Match Odds

Understanding Betting Odds

The key element to consider when betting on topflight football are the odds.  They are a series of numbers that reflect the probability of certain outcomes in a match actually occurring – whether it’s a home win, an away win, a draw or any other aspect of the match you can bet on.

Bookmakers’ Betting Tips

In that sense, the odds are essentially betting tips provided by the bookmakers themselves.  They are usually a good indication of how the match will pan out.

A general rule is the higher the odds, the lower the probability of that particular outcome actually occurring. High or long odds payout nice juicy winnings on successful bets.  Correct score odds of 81.00 on Alaves beating Mallorca 4-0 in La Liga is an example of long odds.

Conversely, low odds reflect a high probability of a side winning, scoring the most goals or a match ending on a particular scoreline.

These odds are also known as short odds and payout comparatively meagre winnings, as is evident from correct score odds of 6.50 on Atletico Madrid beating Valencia 1-0.

A Representation of the Possible Pay-Out

In addition to expressing the predicted probability of what could happen in a match, the odds represent how much you can expect to win when a bet is successful.  Betting odds play two equally crucial roles.  If you don’t fully understand the odds, you are missing out on vital information.

Together with match predictions and betting tips, the odds are what make the difference between generating a profit or a loss when you punt on the top tier domestic league and cup competitions.

Football Betting Odds Formats

The easiest way to understand the odds – be they correct score odds, 1×2 odds or goalscorer odds – is to look at the different formats and how to unpack the information they represent.

There are three different types of odds – moneyline odds, fractional odds and decimal odds.  All have exactly the same function but are slightly different ways of conveying the odds.

Moneyline Odds

Moneyline odds are quoted as a positive or negative number and are only popular in the USA.  Positive odds reveal how much a $100 bet pays out.  Negative odds denote the bet size you need to win $100.

As moneyline odds are seldom the format of choice on football betting sites outside the USA, we’ll focus on decimal and fractional odds instead.

Decimal Odds

Decimal odds are the preferred odds format used by most online bookmakers.  They are an expression of the total pay-out you can expect to pocket on a winning bet.

Decimal odds are uncomplicated. That means calculating the potential winnings on 1×2 odds, correct score odds or outright odds is remarkably easy. Here’s how:

How Decimal Odds Express Potential Pay-Outs

The 1×2 odds on a Serie A fixture between Lazio Rome and Inter Milan are 2.35 for an away win, 3.50 for a draw and 2.75 for a home win.

If you bet 50 on Lazio to win at 2.35 and the bet wins, the total pay-out is 50 x 2.35 = 117.50.  Your profit is 50 x (2.35 – 1) = 50 x 1.35 = 67.50.

These are the shortest odds offered on the 1×2 betting market, so the bookies are essentially predicting Lazio will win.  That is one of the betting tips you can use when it comes to predicting probability.

However, you may think a draw is in the offing and bet 30 on the match ending in no result.  If your bet wins, you’ll bank 105, of which 75 is pure profit.

Fractional Odds

Fractional betting odds are the traditional odds predominantly found at UK bookmakers.  They essentially tell you how much profit you can make on every unit of currency you wager.

If for example, Liverpool are 4/1 to win the FA Cup, you will win 4 for every 1 you bet when the Reds go on to the claim the cup.

When the first number is greater than the second, it’s called ‘odds against’ as the potential profit is higher than the bet amount.  It also means the bookies aren’t that convinced Liverpool will prevail and win the cup competition.

On the other hand, Manchester City may be ‘odds on’ favourites to win the title at 13/8.  That effectively means you have to stake 13 to win 8.

In football betting tips terms, that means the bookies are pretty certain the Citizens under Pep Guardiola will lift the trophy on high.

Calculating Hypothetical Winnings from Fractional 1×2 Odds

Can you calculate the potential winnings using fractional odds?  You bet. Here’s a practical example:

The 1×2 odds on an FA Cup match between Portsmouth and Arsenal are 13/2 for a home win, 17/4 for a draw and 4/11 for an away win.

You are an out and out Gunners fan and place a bet of 50 on a win at 4/11.  You can calculate the potential profit and the total pay-out as follows:  50 x (4/11) = 50 x 0,363 = 18.15 profit and the total pay-out is 18.15 + 50 = 68.15.

Had you wagered 50 on a draw at 17/4 instead, the potential profit on a winning wager is 50 x (17/4) = 50 x 4.25 = 212.50 and the total pay-out is 212.50 + 262.50.

Similarly, a Portsmouth win at 13/2 on a 50 bet would generate a profit of 325 and a total pay-out of 375.

What do these 1×2 odds reveal in terms of inherent bookmaker-backed betting tips?  Arsenal are tipped to win the match… and by some margin.

Don’t forget, using odds is an important part of any online betting strategy.

Use the Odds to Your Advantage Here

Before we sign off, here’s one of the best-ever betting tips. You can turn a profit here and now, by betting on Europe’s topflight. Simply take what you have learnt from our betting odds guide and build a bankroll… bit by bit!