Undestanding Sports betting Odds & Risk


What is the real risk involved in sports betting? Basically you are put up your hard earned money on a bet and you want to know just how likely it is to get some winnings back. The first thing to really understand is that there is a risk involved. the degree of it just changes with your bet selection. Even if you are looking at a heavy odds-on favorite team to win a match, you are still running the risk of that side losing. Even the greatest teams and players in the world have off-days and are subject to a shock upset

So don’t go thinking that there is such a thing as a sure-fire winner. They don’t exist. Some options are more likely to win than others, but there is always a degree of risk. Bookmakers of course allow for this, by offering very short odds on favourites, because they know that they will be heavily backed. If everybody bet on the favourite all the time and won most of the time, then the bookmaker wouldn’t be in business very long. So they eliminate risk on themselves by placing short odds on favourites and of course, even incorporate the bookmaker margin.

What is a bookmaker margin? You will never find a match where true odds are balanced and actually represent the likely outcome of a match. This is because bookmaker adjust odds to their favour, so that whatever the outcome of an event is, they will still be earning some profit from the bet. By adjusting odds, they push punters towards what they want them to bet on. For example if Novak Djokovic were at 1.91 to win a match against Rafael Nadal at 2.02 it basically gives (without getting into too much math) Djokovic a 52% chance of winning against Nadal’s 49.5 chance of success. 52% + 49.5% doesn’t add up to 100%, it adds up to 101.5 so the bookmaker margin of profit on this game would be 1.5%.

So the bookmaker does have the upper hand and you always want to find a sports betting odds which runs at the lowest bookmaker margins. This may not really have a big effect on your day to day betting really, but the point of mentioning it is to ensure that you know that you are betting against the ‘house’ as well as the outcome of a sporting event. That is the risk which you are putting your money up against.

So to understanding odds. Odds in sportsbooks can be represented in different ways, from decimal, to fractional to money lines. It doesn’t matter how they are presented, they all offer the same prices. Decimal presentations are the most popular because it gives you the value of what you will get back including your stake, whereas fractional odds only tell you what profit you will be getting from winnings. That’s about the only small difference, which isn’t of too much importance.

BookieBirds.com Recommend Pinnacle Sports operating with the lowest margin.
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