Category Archives: Odds

Using Expected Value For Profitable Bets

Expected value (EV) in sports is the term used to predict how probable winning a bet is and how well a bet will return if won. It’s one thing to win a bet on a sports game but it’s seemingly pointless to bet on a game that has minimal profit as a result. In order to maximize profit from betting on sports, you must figure out which games are going to have the best payoff as the result of winning the bet.
The first thing you have to look at are the odds on certain games and how much money you can win from them. To figure it out, the difference of the amount of the possible profit won and what could be lost is added to the bet. The formula looks like EV= Wager+ (money won-money lost). Let’s look at some examples.
The Arizona Cardinals are playing the Seattle Seahawks and the odds are with the Cardinals to win the game.  If fractional odds given are 33/20, this is equivalent of  39% that the Cardinals would win the game, or 61% odds against. If you were to bet $20, you could win $33.
However if using your handicapping skills, which are naturally superior to the bookie’s, you had worked out the Cardinals had in fact a 20% change of winning the game., the expected value of the  $20 bet would be, ev = 20 x (1-0.8)-20 x (1-0.61), which works out as -$3.80. That is you would expect to lose $3.80 on that bet if you made it several times.
If on the otherhand you thought that the Cardinals had a 50% change of winning, the expected value would be 20 x (1-0.5)-20 x (1-0.61), which is equal to +$2.00.  Every time you made the bet you would expect to win $2, so this is a bet you would make.
In the English Premier League game between Norwich City and Sunderland, let’s place a $20 bet on Norwich City who is the favourite with odds on of 2/1. So, for a $2 bet you could win $1. This is equivalent to a 67% chance of Norwich City winning. If you felt the bookie had underestimated the odds and Norwich City in fact had an 80% chance of winning, the expected value on a $2 bet would be  $0.26 and you should make the bet.  If on the other hand you thought that Norwich City only had a 45% chance of winning, the expected value would be negative, in fact -44c and you should not make the bet.
Knowledge of the sport you are betting on is a huge factor. Even though the percentage odds may be against a team that’s not as high in the standings as another team, knowing that the underdog team is playing at home or, knowing that the favored team is having a lot of trouble with injuries should also be factored in. By understanding your expected value on games with the combination of knowledge of the particular teams, you can beat the odds that are set and earn more profit in the long run.

Winning with Odds – Converting British and Moneyline Odds

When betting internationally, you might want to be able to covert odds from several bookies to a common form, so that you can compare them easily and so that the odds are in a form that you better understand.

In this article we look at how British fractional odds and US moneyline can be converted, the one to the other.

US moneyline odds use a positive number say +200, which means you will profit $200 if you bet $100, or a negative number, say -200, which means that you need to bet $200 to make a profit of $100.

British fractional odds use the style of 5-1, which means you bet $1 to win $5, or in the form 1-5, which means you need to bet $5 to win one.

As the perceptive will immediately see, conversion is really easy.

Moneyline to Fractional Conversion

Let’s say we have a fight match between Tito Ortiz and St. Pierre. Tito Ortiz is offered at -150 and St. Pierre at 200.

St. Pierre is offered at a positive number.  To convert to fractional odds we divide that number by 100 and put it on the left-hand side of the fraction.  So, 200/100 = 2.  So, +200 is equivalent to odds of 2-1.

Tito Ortiz is being offered at a negative moneyline. In this case, to convert to fractional odds we remove the minus sign divide by 100 and put the resulting figure on the right-hand side of the fractional odds.  So,  150/100 = 1.5.  Therefore the fractional odds are 1-1.5.  We however rarely see fractions in the fractional odds.  To remove the fraction multiply both sides by 2. So, 1×2 = 2 and 1.5 x 2 = 3 and the fractional odds are 2-3 or ‘three to two on’, that is you need to be $3 to win $2.

Fractional to Moneyline Conversion

Let’s consider a Premier league football match say Manchester United vs. Fulham. ManU are the odds on favourite at 4-5 and a Fulham win is being offered at 3-2. Let’s convert this to moneyline.

Divide the bigger side of the fraction by the smaller and multiply by 100.  If the right-hand side is bigger add a ‘minus’ sign if the left-hand side is bigger then leave it as a positive number.

