If you're wagering on sports to win - and we're betting you are - then you're probably anxious to boost your odds of winning to the absolute max! After all, if there's one single aspect of sports betting which supersedes all others on the list of importance, it's the odds.
What the Hell are Odds?
But wait, before you wager any money on any sports, it's extremely important that you have a solid understanding of exactly how sports betting odds are established and how they work.
A Defining Moment in Sports Betting Odds
The definition of ‘odds' - with respect to gambling on sports, casino games (roulette, slots, craps, blackjack, video poker etc.), or other pastimes entailing cash wagers, is the probability of one thing occurring, such as the final outcome of a football match, over another result happening. Odds are always declared in numerical form, like "ten to one" and written as 10:1. For example: The odds of rolling a one (2, 3, 4, 5 or 6) with a single die is six to one (6:1) each and every time.
Can Bookies be Trusted?
Bookmakers earn their commissions or 'vigorish' (vig) by taking a cut from the money wagered. Thus, they are less likely to be affected by a sporting match's outcome.
The odds given to teams or individual athletes such as boxers are quoted in terms of the "favourite," that is, the team predicted to win and thus necessitating a higher risk bet, and the "underdog." Bookies typically offer two kinds of bets on the winner of a sports match:
1. moneyline or straight-up bet
2. point spread bet
Moneylines & straight-up prices are utilized to set sports betting odds on matches like football/soccer, baseball & hockey, as well as matches between individuals, such as boxing. European and Asian bookmakers usually use straight-up odds for these sports, which are quoted according to a pay-out for a single wager unit; for instance, a 2:1 favourite would be listed at a price of $2.00 while an underdog returning twice the amount wagered would list at a price of $4.00. In sports like American football or basketball, the point spread is employed instead of varying the cash odds, which can be considerable in uneven contests.
A point spread bet typically requires a gambler to stake $110 in order to win $100. (The extra $10 represents the bookmaker's vigorish/commission if the gambler loses.) However, gamblers betting on the favourite to win only collect if that team wins by more than a certain number of points, which is known as "covering the spread." Point spreads are established at the time of the wager.
Gamblers betting on the underdog can win even if their team fails to win their match/game. To do this they must lose by fewer points than the bookmaker quoted.
Football and Sports Betting Odds
Take a football match between Chicago and Denver, for instance. If Chicago is quoted as a 26-point favourite (listed as Chicago -26, or Denver +26), and Chicago wins by more than 26 points, it will have covered the spread & those gamblers betting on Chicago would collect $100 on a $110 wager. Those sports bettors betting on Denver would lose their $110 wager.
Should Denver beat Chicago, those betting on Denver would win $100 on a $110 wager, while Chicago wagerers would lose their $110 wagers. If Denver loses by less than 26 points, they will have won against the spread and gamblers on both sides are treated as though Denver had won the match. A Chicago win by precisely 26 points means the wager is considered a "push," neither side wins, and all bets are returned in full to the bettors.
Along with the arrival of Internet gambling have come websites featuring real-time sports betting odds comparisons that display a number of bookmakers' prices right next to each other. These websites are fast altering the entire sports betting world by providing vitally important information to both pro and casual gamblers wanting to wager with the best possible odds.
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