How to Calculate Odds in Sports Betting

Betting odds play a huge role in sports betting. Although you may not always have to calculate exact odds, being aware of how to do it can help you make more accurate wagers and increase your winnings.

The Basics Of Calculating Odds

Odds are simply the odds of an outcome or event. For example, the odds of a game ending in a tie are 1:1. The odds of a victory for either team are 2:1. You can think of odds as the inverse of your desired outcomes. For example, if you want to bet on a team to win, the odds would be expressed as 1/2, meaning you will win 1 unit of currency for every 2 units you bet on the other team.

To calculate the odds of an event or game, you combine both the probability of the event with the likelihood of it occurring. You can use the following formula to calculate the overall odds:

  • The probability of an event occurring
  • ×
  • The likelihood of the event occurring

Let’s take a closer look at each part of the formula:

The Probability Of An Event Occurring

The probability of an event occurring is simply the number of possibilities for that event to occur divided by the total number of outcomes. For example, the probability that a coin will come up heads on a given toss is 1/2 since there are two possible outcomes—either the coin will come up heads or it will come up tails. If we assume that the coin is fair, meaning it will come up heads or tails with equal probability, then its probability is literally 1/2. This means that there is a 50% chance of an event occurring.

The total number of possible outcomes for a coin toss is 2, which means there are 2x or 4x the odds of getting heads or tails as there are possible outcomes for the coin toss. In general, the probability of an event occurring is equal to the number of possible outcomes divided by the number of complete outcomes (i.e., those that include the event of interest).

The Likelihood Of An Event Occurring

The likelihood of an event occurring is the subjective weight given to each possible outcome. For example, in the case of the coin toss, the likelihood of tails coming up is simply the perception that a coin landing on its edge is a sign of bad luck (i.e., the event is given a positive likelihood). In general, the likelihood of an event occurring is simply the number of occurrences of that event over the course of time divided by the total number of occurrences (i.e., those that included the event of interest).

The Over-Under Formula

Wondering what the over-under formula is all about? The over-under formula gives you the total number of points that will be scored by both teams in a designated sports game. The over-under formula is used mostly in football (American football, Canadian football, and some other sports). If you are not familiar, in American football, teams can score points through a combination of rushing, passing, and receiving.

For example, in a typical American football game, if Team A scores 10 points and Team B scores 7 points, then the over-under score is 17 points. In general, the over-under formula subtracts the lower number of points from the higher one and then divides by 2 (to get the average number of points per team).

Odds are always expressed as a ratio (e.g., 1:1 or 2:1). They can also be expressed as a fraction (e.g., 2/1 or 4/1). If you are a fan of fractions, you can multiply them by the inverse of the fraction you are given (e.g., 4×1/2 = 2x or 2×1/4 = 4x) to get the equivalent odds in their original form. For example, if you are given 2:1 odds and you want to turn them into fractions, you would use the inverse of 2 (1/2) to get 1:1. Finally, you can use an online converter (e.g., Mochasport) to easily convert fractions into odds.

As you may have guessed, knowing how to calculate odds can be quite handy. You can use this knowledge to determine the winning odds for a team in a sports bet. Knowing how to calculate the odds also allows you to compare the betting odds of different sports and events to find which one you should wager on. Furthermore, knowing how to calculate the odds correctly makes you a more informed and skillful sports bettor.