Football betting lovers always strive to try and apply winning betting strategies in order to maximize their profit. All strategies vary by type, budget and betting markets but there is one thing that is common for all of them – the odds. Generally speaking, you will find odds not only for football betting markets but for all sports betting including NBA, NHL, Golf, UFC/MMA and even Formula 1.
Each sports betting event will have a certain outcome – in the end, there will be a winner and a second-placed team (may vary depending on the sport). However, since all sports are a game of skill, participants have a different chance of winnings. In a simple way, the betting odds represent the chance of a certain outcome to happen. In the next few paragraphs, together we will learn what betting odds mean and how they work, how to read and how to understand football odds.
Bet365 Football Betting Odds
Bet365 is one of the best betting sites not only in the UK but all around the world. The bookie gives you the opportunity to bet on more than hundreds of thousands sports events each year while providing generous odds. At Bet365 you will find hundreds of betting markets to choose from, including Bet Builder that allows you to form your personal bet at extremely high and competitive betting odds.
Since bet365 is a leader in the gaming industry, you can not only place bets on today’s events but also long-term outright betting odds. Have a look at our dedicated odds comparison tool below, featuring outright bets from the biggest football competitions around the world. We update our odds daily and show you only the latest football betting odds. Tap on the event you are interested in and you will be redirected to a dedicated page on our website featuring Title Winner Odds, Top 4 Finish Odds, Promotion Odds, Goalscorer Odds and more.
How do Odds Work in Football and Sports Betting?
In order to understand football betting odds, first, we will have to explain what is a chance. Traditionally, a chance is the possibility of one outcome in a certain event. Usually, we measure the chance in percentages, with the sum of all possible outcomes resulting in 100%. The best football bettors usually have outstanding odds to chance calculation and have no trouble reading betting odds. It is important to remember that in sports betting, the odds don’t add up to 100%. Let me explain that in detail below.
For example, if we flip a coin in the air, there are only two possible outcomes. The coin will land either on heads or on tails. There will be an equal 50% chance of both outcomes to happen. In football betting, the alternative for that type of an event is the Over 2.5 Goals market. Imagine a football game is played between evenly matched opponents. Again, the event has just two outcomes – either there will be three or more goals scored or the game will end with less than three scored goals.
In a perfect world, the probability of both outcomes (Over or Under 2.5 Goals) equals 50%. However, instead of exact odds at 1/1 (2.00), bookies will give you odds of around 9/10 (1.90) because in betting odds don’t equal chance. The margin is used by the bookie to ensure that bettors will not have the opportunity of match betting and also to try and reduce eventually its losses from an unexpected outcome. If you understand how to make odds work in your favour and recalculate the real chance of a certain event to odds, you will find value in your bets and in theory will increase your long-term profit from betting.
Betting Odds Types
There are three different betting odds types accepted by bookies worldwide – Fractional Odds (also known as UK Odds, since they are mostly used in Great Britain), Decimal Odds (popular around Europe) and Moneyline Odds (used in the USA and Canada).
Decimal Odds Explained
Let’s start with the most popular type of odds, the decimal, which we also prefer on our website because of its simplicity. The Decimal odds are prefered by many because they are easy to understand and calculate possible winnings. You will find the decimal odds option as default in most bookmaker around the world, however the most reputable and well-known betting sites like Bet365 allow you to choose your prefered odds type via an option in your profile settings.
Imagine that the bookie offers us odds at 1.25 for our prefered outcome (let’s use Liverpool to win against Brighton). That odds represent 80% chance of that particular outcome to happen, also known as implied probability. The math is not that difficult. All you have to do is divide the odds to 100% – (100% / 1.25 = 80%). If you think that the chance of Liverpool beating Brighton equals 80% or more than placing that bet will provide value at odds 1.25 or more. In order to calculate winnings, you simply have to multiply your stake to the odds. For example, if we place $10 bet at odds 1.25, we will win $12.50, or in other words, our net win will be $2.50.
Fractional Odds Explained
Fractional odds are primarily used by bettors in the United Kingdom and usually set as default betting odds settings in most UK-oriented bookies. If we use the same example as above (1.25 decimal odds), fractional odds will represent 1/4. It is important to remember that fractions quote the potential profit should our bet succeed, relative to the stake, as opposed to the decimal odds.
For example, if our £10 is bet at odds of 1/4 the potential profit is calculated £2.5 ((£10/4) x 1) and the total returned is £12.50 (£2.50 plus the £10 stake). For odds 11/2 the calculation is £55 ((£10/2) x 11) and the total returned is £65 (£55 plus the £10 stake).
Moneyline Odds Explained
Moneyline odds are primarily used in the USA and therefore prefered by North America – oriented bookies. You will rarely see Moneyline odds (also known as American odds) as default in your favourite European bookies. At first glance, money line odds look difficult and tough to read, but in reality, they are not that really different from decimal and fractional odds. The only distinction between them is that American odds are represented by a positive sign (+) and a negative sign (-).
The odds for underdogs are accompanied by the positive sign, while the negative sign is for the favourite. In a simple way, Moneyline odds tell how much you have to stake in order to win 100% of your stake. Let’s use once again our initial example with Liverpool and Brighton. Since Liverpool is a favourite to win it will be represented by a negative sign. Decimal odds at 1.25, equaling to 1/4 in fractional odds, will be visible as -400 Moneyline odds. In order to win $100, we will have to stake $400. If you want to win $10, you will have to place a $40 bet. For each $1 won, you will have to stake $4. As I said, the math is very simple.
If you decide to bet on the underdog, you will have to reverse the calculation. Since the negative Moneyline odds represent how much to bet to win a 100% of our stake, the formula is a bit different (X+100)/X, with X representing the odds. In our example above, Brighton will have +550 Moneyline odds, which means for each $100 staked we will collect $550 if they actually do it. A $10 stake equals $55 profit, a $1 stake will win $5.5, and so on.
As you probably already realised, reading and understanding betting odds is not very complicated. The tricky part is to learn how to make the Implied Probability work in your favour. In order to be successful in football betting, you have to constantly find value bets with odds that are near to the expected possibility of each outcome.
This is not an easy task and requires a lot of hard work for research and years of experience. Our tipster aim to find value bets daily, which you can find at our page dedicated to Today’s Best Football Betting Tips. Placing bets in reputable UK Betting Sites that offer high odds is also necessary in order to maximize your profit.