If you are new to sports betting, the first thing you need to be able to understand is how betting odds work and what they mean.
It is vital that you understand this as it will show you how likely an outcome is to happen, according to the bookmakers, and how much you are going to win for the stake you put down.
Odds can be presented as either decimals or fractions, but in Nigeria the only way of showing odds are as decimals.
Let’s use the example of betting odds in a football 1X2 market. That is a market where you are seeing the odds on the three possible outcomes of a football match – 1 (home win), X (draw), 2 (away win).
For instance – Chelsea vs Manchester City – here are the match odds for the 1X2 market:
Chelsea – 2.05 Draw – 3.30 Manchester City – 3.50
What this is showing that Chelsea are the heavy favourites to win this match.
If we use ₦100 as the amount of money you want to place on the bet, you have the following potential winnings to consider.
If you choose to back Chelsea, you will stake ₦100 and win ₦30, plus getting your stake money back. So for ₦100 you will have a total of ₦130 returned to you should Chelsea win. As you can see, this is not a great return and probably not that attractive for punters who aren’t able, or want, to bet big stakes on a particular match.
However, if you think Chelsea might struggle to see off Manchester City over 90 minutes, who may head to Stamford Bridge planning to sit back and defend for a draw, then a ₦100 would win you ₦450, plus your stake money back, so a total of ₦550.
If you think that Manchester City will cause an upset and win in London, then you can back them at a huge 10.0, meaning with your ₦100 stake included, if the Black Cats were to win, you would be paid ₦1000.
Betting odds are there to show you the likely probability of what may happen in a certain betting event, but remember, these are set by the betting firms who are not always correct. Not even the betting companies have a crystal ball!
Odds will also change based on how many people are betting on a certain event. For example, if the betting company sees lots of money placed on Manchester City to win at 10.0 they may decide that they have been too generous on the odds and decide to cut them to 9.0. This would mean that if you then staked ₦100, you would bet back ₦900.
What this would also mean is that the betting company may now also rate Chelsea as not being as likely to win the match, therefore increasing their odds to 1.5. So now, with these new odds, you would get ₦150 back from your ₦100 stake if the men in blue take the three points.
If you are new to betting, before you throw yourself into placing your first football bet, or football accumulator, it is crucial you understand betting odds and what they are telling you.
Once you know what the betting odds are showing and the probability of certain outcomes happening, then you make your decision on whether you think the odds represent good or bad value.