Have you ever wondered how many points you would need to win a game based on the odds you find on the web? You might be wondering how sports betting odds work, and whether or not it’s a good idea to try your hand at sports betting. If so, keep reading. We’ll cover everything you need to know about sports betting odds and whether or not they’re worth betting on.
What Are Sports Betting Odds?
You might be familiar with straight-up odds as they apply to traditional sports like football or baseball. These are the classic odds that you’ll find on the back of a sportsbook’s T-shirt:
5 Bettors Win $1000
The implication here is that you’re going to take on five other people at once, and that the result is going to be a winner-take-all kind of environment. While still very popular amongst no-limit bettors and those seeking a more realistic experience, these kinds of odds are relatively rare in today’s world of sports betting. Instead, most online sportsbooks offer more sophisticated odds calculations that factor in all sorts of variables that could influence the outcome of the game.
A good example of what we’re talking about is the over-under statistic that is often found on tennis match sites. The over-under statistic is calculated by taking the total number of points scored during a particular match and dividing it by the number of sets that were played. The over-under for a singles match might be 11.5 and there would be no bonus points for either side in a doubles match. The result is that even though each point is essentially a tie, the overall score is weighted in favor of the more experienced player.
Why Do Sports Books Use These Odds Calculations?
The main reason why sports books use these kinds of odds is that they want to attract as many sports bettors as possible, and they know that many people will choose to bet on tennis simply because it’s easier to figure out the over-under of a set of tennis matches.
This sort of odds calculation takes into account all sorts of variables like the time of day, the weather, and the level of play. It also considers other matches that are currently in progress, preventing sports books from having to post outdated odds that are based on previous matches. Finally, these odds calculations provide win probabilities that are more accurate than those offered by smaller sports books that do not use sophisticated statistics. Simply put, the more that you know, the better you can perform
Do I Always Need To Use These Odds?
The short answer here is no, you don’t always need to use these odds. In fact, there are scenarios where using these numbers could actually hurt your chances of winning. But before we get to those scenarios, let’s take a quick look at how to use them effectively:
Odds are very useful when you’re wagering on sports that are more likely to end in a close game. Think of a marathon where the race is going to come down to the wire. Or a playoff series where each game is going to be decided by a relatively small margin. In those sorts of situations, it’s usually best to stick with the standard point-spread rules and use the traditional straight up odds that you’re so familiar with.
On the other hand, if you’re looking to wager on a game that is more likely to end in a blowout (in either direction), then you might want to use the over-under stat to get a better idea of how the match is going to unfold.
Here’s where things can get a little tricky. Let’s say that you’re backing Alabama in the college football season, and you’ve got a hunch that the Crimson Tide are going to roll over Notre Dame in one of their early games. If that’s the case, you’re obviously going to want to lay the points and collect your winnings. But what if you’re not sure which game the Tide will play? Or what if they don’t play Notre Dame but rather another SEC rival? In those situations, it might be best to simply wait and see which teams are going to win before placing a wager. You can also check the records of previous games between these teams to get a better idea of how they match up. In a lot of ways, this is similar to how you’d play the Powerball lottery. You’re never going to know when it’s going to hit, but at least you’ll know the odds beforehand. And that’s what makes it so attractive. It’s the perfect way to play when you don’t know what’s going to happen.
When Do I Need To Use These Odds?
Although in most cases you might not need to use these odds, there are certainly scenarios where they could come in handy. And just like with the other forms of odds that we’ve discussed so far, here are some of the situations where you might want to use them:
You’re playing against the spread and your opponent bets $10 on the underdog. Your opponent wins and you cover the spread, making you win $100. You haven’t even needed to look at the board, you just went with what your opponent told you. In a situation like that, you could argue that using these odds might be a mistake. On the other hand, if you thought that your opponent was bluffing and the spread was basically a push, then using the odds might actually give you a better shot at winning. In general, it’s always a good idea to look at the spread, the over-under, and the current betting trends when placing bets. If you have a hunch that the game is going to be close, then use the over-under statistic to get a better idea of how the game is likely to end. If you’re not sure which way the game is going, then it might be best to wait and see which team starts the game with more momentum. Sometimes the biggest mistakes that you make in sports betting have nothing to do with the math behind the odds. It’s simply about putting yourself in the wrong position to begin with. In the end, only you know what you’re going to do and how you’re going to do it.