Sportsbooks are a great tool in enabling bettors to put their money on certain sporting events. They provide all the relevant information on the bookmaker’s sites in one place, enabling the reader to easily make informed decisions regarding each sport they are interested in. However, calculating odds can be difficult for those who aren’t used to working with statistical data and aren’t confident in their basic mathematics skills. If you’re looking to place a wager on the Mayweather vs McGregor fight, then this blog post will help clarify the mathematics behind the odds and hopefully make it a little less daunting.
To begin with, let’s discuss the basics of calculating odds. The formula is simple enough and you’ll most likely already be familiar with it:
- The number of possible outcomes (say, winning bets)
- The number of outcomes occurring (say, winning bets)
- The total amount wagered (say, $100)
- The amount paid out (say, $100)
- The odds (the winning rate)
If we plug in some values for this example, we can work out the odds for Mayweather vs McGregor. Let’s assume that the total amount wagered is $100 and there are 10 possible outcomes: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, and I. The possible outcomes and their probabilities are listed below:
- A : 1/10
- B : 1/10
- C : 1/10
- D : 1/10
- E : 1/10
- F : 1/10
- G : 1/10
- H : 1/10
- I : 1/10
The amount paid out in this case is also $100, so we know that $100 x 10 = 1000 is the required amount for a payout. When there is a payout, the sportsbook will pay back the total amount wagered ($100) along with a small bonus (say, 10%) on top.
Odds and Spread
While the odds are fairly straightforward to calculate, working with odds in sports betting can be a little more complicated. When you see an online sportsbook offering odds on a given event, it is usually presented in a different way to make it more convenient for bettors to use. Specifically, when working with odds, it is generally a good idea to use the “to win” and “to place” odds rather than the “regular” odds. The reason for this is that the “to win” and “to place” odds are the ones used by sportsbooks to calculate payouts in wagering scenarios. When a sportsbook offers odds on an event, there will almost always be a “spread” attached to those odds as well (this is commonly known as the “point spread”). The spread is the difference between the “to win” and “to place” odds. In our example above, the spread is represented by B vs C. From a mathematical standpoint, if we were to calculate the odds for Mayweather vs McGregor using the abovementioned method, we would have to multiply the amount wagered ($100) by 1.5 in this case, since the “to win” odds are 1.5 times the “to place” odds. In other words, $100 x 1.5 = $150.
When presenting odds and spreads to consumers in an easy-to-understand manner, sportsbooks use the “to win” and “to place” odds with the point spread in the example above. What this should make clear is that the “to win” and “to place” odds are the ones used to calculate payouts in a limited number of wagering scenarios. For instance, if you were to make a wager on the fight according to the abovementioned method, you would be risking $100 on Mayweather winning and getting paid back $150 if he wins. It is highly unlikely that a sportsbook would offer a payout of this kind, since the vast majority of bets are placed using the “regular” odds.
The last thing anyone looking to place a wager on an event wants to do is lose money. This is why when a sportsbook offers a payout for a given event, it is usually smaller than the amount wagered (this is called a “unit bet”). The greater the juice, the greater the risk, and this is certainly the case with online sportsbooks. When it comes to payouts for Mayweather vs McGregor, the money will go back to the bettors along with a small bonus (usually ranging between 5% and 10% of the amount wagered) that is paid out by the bookmaker.
To be clear, this is not intended to be an in-depth guide to gambling or betting. Rather, this article will discuss some of the basic math that goes into calculating odds, along with how to make the most out of it when placing a wager on sporting events.