Are you a sports betting pundit? And, do you know the rules of placing successful bets? Or, are you a newbie and would like all the help and advice you can get?
At the outset of this article, it is essential to note that successful wagering is not about writing down the teams or individuals playing each other in the match, closing your eyes, and pointing at one of the opponents as your choice to win the match.
Profitable sports betting is all about studying the form of the participants, the number of wins and losses when playing each other, and calculating the implied probabilities based on the bookmaker’s given odds.
It is important to be cognisant of the fact that the sportsbook calculates the real probability of the teams winning at home and away and drawing the match. These probabilities are then used as a base from which to work out what betting odds to offer on the match.
Therefore, let’s look at some of the important rules to follow:
Sign up with more than one sportsbook
This statement might seem counterintuitive to building a long and profitable relationship, using a mobile app like the Betfair mobile app, with a single sportsbook.
However, as David Sumpter, professor of applied mathematics at the University of Uppsala, Sweden, notes, a single account is not a good idea because “most bookmakers calculate odds to guarantee [at least] 5% profit on every bet you place.”
Therefore, for every £100 you bet, the sportsbook takes £5.
The way to reduce the bookmaker’s overround is to sign up with more than one bookmaker. Because sportsbooks offer different odds with varying profit margins on each bet, you can take the best offers on the games you want to bet on. And, as Sumpter notes, you can reduce the bookmaker’s edge down to 1.5%. This figure translates into £1.50 out of every £100: a lot less than £5.
Understand the relationship between betting odds and implied probabilities
The sportsbook derives the published betting odds from calculating the probabilities of which team will win the match. Therefore, it is essential to use these odds to calculate the implied probabilities a team or individual will win.
For example, your sportsbook has published the following odds for the tennis match between Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic:
It’s important to note that these odds are American or Moneyline odds. And, the favourite is indicated by the minus sign. Juxtapositionally, the underdog is indicated by the plus sign. We can see that Djokovic is the favourite to win by looking at the sign in front of the numbers. As an aside, it is worth bearing in mind that Federer was nursing a groin injury at the time of the match, so the bookmakers were justified in making Djokovic the favourite.
There are 2 calculations we can use to determine the implied probabilities, as well as the total pay-out, should either one win.
The total payout if Federer wins is as follows:
For every £100 you bet, you win £600. Because this calculation excludes your original stake, your total pay-out = £600 winnings + £100 stake = £700.
On the other hand, because Djokovic is the favourite, the pay-out calc is totally different:
For every £850 you bet, you win £100. Therefore, your total pay-out includes both the original stake (£850) and the winnings (£100). This figure adds up to £950.
Secondly, the implied probabilities calculation is as follows:
The implied probability of an outcome = stake/total pay-out.
Therefore, the probability that Djokovic will win = (850 / 100 + 850) x 100 = 89%.
And finally, because there are only 2 outcomes, the implied probability that Federer will upset Djokovic is 11% (100% = 89%).