heard of the expression “You can’t beat the odds.” This is especially true when it comes to sports betting. After all, the odds are always in your favor when it comes to sportsbooks! Let’s take a closer look at how these odds are calculated and what you can do to increase your odds of winning.

Basic Calculations

When you place a wager on a side in a sporting event, the odds of winning or losing are determined by a series of basic math computations. These computations are performed by the sportsbook when you place your bet. Here is a short list of the most common odds computations used by sportsbooks:

1. The Odds Of Each Team

When you place a wager on a team in a sporting event, the odds of each outcome for that team are added together to create a new set of odds. If you choose to wager on the Yankees, for example, and they win the game, your winnings will be based on the following odds:

Odds Of Winning: 1.20
Odds Of The Yankees Winning: 2.00

This type of wagering creates a 50% chance of winning for you. If you’d rather not wager on the Yankees, you can certainly choose another team and get similar odds.

2. The Odds Of Each Outcome

As mentioned above, when you bet on a team in a sporting event, the odds of each possible outcome for that team are added together to come up with a new set of odds. Let’s look at an example using the above odds of the Yankees winning:

If you bet $100 on the Yankees and they win, your winnings will be based on the following odds:

Odds Of The Yankees Winning: 2.00

Which means your $100 wager will net you $180. Not bad for a morning’s work. This type of wagering can be very lucrative if you know how to play it right.

3. The Over/Under On A Match

Another common way sportsbooks calculate odds is by determining the over/under on a particular match. For example, if you bet $100 on the under 2.5 combined points in the Georgia Tech– Clemson game, your winnings are based on the following odds:

Odds Of Under 2.5 Points: 2.00

What is an over/under? An over/under on a match is simply the total combined points scored by both teams. For the Georgia Tech– Clemson game, the over/under is 2.5 points.

If you’re not familiar, sportsbooks usually post the total combined points for each game. For instance, if one team is predicted to score 28 points and the other 20, the book would post the following figure for the Over/Under: 28–20.

This type of wager is often used in cricket, where a team can score no more than 20 runs in an over. In this case, the bet would be worth $100 to win $180, based on the previous example. But if the under 2.5 points bet wins, you win only $160, since there were only 17 points scored in the game.

More Complex Calculations

Besides the above odds, sportsbooks can also create more complex odds when someone places a bet on a multi-part event. For example, let’s say you bet $100 that the New York Jets will cover the spread in the Nov. 24th game against the Buffalo Bills. Your winning wager would be based on the following odds:

Odds Of The Jets Covering: 2.00

Which means your $100 wager will net you $200. Not too shabby! This type of wagering can be useful if you’re laying large bets on sporting events.

The advantage of using these complex odds is that they can contain a greater number of variables. For instance, the odds for the above wager could be changed to reflect the current betting market or the current scoring trends in the two teams.

What Is A Covering Bet?

When laying large bets on sporting events, it’s common to want to make sure you win your money back. One way to do this is by placing a covering bet. When you place a covering bet on a sporting event, you’re essentially placing a bet that the favorite will cover the spread, or will achieve a certain number of points. For example, if you bet $100 that the Jets will cover the spread in the above game, you’re saying that you believe the Jets will score 20 or more points.

By placing this type of bet, you ensure that you win your money back if your team does not cover the spread. However, if your team covers the spread, you win a larger amount. Let’s say, for example, that the betting lines for this game were set at 3 points. In this case, you would win $270, since the Jets did in fact cover the spread.

Other Sportsbooks Calculate Odds Differently

Now, let’s say you’re a diehard Browns fan and you decide to visit another website to see the odds of the Browns winning this year’s Super Bowl. You find an unfamiliar website that offers these odds and, since you’re not sure how they’re calculated, you decide to have a little fun. You place a $100 wager on the Browns, figuring that they have a good chance of winning since they’re currently one of the most popular teams in the NFL. As it turns out, however, the calculation for these odds is completely different.

Here is how it works: The website you visited uses a different system to calculate their spread odds, and instead of using one of the methods mentioned above, it uses a slightly different method. Instead of using the over/under or point spread, they use something called the vegas system. This method gives you a better chance of winning since, again, you’re not used to it. But this also means you might not be able to figure out how to play it successfully, even though it’s very easy!