By day, Kelley works at a pretty unremarkable gas station in Charleston, WV. However, Kelley has a special secret that she hides from her co-workers - her endless luck. Kelley just nails whatever she wagers on. It could be roulette, craps, poker or a slot machine.
At Captain Gambling we know that finding the best betting odds is critical for you bettors out there. You need to know how to compare the best betting odds, and have good knowledge of what odds are valuable.
You’ll find plenty of odds comparison sites recommending the same providers, but many of these sites don’t really explain why odds are so different between them. We’re going to explain why odds comparison is so important to find the best betting odds, and how you can understand odds a little better.
Most important reasons to compare odds – Save yourself time and money
Profit by comparison – You are guaranteed to make more money when you place bets across multiple different bookmakers. Most betters see a 10-15% rise in yearly profit when they compare the best betting odds.
Knowledge – Understanding how odds are calculated will save you a lot of time searching for the right website and give you a competitive edge. Betting odds today follow the same formula that all odds do – they are calculated using an in-depth knowledge of the game you’re betting on.
Time efficient – It’s much simpler to set up multiple accounts across betting odds websites. That way, you can switch from site to site and bet efficiently and quickly.
How do bookmakers determine their odds? – Analysis and projection
This is the most crucial part of calculating the best betting odds, and what will ultimately determine the odds you are betting on. Odds comparison sites hire specialists for certain games, or odds compilers to put together odds by analyzing the data. They determine the likelihood of specific events happening, certain teams/people winning, etc. It’s this intricate process that gives you the best betting odds.
After the data is compiled, odds comparison sites will look at the equation of cash. These money projections are important to get right, so that the best betting odds are put together fairly for both bookmakers and bettors. These are calculated through advanced mathematical algorithms that will determine how valuable a certain game/event is and how much weight it carries on the market.
After both the data and odds value is organized, the betting odds websites will then put their odds through a ‘margin’. The margin is what bookmakers will use to refine odds, and ensure odds are slightly lower but fair, depending on the oddsmaker. The best sports betting odds have margins between 3-5% for the best betting odds.
Why do odds vary between bookmakers? – Margins and fairness
As mentioned previously, the margin formula refines the odds, and makes sure the best sports betting odds are slightly lower than what they originally should be. The reason for this margin is because bookmakers need to keep their books balanced.
Offering the real odds will put most bookmakers at a gross disadvantage, and often lead to high losses for the bookmaker. Simply put, a bookmaker that offers real odds will be put out of business quickly. Take for example, an odds comparison site that offers odds of 2.0. This means that every time you win a bet of $100, you’d have to pay out $200 for every successful $100 bet.
However, if a bookmaker offers 1.5, which is still generous, you’ll only be winning $150, but the bookmaker also has the opportunity to win $150. The odds are evened out, and it gives both betters and bookmakers a fair shot.
Most popular odds formats explained – Find the format that suits you
Depending on the odds comparison sites you visit, you’ll find that odds are presented in a variety of different formats. While it’s good to have a go-to odds format that you can rely on, most of the best betting odds will be presented in every odds format. You need to have a good understanding of every odds type, because you’ll never know what to expect from certain bookmakers, and the odds they use. There are three primary odds systems that the best betting odds sites use, and having an intimate knowledge of these odds and how to make an odds comparison when the formats are different will make life easier for you when using the best betting apps and US online gambling sites.
Decimal odds – Popular and easy to understand
The most commonly used odds format, the decimal format, works exactly as it sounds. Favored in Canada and Europe, you’ll find decimal odds are predominantly used across the best betting odds in these regions. Decimal odds are simply presented as a sum of what you could stand to win if you bet on a certain game or match. It’s the most straightforward odds format you can have, as the payout is presented with no added equations or formulas.
The formula is stake multiplied by odds, and that equals the payout if you win the bet. For example, say you were betting on the UFC card that just featured Dustin Poirer vs Conor McGregor. If Dustin Poirer has odds of 1.9, and you bet $100 that Dustin Poirer will win, then you would win $190.
