How Do The Odds Work In Football Betting

How Do The Odds Work In Football Betting

Football betting is done by staking on values called odds which represents values of the teams on offer for a particular event.

Everyone knows that, basically, the betting odds offered by the bookmakers are nothing but an inverse measure of the probability of a result.

When the odd approaches 1, the result is highly likely to happen, as it increases and moves away from this value the probability of the result occurring decreases.

An average punter could overlook this as normal, but in reality there is much more. In this article we will be delving deeper into how odds work in football betting.


How Bookies Determine Odds

From a strictly mathematical point of view, Odds can be understood as the period of the event to which they refer.

For example, if in a confrontation between two teams, we put Real Sociedad and Betis. If the odd for victory for Real Sociedad is 2 it means that in the current condition the team will win 1 out of 2 matches.

If the odd was 3 this means that Sociedad would win 1 out of every 3 clashes against Betis.

In this way, estimating the implied probability in a betting odds is as simple as calculating the inverse of the odds.

In simple terms, to know the percentage of probability we must divide 100 by the odds offered by the bookmaker:

Probability% = 100 / Quota.




Bookmakers Use Odds To Make Profits Using Spread

Bookmakers manage the probability, but it is also in the odds where their profit margin lies, so they take special care when calculating them to ensure their profits. And for us as bettors, it is absolutely critical to understand how they are made.

Betting companies are always looking to maximize their profits. Since bookmakers in theory do not charge us commissions on bets they typically use odds to influence their profit margin.


  • How do they do that?

Let’s see for this a real example of the odds offered for all the results of a match, and the odds implied in them: Liverpool vs Arsenal:  Home 2.00 Draw 3.40 Away 3.75.

Looking at these if we do the probability calculation it gives us Home 50% Draw 29.4% Away 26.7%.

If we look at the sum of the probabilities, it gives a value of 106.1%, greater than 100%. That is, the bookmaker is actually applying a fee that assumes a probability slightly higher than what they consider to be real, and it is from this small percentage where they get their profit.

This margin is called spread andin the example above the spread is 6.1% (the value that exceeds 100%).

In a way, this is the way that the bookmaker has to mark the cards in their favor, and thus manage to win money systematically in the long term.

Each bookmaker applies margins that usually range between 6% and 10%. The smaller these margins are, the more the odds will be adjusted to “fair” values ​​in probability, and the more likely we will be as counterparts to be profitable.


Odds Also Reflect Changes In An Event

Football games can be influenced by different conditions which are reflected by the odds. Injuries, suspensions, and tournaments can also reflect the changes in odds.

For example, a small team playing at home in the beginning stages of a competition against a weakened superior team will see its odds drop gradually as more bettors bet against the favorite.

However, the opposite occurs when a lower team faces a superior team who needs the result to move into title contention. These changes reflect in football betting and show the different dynamics that bookmakers could use odds to adjust.

Surprising news about a player’s condition can also be reflected by odds. Barcelona could be favored to defeat Chelsea at home with an odd of 1.50.

However if news filters a day before the game that a star player like Lionel Messi has suffered a key injury, The bookmakers will adjust the odds accordingly to cover their spread.




How To Beat Bookmakers Odd Spread

Since you have learned in this article how odds are used by bookmakers and how it influences the football market. It is important that you understand how to optimize odd spread from bookmakers.

  • Look For Bookmakers With Lower Spread

One mistake that many make is sticking to a single bookmaker. Every serious punter knows that it is necessary to have accounts with different bookies. If you want to bet on a particular event it is advisable to search for a bookmaker offering the event with a favorable spread.


All you need to do is to compare the several bookies and opt for the one with a good spread.

  • How To Decide on a bookmaker with a good spread

Since estimating the probability of a result is not an exact science, each bookmaker uses its methods and although in the end the results of its odds are similar, they usually vary from one to another.

Therefore always use the best odds to significantly reduce the effect of spreads since the higher the spread the more your likely losses.

Our calculations say that on average the effective spread should be reduced to values ​​close to 2% by selecting the best betting odds among several online betting houses.

In conclusion, it is always important to read articles like this that educate on the intricacies within football betting. This keeps you informed and helps you make detailed decisions regarding your staking plans.


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