Sports betting is growing in the US thanks to a change in federal law that means states can legalize and regulate it. Since the law was changed, lots of states have set up legal sports betting regulations, and many in-person and online sportsbooks have been launched across the country. Sports betting is a great way to add more excitement to your favorite sports. However, you’ll need to know how to read and calculate sports betting odds before starting.
In sports betting, odds are used for two purposes. First of all, they show you the relative probability of an event. In other words, you can use odds to judge how likely something is to happen. The other reason they’re important is that you use odds to calculate how much you can win from your bet. The better the odds, the higher your potential winnings, although that also means that the outcome is less likely.
How to Read Moneyline Odds
Maryland sports betting apps and other US betting sites usually use moneyline odds. If you’re going to start betting, these odds are the type you’re more likely to see, so you need to be able to read them and work out how much you’ll win.
Moneyline odds are easy to recognize due to the three-digit number with either a plus or minus sign. Examples include -110, +150, -148, +500 and more. The plus or minus sign reveals which outcome is the sportsbook’s favorite, while the number shows you how much you can win.
A favorite is a team or option that the sportsbook believes is more likely to win, while the underdog is the option that is less likely. Betting on the favorite means, you’re more likely to win, although you’ll win less than if you placed a winning bet on an underdog.
The favorites are displayed using the minus (-) sign when looking at moneyline odds. The number next to the minus sign will tell you how much you need to bet in order to win $100. As an example, you might see that the Baltimore Ravens are -163 to win their next game. This means that in order to win $100, you’ll need to bet at $163. If the Ravens win, you’ll get $100 in winnings plus your stake back.
The underdog is displayed using the plus (+) sign, and the number next to the plus sign tells you how much you’ll win from a $100 bet. As an example, you might see that the Baltimore Orioles are +145 to win their next game. If you bet $100 on them to win, you’ll receive $145 in winnings as well as your initial stake.
Finding Value in Odds
When you’re betting and looking to make money, one of the best strategies is to look for value in the odds. This means finding examples of bets where you think the true probability of an event doesn’t line up with the odds. Sportsbooks base bets on the probability but also on how people are betting. So in many cases, popular teams will end up with worse odds because so many people bet on them. In these cases, it can be a good idea to back the underdog, because the true value of the odds doesn’t match the probability.
A bet’s value is calculated by multiplying its likelihood by its decimal odds minus one. You have a value bet if the result of this calculation is larger than zero. For example, a regular coin flip has a 50% chance of landing on one side or the other. The bet has value if the sportsbook’s odds for the coin to land on heads are 2.10.
Of course, sports betting is far more complicated than a coin toss, but the basic premise remains the same. Certain outcomes’ probabilities must be estimated. To be a great sports bettor, you must be able to assess probability likelihoods more accurately than the sportsbook.