Every sport has its special number; for example, the number of games needed for a complete washout in horse racing is 14/1.
Similarly, there’s a special number for baseball games that are rain delayed and thus not included in the official box score. In the US, this number is 10/11. In the UK, it’s 13/8. And in Australia, it’s 17/4.
However, other than the odd baseball game and horse race, it’s not unusual for bookmakers to settle on a single number that they use across the board for all sporting events. This is especially the case when it comes to football matches, where a lot of betting takes place, and the results of each game are highly dependent on the weather. On days when it’s cold and frosty, games are generally more exciting; but on days when the match is washed out, either side could win by default.
In the world of sports betting, there’s an accepted convention that when one team is favourite to win, they’re typically represented by the number 4 or 7 as their first two digits, with the rest of the numbers on the odds scale corresponding to even money. For example, in the US the favourite to win the upcoming Super Bowl is the New England Patriots, with odds of 7/4. This means that for every $100 you bet on them, you’ll win $7 back plus $100.
Similarly, the Denver Broncos are favoured to beat the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game, with odds of 5/1. This is because in some situations, bookmakers will set their line on the middle digit of the favourite’s first two-digit number, which in this case is 4. In fact, in the event of a double-digits favourite, such as the Arizona Cardinals at 11/1, the first two digits of their odds will represent the favourite’s odds, while the rest of the odds will be expressed in decimal format.
The Importance Of Using Probability
When it comes to gambling, especially in relation to sports, there’s one rule that’s often overlooked but should be adhered to without fail – the law of probability. This simply means that, over time, the likelihood of any given event happening approaches certainty, and thus makes it possible to reliably predict what will happen in the future. In most cases, this simply means that over the course of an entire season, the winning team will have an above-average chance of fulfilling its potential. However, in the world of sports, where the results of each game are often unpredictable, the chances of any team fulfilling its potential can vary from game to game, and often depends on a variety of factors that could affect the game in one way or another.
For example, take a look at the 1995-96 NFL regular season. During this time, the Denver Broncos were considered a great team. Yet, despite having one of the best offences in NFL history, they only won six games, and it wasn’t until the following season that they started fulfilling their potential and won the Super Bowl. Their odds of winning the Super Bowl that year were 12/1. However, the rule of probability means that if you had bet $100 on them, you would’ve won $12 plus $100 back.
In contrast, the Arizona Cardinals, who were also considered a great team that year, had much better odds of winning the Super Bowl, at 4/7. This means that if you’d placed the same bet, you would’ve won $4 and $7 back, which is what makes it possible for favourite teams to lose. In fact, the odds of the Cardinals winning the Super Bowl that year were only one in seven – a 0.14% chance.
One of the reasons for this is that injuries happen, and there’s no exact science to football, so sometimes players are sidelined for the entire season. Take the 2017-18 NFL season, for example, where the Pittsburgh Steelers were 5/2 to win Super Bowl 2018, but they lost Jason Mewes for the year, putting an end to their championship dreams.
To avoid this type of frustration, and to ensure you keep all your money next time, it’s wise to always use a bookmaker’s mobile app, which will do the calculation for you, and give you the option of withdrawing your money at any time, without delay. This will help ensure you keep all your wagering money, which, even in the NFL, can run into the hundreds of thousands.
Weather, Weather, Weather
No matter what sport you enjoy watching, odds are that the upcoming game is going to be affected by the weather. This makes it extremely important to know the weather conditions, as well as how these are likely to affect the game itself. For example, if you’re going to be watching a sport where the ball is rarely seen underwater, it’s essential to know how wet it can get, which, in turn, can affect the grip of the quarterback and the rest of the players on the field. In the case of American football, this is made even more complicated by the fact that conditions can vary from weather in one part of the country to another.
For example, in the state of Washington, the NFL officials don’t use sandpaper to smooth the surface of the ball before putting it in the air. This makes it virtually impossible for the ball to get wet, and as a result, the game itself is played in an environment that’s more or less ideal.
In contrast, in Louisiana, the surface of the ball is regularly wetted down before each game, which makes it essential that the players and staff wear waterproof clothing, as well as well-protetcted footwear. If they don’t, it could lead to serious injury or infection. Although this might be a pain to play in, it’s better for the health of the athletes involved.
In most sports, especially American football, there’s a special number of games that a player or team has to miss before they’re removed from the competition. For example, in the NFL, a player has to miss at least four games before they’re taken out of the game. In the event of an injury, especially to a key player, this can have a dramatic effect on the odds of the team winning, as well as the timing of the comeback.
Take the 1995-96 season, for example, where the Denver Broncos were shut out of the playoffs for the first time in over a decade. On paper, they were a great team, with an exceptional defence that allowed only 249 points that year. Yet, despite their best efforts, they were unable to stop the run of the mill AFC West, where the San Francisco 49ers went on a 12-game winning streak and took the divisional crown, with a total points scored in the league of 459.
The odds of the Denver Broncos winning the Super Bowl that year were 12/1. However, the brutal schedule the Broncos had to endure, where they only had to play 16 games, cost them dearly in the long run. Had they had to miss just a single game due to injury, they would’ve had a chance at the championship. Instead, it took them until the following season to win their first title.
This brings us back to the importance of being able to reliably calculate sports odds. If you’re new to this, it’s probably a good idea to start out with low-risk bets, where the expected value is high, but the variance is relatively low. Even in the NFL, where the risk of injury is always high, it’s usually not too much of a gamble to bet on the underdogs, as long as you’re aware of the potential pitfalls.
Sometimes, despite a seemingly invincible position, a team will unexpectedly lose. In the event of this occurring, it’s often because an injury or illness has halted or dramatically reduced their chances of bringing home the trophy. In these cases, the odds of the team coming back from seemingly nowhere and winning are often surprisingly high. This is because injuries and illnesses are generally rare events, and thus the chances of one occurring are small. However, over the course of an entire season, they can add up, resulting in a comeback that surprises even the most hardened sports fans.
A prime example of this is the 1992-93 NBA season. In that year, the Atlanta Hawks started out with an 11-game winning streak, but then missed the playoffs for the first time in 14 years. However, in the subsequent season, under the tutelage of rookie coach Mike Musburger, who helped turn around the fortunes of the franchise, the Hawks went on an impressive 17-game run, culminating in a stunning upset of the LA Lakers in the first round of the playoffs, before losing to the eventual champion Chicago Bulls in six games.