These odds are also considered the best to use for accumulators (multiple bets placed in one sitting), as it’s easy to calculate the sum of your profit across multiple bets. If you placed $100 over three different fights, with the first having 1.5 odds, the second having 1.3 and the third having 1.9, then you know exactly what you’ll win on each bet: $150, $130 and $190.
Fractional odds – Traditional but effective
Fractional odds are the most traditional out of all the odds formats and often described as 'bookie odds' in reference to UK trackside betting. Most of the best betting odds across the UK and Ireland favour fractional odds. They are indicated by fractions, and then dividing these fractions will show you a net profit of what you gain from your stake.
They differ from decimal odds in practice as they don’t show you your stake – they’ll only show the possible profit. Some of the most popular fractional odds would be 2/1, 6/4 and 18/5. So, 2/1 would indicate odds of two against one – which means, if you bet $100, you stand to win $200. And 6/4 would indicate if you bet $100, you stand to win $250. And so forth. Take the same McGregor and Poirer fight. Poirer might have a stake of 1/2 to win, but McGregor would have a stake of 2/1.
This shows Poirer as a favourite, and if you bet $100, you will only gain $50 in profit. Not the best betting odds, but at least the fight itself had a bit of excitement! If you want to convert fractional odds to decimals, all you have to do is divide the fraction and add 1. If you divide 6 by 4, and add 1, you get decimal odds of 2.5.
American odds – Profitable but tricky
American odds are most popular at most American bookmakers and sportsbooks. These odds are trickier to explain, so you need to have a good foundation before you get stuck into American odds. If the odds are negative, then your figure is a minus figure and that shows how much money has to be bet to win $100.
For example, if you have a negative odds of -150, you have to place $150 down if you want to win $100. On the other side, if the odds are positive, then your figure is positive, and this shows how much money can be won on a bet of $100. If you have a quoted odds of +250, that means you’ll win $250 with a bet of $100.
So, let’s go back to McGregor and Poirer. We’ve established Poirer was the favorite, so let’s say he has odds of -120. McGregor was the underdog, so he’d have odds of +190. That means, if you bet $100 on McGregor, you could have won $190. But, to win $100, you’d have to put $120 down on Poirer. Keep in mind you don’t have to put down $100 on every bet - and you might even be able to grab some of the best sports betting deals.
How to calculate the expected value – Get a grip on the most important formula
Expected value, or EV, is a formula that determines how much we can expect to win on average per bet. It’s the most valuable formula you can know across the best betting odds, so take notes on how you can make the most profit using the EV on a regular basis. Put into formula form, it looks like this:
(Probability of Winning) x (Amount Won per Bet) – (Probability of Losing) x (Amount Lost per Bet)
Let’s give you a visual example. Say you wanted to place a number of similar bets across NFL games. If you were betting on the Minnesota Vikings vs the Cincinnati Bengals, with the Vikings having odds of 1.5 and the Bengals having odds of 2.55, you may want to place a $10 bet on the Bengals. So, to get the probability of winning, you’d divide 1 by 2.55. This gives you a probability of 0.39 of the Bengals winning, and 0.66 odds of the Vikings winning. So, the formula would look like this:
(0.39) x ($25.5) – (0.66) x ($6.60) = $5.59
So, $5.59 is the average of what you can expect to win over multiple bets across various bookie odds.
Why loyalty doesn’t always pay – Mix and match for your own benefit
Simply put, your needs and experience in betting will always change. You can’t rely on one bookmaker to provide everything you need for every sport you want to bet on, so you should shop around for the best betting odds that suit whatever game you wish to bet on. If you're wagering on a future event, don't delay if you see an opportunity, the betting odds today are sure to change by tomorrow. Take, for example, Betfred and Ladbrokes.
