What Does 1.8 Odds Mean in a Betting Game?

Most of us have been there. Whether you’re watching the race from the stands or from the comfort of your home, when the horses enter the final furlong it’s all ears and eyes. Especially when they’re coming in quick succession, it’s hard to keep track of the action; your mind can wander and you might miss a crucial moment.

When this happens, we often wonder whether we’ve missed something important. A recent example of this came in the 2016 English Premier League. On that occasion, the match between Manchester United and Liverpool ended in a 1.8 margin of victory to United. This seemingly insignificant figure might not have seemed so important had Liverpool not been ahead of the game. With just a few minutes left to play, Liverpool needed a strong pitch for a late goal to equalise the score. United’s defence brilliantly denied Liverpool and the match finished with a 1-1 draw.

This kind of result doesn’t usually end in a draw. Perhaps surprisingly, given that United had played the more attacking game up till that point, there were 21 overtakes (scoring or pressing moves; non-penalty, attacking moves) in that game compared to just 12 in the match that followed. In other words, the game changed in the space of a few minutes. It would be a great shame to miss such an opportunity. After all, a draw is usually a good result in any case. It’s not uncommon for the favourites to pull away in the last furlong, leaving the underdog behind. Still, it’s important to learn from these examples and not become too attached to a single result. There’s always another game on the horizon.

Key Points

  • A 1.8 victory margin is equivalent to a 300-pound payout for the winner
  • This is slightly higher than the average margin of victory in an English Premier League game (1.5)
  • This is also higher than the average margin of victory in an FA Cup game (1.45)
  • Similar outcomes occur in boxing, where a 1.8-type result is known as a “street fight” and usually leads to a rematch. One example is Floyd Mayweather Jr. (41-0) vs Andre Berto (26-1), a 12-round fight for the undisputed welterweight title in 2017. The betting markets clearly value these fights highly as Mayweather’s implied probability of victory is 72.44% (41-0 vs 26-1, Las Vegas).
  • Results of this nature can be highly advantageous for the fighter who can weather the storm. For example, when Kell Brook fought Jose Correa Jr. for the WBC lightweight title in 2017, it was Brook who emerged victorious with a 1.75 victory margin. He’s now the WBC champion and currently has a 72% probability of defeating Jorge Linares in their rematch this year (12-round, Las Vegas).
  • These types of results are also common in motorsport, where the leading cars and trucks are often several seconds or a minute ahead of the rest as they enter the final laps. For instance, the 2017 German Grand Prix was won by Nico Rosberg in a Mercedes-Benz W06, a second ahead of his teammate Lewis Hamilton.
  • This kind of result also occurs in professional baseball, where a 1.8-type margin of victory is known as a “super strikeout” and almost never leads to a tie.
  • In the NFL, these results are referred to as “blowouts”, where one team completely outclasses the other and wins by a wide margin. In other words, these results are highly unlikely to ever occur in any real-life game. However, using statistical analysis, we can glean a great deal from these matches and apply this knowledge to actual games.

Odds Are Everything

The point about these examples isn’t that they’re impressive in and of themselves. It’s that they represent the type of information that we can all learn from and apply to our own games. Odds and prop bets are important for anyone who follows sports betting, but they’re especially crucial for those who wish to make a profit from it. In most cases, the payout will be determined by the bookmakers, not by the oddsmakers themselves. However, if you look at the list of undefeated fighters above, you’ll note that many of them represent excellent opportunities to make a profit. The key is to learn how to read them properly. In most instances, a 1.8-type margin of victory will bring about a 300-pound payout, which represents a nice chunk of change. For those who wish to get involved in this lucrative industry, it’s all about learning how to interpret these figures correctly. Otherwise, you may find yourself chasing your tail, trying to hit a profitable result without success. This won’t keep you in sports betting, however, it might keep you from the more lucrative ventures. This industry isn’t what it used to be, especially as more and more people are coming to realize that getting results is far more important than having fun.