Sure, a large part of the thrill of placing sports bets lies in the fact that there is no way of predicting the outcome to a 100% certainty. But there are certain mathematical principals that can be understood and applied to increase your payout potential.
And it’s easy to understand the basic mathematics of book making well enough to begin to apply this understanding to making smarter bets. The fundamentals that you need to get the hand of include how sports bets pay out and how bookmakers calculate odds.
Learn How Sports Bets Pay Out
Understanding the mathematics of book making will help to you comprehend how your bet will payout if you win is vital. Sportsbooks pay out bets based on the mathematics of book making.
Basically, when a bet wins, the book maker will pay out the amount of the bet multiplied by the odds – which will be explained shortly – offered on that particular wager. To give a simple example, let’s say your chosen team has a 1 in 11 chance of winning the Rugby World Cup. The odds on that team winning are then 11/1. In other words, if you bet 1 dollar, you will win back your $1 plus another $11 – 11 times your original wager.
It’s important to note that more certain bets with better odds will pay out less. For example, if your chosen team has even better 1/3 odds. Your winnings will only total $3, which is why more experienced punters will often choose weaker option, despite the longer odds. This is where the mathematics of book making begins to get a little more interesting.
Understand How Book Makers Calculate Odds
Technically, the law of probability dictates that each contender has an equal chance of winning. But that’s never strictly true in real life, since player injuries and other factors come into play.
Besides, it wouldn’t be worth any sportsbook’s while to offer those kind of odds since all bettors would need to do to win their money back would be to wager an equal amount on all competitors, leaving the book maker with no profits and the bettor with a very boring game.
So the term “odds” means something a little different when it comes to the mathematics of book making. Remember that sportsbooks are businesses and their objective is to turn a profit. For that reason, sportsbooks will tweak the “true” odds according to certain relevant data available to them. However, be warned that sportsbooks’ odds will not necessarily be a reflection of reality. In other words, the mathematics of book making places no obligation on the book maker to give the longest odds on the weakest competitor or the best odds on the strongest. In fact, sports books will often artificially manufacture odds to dissuade bettors from placing certain bets. So it’s vital that you stay abreast of developments in your chosen sport so that you know when the odds are off.
Finally, the most unique aspect of the mathematics of bookmaking is the practice of over-rounding. Over-rounding is what sportsbooks to ensure that they always make a profit, even if they have to pay out 100% of the bets placed. Essentially, they add a little to the top so that all bets add up to something slightly over 100%. So, if all bets collectively amount to $100 and the sportsbook has to pay 100% of them out, there is still $20 profit left over for the book maker over-rounds by 20%.