How to Calculate Football Betting Odds

The beauty of sports betting is that you can literally calculate odds for anything. Even though you may be familiar with sports betting odds, there are still topics that you may not know much about. That’s where this article comes in. We will walk you through the process of how to calculate odds for football betting, using the World Cup 2018 as our example.

Start With The Highest Odds

Although many people enjoy a good upset, sports betting is mostly about making money. That’s why most bookmakers will try to take the fun out of sports by offering the lowest possible odds. When you visit a reputable sportsbook, you will notice that the lines do not always reflect the public’s opinion. When placing bets, you will usually start with what is known as teaser odds. These are the very first odds that the bookmaker sets when making a market, and they are almost always very high, sometimes exceeding 300%. What that means is that if you bet $100 on a favorite team with teaser odds of +300%, your stake will be refunded 3 times over (with a lot of zeros behind it). That can be a lot of cash back if the favorite team wins! You may wonder, why would they offer such high odds? The answer is simple. They want to attract as many bettors as possible and make as much money as possible. When you visit a new sportsbook or place a bet on a game you’ve never heard of, you will most likely be offered these very high odds, as that’s the path to financial success for most sportsbooks.

Look At The Spread

One thing that many people don’t understand about sports betting is that the spread does matter. The spread is the amount of points that the betting odds are favoring one team over another, and it can be used to help determine the winner of a game. For example, if you put $100 on the Los Angeles Rams (RAF) to beat the New England Patriots (NEA) by 3 points, the spread would be 3. That means that if the game were to end in a tie, then the Patriots would win because they are +3 points in the spread. The other teams involved in this game (the Rams and the Arizona Cardinals) have no impact on who wins or loses the game.

The Actual Odds Of Each Team

Most people know that the line is just an estimate of the betting odds, but they don’t always realize that it’s essentially an average of the odds of each team. That means that even though the line may indicate an uneven number of points, this does not necessarily mean that one team is favored over the other. We can prove this by looking at the actual odds of each team. Since we’re using the World Cup as an example here, let’s take a look at the actual odds of each country’s teams as of June 15th, 2018.

Germany is the current holder of the 2018 World Cup, and they are the heavy favorites to retain the title. Their odds of winning are 11/2, meaning that they have a 11/2 chance of winning the cup. Argentina are the next most likely to win the cup with 4/1 odds, and you can also make a strong case that Portugal and Brazil are the other strong candidates. If we were to run a Monte Carlo simulation on these odds, we would see that Germany has a 17% chance of winning the cup.

What About The Underdogs?

Sports betting is all about picking the winning team, but sometimes it’s more exciting to bet on the underdog. These are the teams that nobody gives much of a chance to, but often they come out of nowhere and upset the odds makers. In the example above, the Rams are the underdogs with odds of +300%; however, they are still the favourites to win the game. The biggest reason why this game is interesting to bet on is because sometimes the underdogs do win, although it’s very unlikely. During a Monte Carlo simulation, we would see that the underdog has a 2% chance of winning the cup.

How Do The Teams Average?

To calculate the average of each team, you should assume that the scores of all the games will be the same as the final score of the game being averaged. Using the World Cup as an example, let’s look at how to calculate the average score. In a World Cup game, teams generally don’t score many goals, so we can use the final score as a way to compare all the games. In this case, since there were so many games (and they all ended in a draw), we can use a mathematical technique known as “weighted averaging” to determine the average score.

When using weighted averaging, you have to decide how much emphasis you want to give to each of the games. You can give more weight to the higher-scoring games or use a point-spread approach, where you give more weight to games with larger point spreads. In the example above, we will give more weight to England’s and Germany’s games as they were the more decisive ones. Using these two teams’ scores, we can calculate the average as follows:


The sum of the weights (the score in this case) is then divided by the number of games (4 in this case). In the example above, the average score is 2, which means that Germany and England played a game that was 2 points more important than the other two. Since all the games during the World Cup were worth the same, this means that Germany and England’s games were worth 2 points more than the others.

The Monte Carlo Simulations

Since we are analyzing teams and their potential to win the World Cup using statistics and data, it would make sense to also look at the results of Monte Carlo simulations. These are basically what would happen if we were to repeat the same process 100,000 times, which gives us a clearer picture of how likely a particular team is to win the whole cup. In a Monte Carlo simulation, we would seed each team with a different score — some would be favorites, while others would be underdogs — and run the simulation several times, each time with a different seed. In order to keep things simple, let’s use Germany as an example, and for the sake of argument, let’s say that Germany is currently the favorite to win the 2018 World Cup. In a Monte Carlo simulation, we would see that Germany has a 17% chance of winning the whole thing. This means that there is a 1/17th chance that they will not win the cup. On the other side of the equation, Argentina are the underdogs with odds of 4/1, and in a simulation, we would see that they have a 2% chance of winning the cup.

Now that you understand the basics of how to calculate football betting odds, it’s time to put it into practice. Let’s say that you’re feeling adventurous and want to take a punt on Germany to win the cup. You’ve followed all the rules and have gone with what is known as the “public opinion” and taken the unpopular side, but let’s say that the simulation results contradicted what you believed and told you that Germany is indeed the underdog in this case. What would you do? First, you would need to look at how much you already have at stake. Second, you would have to decide how much you are willing to risk, given that you are backing the underdog. If you put $100 on Germany, then you would need to set another $100 on Argentina in order to make the exact same stake (since you are -$100 on Germany). Third, you would have to decide whether you want to continue betting on this game or not, since once you enter into a sportsbook, you are required to place bets on sports that you understand fully. If you are unsure of how to start, visit a reputable bookmaker or ask one of our experts for help.