What Do Betting Odds Mean?

Most people have heard of betting odds, but maybe not why they are called that. After all, when it comes to sports betting, people mostly want to know how much they should wager on a certain event. However, there is so much more to the betting odds than simply figuring out how much they should wager on a single game. Below, you will learn more about how betting odds work and what exactly they mean.

How Do Betting Odds Work

In order to understand the importance of betting odds, it helps to first understand how they work. When people get together to place a bet on a sporting event, they usually do so at a bookmaker’s shop. These bookmakers make their living by taking bets from people and then dispensing winnings when events come true. For example, if you bet on the Cleveland Browns to win the Superbowl this year and they did, the bookmaker would pay you back with profits earned from other bets that they made earlier in the year.

Since betting odds are always associated with sports betting, let’s review the four essentials of sports betting:

The Bettor

The first and most essential rule to remember about sports betting is that you are the one placing the bet. This is known as “legal gambling” and is basically a way for people to gamble without breaking the law. If you are planning to place a bet on a sporting event, you need to set up an account at a bookmaker’s website or through the phone app. Before doing anything else, you should verify your identity by entering a username and password. If you want to keep your activity private, you can use a pseudonym instead of your real name. Once you are verified, you can move on to the next step.

In some states, you need to specify exactly how you want to place your bet. For example, in New York you can either call the numbers for the teams playing or you can choose from the following three options:

  • Money Line – Placing a wager on whether the selected team will win or lose the game.
  • Field – Placing a wager on the outcome of the game.
  • Total Points – Placing a wager on how many points the selected team will score in the game.

The Bookmaker

The second rule is that you need to remember that the bookmaker is giving you the odds. It is very important to understand that the bookmaker is not actually picking the games or the results of the games; you are. As an informed customer, you should be aware that the bookmaker is simply taking your bet and making money off of it. When you place your bet, you are committing to wagering money on the outcome of a sporting event. Do not expect the bookmaker to predict the results of the game; they simply take your bet and give you the odds of winning or losing. Knowing the odds are extremely important because it will affect the way you should bet on the game. For example, if you are aware that the bookmaker gives odds of 2/1 on the Browns winning the Superbowl this year, you should probably not bet on them to lose because, statistically, they have a better chance of winning than the Patriots do. In other words, the bookmaker’s analysis of the data shows that the odds favor the Browns.

Game Day

The third essential element of sports betting is that you must remember to show up at the game ready to place your bets. The bookie accepts wagers on games that are ongoing, so you have to be there when the game begins. Do not worry, you do not need to place any bets while the game is being played. Sometimes people will even provide commentary on games as they are happening. However, if you are looking for a more private and comfortable place to place your bets, you can use a VPN to keep your internet activity private while placing bets from different locations.

The Score

The fourth and final rule to remember about sports betting is that you need to keep track of the score. Even though you are placing bets on games that have already occurred, you must continue to monitor the scores of the games you are betting on. Just because the game has ended does not mean that the results are final and won or lost. There are scores that are still maturing and, for some sports, there is even the possibility of overtime. Keeping track of the score is extremely important because, in most cases, you do not know what the final outcome will be. If you check the score and it is already over (for example, over under 50), you should probably not risk another wager because you do not want to risk losing again.

Even if you are simply betting on the games for fun, it is still advisable to learn the four essentials of sports betting. It is a common misconception that only people who are interested in making money off sports events place bets. In reality, anyone who has the need to know how to bet on sports can and should find out the proper way to do so legally and with ease.