What Are the Odds? And How Are They Calculated?

If you are well-versed in online soccer betting, you are familiar with the concept of odds. The odds express, on the one hand, the chances either of the teams has of winning a certain match, on the other hand, the money punters can win when betting on a certain outcome




calculate odds

If you are well-versed in online soccer betting, you are familiar with the concept of odds. The odds express, on the one hand, the chances either of the teams has of winning a certain match, on the other hand, the money punters can win when betting on a certain outcome.

But knowing what the odds represent and knowing how they are calculated are two different things. If the bookies in the movies often base their betting odds on hearsay (or insider information, if they are of the shady kind), regulated outlets like Betway can’t (and won’t) use the same method. Luckily for us, the bettors.

With all that said, what are the odds and how are they calculated?

Probability

In short, the odds express the probability of an event. In the case of soccer, for example, the odds express the chances of either of the two participating teams to win a match. This may not seem too hard for an everyday sports fan with in-depth knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of soccer teams. But these predictions can be wrong in a surprising number of cases because of the huge number of variables involved.

Huge piles of data

Professional predictors have access to huge piles of information - statistics about teams and individual players, match officials, venues, even the weather. And since every single variable bends the odds one way or another, they have to take into account all of them, not to mention the latest developments ranging from injuries to recoveries and last-minute changes in the teams’ lineups.

We all know that, in the case of most team sports, the team playing at home has a slight advantage. This, of course, can be offset by a number of factors ranging from the person of the referee to the hour at which the match starts, whether it is played in natural or artificial light or the atmospheric conditions - after all, rainfall or mist has an influence on the players’ performance on the turf.

football betting


If you calculate with this many variables, predicting the outcome of a soccer game can be pretty accurate - but orders of magnitude harder than making a prediction based on a gut feeling.

When bookies mispredict

Bookmakers are confident that their match predictions are precise - and most of the time they are. But not always, especially when it comes to events unrelated to sports. In 2019, Australian bookmaker Sportsbet paid out early winnings of more than A$1 million to punters that bet on Australia’s Labor Party winning the country’s elections. A couple of days later, their prediction turned out to be wrong, so they had to pay out the bets placed on the opposing party as well. The same happened to Irish bookie Paddy Power in 2016, having paid out winnings of $1 on Hillary Clinton only to pay out almost five times more after Donald Trump won.




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