Betfred offers a deal on soccer, where they will double your odds if a player you’ve bet on has scored twice, and triple them if they score three times. Ladbrokes, however, will simply double your odds if he scores within 25 minutes. It depends on how specific you want to get, and on your personal tastes.
Broadens your bets
Getting on an odds comparison site, and using multiple bookmakers will significantly increase the chances of you winning with the best betting odds. A huge reason for this is that you don’t get caught up betting on specific odds. Say you’re betting on that Vikings and Bengals NFL game.
Rather than staying on one bookmaker and trying to determine if a certain player will score by halftime, you could just bet on the same team across three different bookmakers. You can use the best betting odds across three sites to make a bigger profit than focusing on the difficult selections.
Helps you research less obvious bets
Using multiple bookmakers with the best betting odds gives you a bit of flexibility across multiple different games. This means you can bet on less popular games or players without putting all your chips on them. For example, back to the Poirer/McGregor card. You could put your bet down on McGregor, but on another bookmaker, you could bet on one of the undercard fighters, like Sean O’Malley, for great odds.
Other factors to consider when comparing odds – Bonuses and wagers
There are a few more factors to consider before you start spreading out your new expertise across all these bookmakers. One thing to keep in mind, especially with sites with the best betting odds, are the potential of bonuses and rewards. Many sportsbooks will offer some great rewards and signup bonuses that you should check out on odds comparison sites.
For example, Bet365 have a signup offer where they will match your qualifying bet in betting credits up to $100. That means you’ll essentially get your first deposit doubled to bet across the best betting odds. Unibet also has an offer where you can get up to $500 cashback if you lose your first bet. These are great bonuses that make some of the best betting odds even more alluring, and ones worth taking advantage of - but be sure to check which online gambling payment methods are eligible.
Another factor to take into account is that every wager is different. We recommend you use a different bookmaker for every single bet, as chances are not all bets across a bookmaker are the best betting odds. Use your odds comparison sites to find the best wager for you, and move on to the next.
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Odds comparison vs live betting – Breaks and lulls are your time
Live betting is a whole new animal when it comes to the best betting odds, simply because it’s so difficult to check. Live odds are always on the move and changing in line with the game. With odds moving so quickly, you’ll need some useful tips from the best odds comparison sites.
One thing to remember when you’re comparing odds when live betting is that there will always be opportunities to take advantage of lulls in the game. Say you’re watching McGregor/Poirer, and the 1st round just finished. If you see McGregor is groggy, take your chance. Browse your selected bookmakers, and put down a bet during the break that Poirer will KO McGregor in the second round. If you have your timing down, you can have that bet placed before the bell even rings. Another aspect to take into account is that games like soccer and football will have frequent lulls. In soccer, there will be offsides, free kicks, and penalties. You don’t have to wait until half time with certain games to place a quick bet with the best betting odds.
Conclusion – The best betting odds are yours to take
To wrap up, there are plenty of bookmakers with the best betting odds that you can play all across. With so many betting odds websites offering wildly different odds, you can switch sites from game to game depending on how much it suits your interests. You can rely on your EV formula to make sure you come out with a consistent profit across odds comparison sites. You also have the opportunity to place bets on less popular games with unknown, yet great odds. So, what are you waiting for? Search the web and find all of the best betting odds!
Take a look at some of the sporting bonuses that are available
The great thing about odds comparison is that across sportsbooks, you can find value over various betting odds, depending on your flavor of betting. Luckily, we have done the research to help you understand why odds comparison is so important! Check out our handy guides.
🏆Are bigger odds better?
Odds can be displayed in a variety of formats. There’s decimal odds, fractional odds, and American odds, and their usage depends on where the betting is taking place. To determine which kind of odds suit you, learn more about odds and odds comparison sites right here at Captaingambling.com.
🏧 Which betting site has the best football odds?
As it is such a popular sport, football has some of the best betting odds across bookmakers. Many odds comparison sites will point towards a variety of bookmakers for football betting odds. Find out right here what this means for you as a bettor.