The odds mean everything in sports betting. In the long run, you will win and lose thousands of bets, so it’s all about the odds you are getting. We will look into the importance of getting the top odds in the market in this article, and we will also show you how.
Why the odds should be in focus
A logical approach to sports betting is always preferable.
Instead of “picking winners” based on who you think will win, focus completely on the odds. Calculate probabilities and bet when there is value – it is the only way to. win long term!
Let’s say there is an NFL game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Arizona Cardinals.
You are pretty sure that the 49ers are going to win, so the choice is easy, right – just place the bet on the Niners? Well, perhaps, but the deciding factor will be the odds.
If you believe the 49ers have an 80% chance of winning, it is obviously the most likely scenario. But if the team is only priced at odds 1.15, there will simply not be any value. On the contrary, if the Cardinals have a 20% chance of winning the game, and you can get odds of 5.30, this will be a clear value bet, and you should pull the trigger on the underdog if your probability estimation is correct.
Here’s how to spot value: Estimate the probabilities of each outcome in a game. Then multiply your probability with the decimal odds. If the result is over 100, you have a value bet. For instance, 20*5.30, as used in the previous example with the Cardinals = 106. Clear value. With the 49ers: 80*1.15 = 92. No value.
Ultimately, you will place thousands of bets as a serious sports bettor. You will get a lot of games right. And you will get a lot of games wrong. So the important thing is making sure there is value in the odds you are betting. The best bettors always focus on the odds, they don’t make random guesses or bet solely on who they think is most likely to win.
Improve your ROI
Now that you know the importance of the odds, you should be able to improve your ROI drastically (and instantly).
Sometimes you might not care if you get odds 1.90 or odds 1.91, but in the end, it matters a lot. If you place 1000 bets in a year, and you win 55% of your bets, your total profit will be 11% higher with odds 1.91 than it would be if you bet odds 1.90. The ROI itself would be just over a half percent higher.
But this is a conservative example. If you only use one bookie, and you start expanding your portfolio, you will often be able to find odds that are a lot better than just a single click. If the difference between odds 1.90 and 1.91 is 11% increased profits over 1000 bets with a 55% win rate, imagine what the difference is between 1.90 and 1.95! You can seriously improve your ROI, simply by focusing more on the odds, and always try to find the best price on the market.
Always compare the market
In order to take advantage of the odds, you need to compare the market for every single bet you make.
You can use OddsPortal, BetBrain, or another odds comparison site right before you place your bet. Use an odds comparison site to help you find the highest odds, and strike when you see it. If you use a betting exchange, such as Betfair or Matchbook, you can try fishing for better odds than what is currently available on the market. If you really know what you are doing, and you expect the market to move in a certain direction, that could also influence the time of placing your bet.
The concept itself shouldn’t be overcomplicated, though. Most players will simply need to do a quick odds market comparison and try to get the top odds available. It only takes a minute.
Use several bookmakers
Of course, you also need access to several bookmakers. This is the way to go if you want to improve your ROI in the long run. A large portfolio is bigger than a small one. For the same game, bookmakers might have slightly different odds. In a fairly even game, one bookie might have a line of 1,96-1,98 while another bookie has 1,99-1,95. Obviously, you still need to pick your side, but different bookmakers might price the sides slightly differently.
You should have accounts with all the best bookmakers available to you.
If you live in a country where Sportmarket is available, definitely use it. It is a bet broker that gives you access to all the best bookmakers and exchanges from one account and one platform.
Asianodds and BetInAsia are some great alternatives to Sportmarket.
If you live in a country like the US or the UK where it is hard to get access to a bet broker, you simply have to look up the best licensed bookies in your area and make accounts with the best ones.