So, in the case of 4-5 of odds.  5/4 = 1.25.  Because the right-hand side is bigger we add a minus sign, -1.25. Now we multiply by 100 and get -125.  So the money line for ManU is -125.

In the case of 3-2 we divide three by two, 3/2 = 1.5.  We leave it as a positive number and multiply by 100. So, 1.5 x 100 = 150.  So the money line for a Fulham win is +150.

See, easy!

Understanding Fractional or British Style Odds

If you’re betting on sports in the UK or Australia you will come across fractional odds, sometimes called British-style.

This way of displaying odds shows the profit you win for your stake.

Fractional odds are displayed in the forms 2/1, 2-1 or 2:1 and would be pronounced “two to one” or often “two to one against”.

The first number of the odds represents a multiple of your winnings (or profit) should you win, while the second number represents the stake. So if, for example, you see 2-1 odds,  you would win double your stake.  Consider a two-horse race. One is the favorite with  odds of 2/1 and, the other one as an underdog, less likely to win. For this one the bookie offers higher odds of 5/1. If you bet £100 on the favorite and it wins you win £200. Alternatively,  if you bet £100 on the underdog and it wins then your profit is 5 x £100 or £500. Including your original stake you would receive £600 from the bookie.

We see this odds system all the time in the UK and Ireland. It is  commonly used in horse racing, dog racing and football.

Let’s say you were to bet £10 on a horse to win with the odds of 5-1. You would get back 5 x (£10) stake plus your original stake (£10) or £60.

If you were to bet £20 on a horse with the odds of 7/2 then you will receive from the bookie £20 x 7 times/2+£20 (stake) or £90.

Sometimes we’ll come across cases where the second number of the odds is bigger than the first. This is most commonly founded with favorites. An example is where the odds are 1-5 (pronounced “1 to 5 on”. Put simply, this means you need to bet 5 to win 1. To work out your winnings you multiply the first number with your stake and divide it with the second number. In the above case where the odds are 1-5, were you to bet 20 divide it by 5 and you get 4. This means that if you place a bet of £20 you will win £4. The total payout from the bookie being £24.

Betting in Europe – European Odds

Betting in Europe or on a betting exchange like BetFair means you will come across European decimal-style odds.

Decimal odds are great in that they make it easy to work out your payout. They may offer the easiest way to calculate your profit and so most online bookmakers offer the option to display their odds in this style.

It is easy to calculate the profit by multiplying the value of the bet by the decimal odds value. I.e. we have the following odds of two basketball teams. New York Knicks that offer the price of 1.90 and Chicago Bulls that offer 2.00. If you bet €100 on the Knicks then you need to multiply your bet: €100 x 1.90(decimal odd) = €190. This is the exact payout. The same thing you do in case you bet on the other team. You bet €100 so you multiply it by 2.00 that is offered by the Bulls and the outcome is €200. This again is the profit.

Decimal odds are commonly used in European football. Let’s take an example of a Saturday football match between Omonoia Nicosia and ALKI for the Cyprus football championship. The football match will have one outcome of the possible three (1st team to win, draw and 2nd team to win).  Let’s assume that the bookmaker offers these  odds:

Omonoia WIN 1.50
DRAW 3.60

If we bet €100 on Omonoia to win then we multiply  €100 by for a total payout of €150 for a €50 clear profit.

If we bet on a draw then the mathematics works out like this: 3.60 x €100 = €360. That is a total payout of €360 for a €260 net profit.

And if we bet  €100 on ALKI to win then: 5.60 x €100 = €560, for a €460 net profit.

So simple.

Decimal Odds are the easiest way to calculate the total payout and it is the most common style in Europe. You will meet it also online as most of the online bookmakers use this option.

Making Money with International Bookies

These days we’re lucky.  Really lucky.  We are not bound or hemmed in by our locations or even the countries where we live.  We can place bets around the world on a huge range of sports from horse racing, to different codes of football, basketball, hockey and many more.

Yet, the cultures of countries are different and sports aren’t all the same. In particular, the results and scoring is different.  This means that bookies often use different methods to display odds. There are British style odds, decimal or European-style odds, percentage odds and American moneyline odds.

To be an international gambler you need to be able to understand these different odds. In the next few posts we’ll be exploring these and some techniques to convert from one to another.