How betting odds work – Understand the probabilities and find value bets

American Odds vs Decimal Odds

Betting odds are the cornerstone of sports betting and in every bookmaker, you are looking for you should understand them to know which are the best possible selections in search of winnings. Learn more about betting odds, who defines the odds for each event and how you can determine the best value bets in search of winnings.

Betting odds are as old as betting, especially when it comes to sporting events. From the historic horse races to the most peculiar sports games of the present, the odds are part of the bookmakers' business and the punters' decision making. If you don't understand how the betting odds work, it will be difficult for you to get good results in your choices.

Regardless of the format in which they are presented, betting odds indicate the probability of a result and explain what your potential winnings will be if you win the bet. If a team is a heavy favorite, their chances of winning are high and the potential winnings very low if you choose this option. On the contrary, if a team is an underdog for a match, their odds will be higher and the potential gains very attractive, since this is unlikely to happen.

Types of betting odds for every sports event

They all have the same objective and are parallel and interchangeable, but many times the formats can bring confusion to the players when analyzing the betting odds. Today, many online bookmakers offer you all types of odds and you can choose the one that is easier for you to understand. Similarly, it never hurts to understand what each of them is about:

American Odds

Also known as "Moneyline odds", they show a “+” or a “-” sign to indicate the odds of the teams involved, whether favorites or underdogs. This format allows many analysis possibilities since each bet has a different reach depending on what you choose.

Decimal or European Odds

Also known as "digital odds" or "continental odds", they are very popular in most countries of Europe, Canada, Australia, and Latin America. It may be the easiest format to understand because the betting odds show you what your potential win is for each unit wagered (dollar, euro, pound). You will quickly recognize which is the favorite team or player and if it is worth betting on a certain event.

Fractional or UK Odds

Also called "British odds", they are the most used by bookmakers around the world. They are usually written with a “/” or a “-” sign to indicate the ratio of earnings you will have. That is, what will be the profit according to the investment.

Who set the betting odds in every bookmaker?

If you want to know which team is favorite before a game, nothing better than consulting with a bookmaker. That degree of accurate analysis is thanks to Traders, Risk Analysts or Odds Makers. These are people hired by the bookies to determine the betting odds, always with a balance between attractive numbers for the punters and enough earnings to the house.

Depending on the occasion, the betting odds could be misleading or tricky. The oddsmakers usually analyze not only the teams' specs, the background, the current news, and other relevant data but also the perception that the teams have in the public.

How to find good betting odds for value bets?

Finding bets with value is the only way to make regular long-term winnings. This approach is based on the best betting odds you have available regardless of the most likely outcome. It will not help you to get a lot of logical results since the odds are low and the earnings are slim.

Given the unpredictable and changing nature of sporting events, it is not so easy to determine what value bets are in each bookie. Basically, the more knowledge you have about a sport or the behavior of a specific team, the better your chances of detecting the betting odds that you can take advantage of to get meaningful wins.

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