SportsBooks

How Betting Odds Stack Up Around The World

Betting is a global business but while the basic definition is the same around the world – select a winner and receive winnings, select a loser and forfeit your money – is the same around the world, the way odds are displayed and even the way of calculating odds varies dramatically from region to region.

In many instances, such as Spread Betting and Asian Handicaps these different betting genres also cleverly mask the margins which are in the favour of online bookmakers and traditional sportsbooks.

Surprisingly, to many the term ‘betting percentage’ is still a mystery.  It is the margin each contestant claims in an event.  In basic terms, the probability of player winning in a perfectly matched game of tennis is even-money.  However, needing to operate at a profit, the bookmakers will offer shorter odds on each player.

 

Calculating the Percentages

At even-money apiece, $50 or 50 percentage points would need to be placed on both players to ensure a $100 or 100% return.  As an online sportsbook there is no profit in that business model.

For simplicity, let’s say both players are priced at 4/6.  This scenario gives a betting percentage/margin of 120% as $60 (or 60%) needs to be placed on both players to necessitate a $100 pay-out.

$120 in bets taken in, $100 returned to the winning customer.  A 20% margin and a good deal if you are an online sports operator.

You would be unfortunate to see a 120% margin in a two-runner race (it is very mean even by an online sportsbooks standards) but you may in a perfectly matched six-runner race where all contestants should be 5/1, but in such circumstances you will probably see each runner returned at 4/1, making a percentage of 120% (6 x 20).

Put simply, the lower the percentage in any betting market, the greater profit a winning bettor will show.

 

Odds Percentages

In order to help calculate the overall margin a sportsbook has in their favour for any market we have prepared this simple conversion chart below.

 

Odds On Price            Odds Against

50.00………………..EVENS……………50.00

52.38…………………11/10……………..47.62

54.55………………….6/5……………….45.45

55.56………………….5/4……………….44.44

57.89…………………11/8………………42.11

60.00………………….6/4……………….40.00

61.90…………………13/8………………38.10

63.64………………….7/4……………….36.36

65.22…………………15/8………………34.78

66.67………………….2/1……………….33.33

68.00…………………85/40……………..32.00

69.23………………….9/4……………….30.77

71.43………………….5/2……………….28.57

73.33………………….11/4.……………..26.67

75.00………………….3/1……………….25.00

76.92…………………10/3………………23.08

77.78………………….7/2……………….22.22

80.00………………….4/1……………….20.00

81.82………………….9/2……………….18.18

83.33………………….5/1……………….16.67

84.62…………………11/2………………15.38

85.71………………….6/1……………….14.29

86.67…………………13/2………………13.33

87.50………………….7/1……………….12.50

88.24…………………15/2………………11.76

88.89………………….8/1……………….11.11

89.47…………………17/2………………10.53

90.00………………… 9/1……………….10.00

90.91…………………10/1……………….9.09

92.31…………………12/1……………….7.69

93.33…………………14/1……………….6.67

94.12…………………16/1……………….5.88

95.24…………………20/1……………….4.76

96.15…………………25/1……………….3.85

97.06…………………33/1…………….…2.94

97.56…………………40/1……………….2.44

98.04…………………50/1……………….1.96

98.51…………………66/1……………….1.49

99.01………………..100/1……………….0.91

 

Comparing the Differences

Of course American odds are displayed in a different way to those popular in Europe.  A fractional 4/1 shot, which has decimal odds of 5.0, will be displayed as +400 Stateside.

Fractional odds Decimal Odds US Money Line

1/3 1.33 -300

4/6 1.67 -150

1/1 2.00 +100

6/4 2.50 +150

4/1 5.00 +400

9/1 10.00 +900

 

Betfair to Make it Big?

But there are so many other ways to place bets depending on where you are in the world.  In the UK and Ireland ‘Exchange Betting’ has become massively popular during the past 15 years.

The stock-market style ‘buy and sell’ betting medium is hosted by Betfair who have recently established a foothold in New Jersey and have agreements in place with Monmouth Racetrack operators, Darby Development.

 

Asian Handicaps

But, in the gambling mad Far East, it is the Asian Handicap betting medium which is most popular with sportsbooks and their customers.

In Asian Handicap betting the odds-compilers give a goals deficit to the team they think is more likely to win expressed in goals, or fractions of goals. The advantage of this is it allows you to bet on a mismatched game and it makes games two-sided by eliminating the possibility of a draw.

 

How does it work?

If the Manchester United soccer team play low-league rivals from Sweden in a European football competition you can expect to see the better known team to start as the overwhelming favourites, possibly as short as 1/12.  However, with an Asian Handicap the favourites are given a goal handicap.  In this instance it may be -3.5 goals.

This is a handicap which will be added to the final score. For example, if Manchester win the game by 5 goals to nil the ‘handicap result’ will be a +1.5 goal win for Manchester.  However, if the score-line is 3-1 they will lose on the handicap.

With handicaps ending in 0.5 it ensures there can be no draw outcome.  However this does not mean the online bookmakers will offer odds that are anywhere near even money for each side. They can and will vary dramatically.

 

Split Balls

Sometimes teams can have two handicaps marks.  These are known as Split Ball handicaps and would be listed as follows:  

Manchester United (-3.0 & -3.5) vs little known Swedish team (+3.0 & +3.5).

With this sort of Asian Handicap bet your stakes are split equally across the two handicaps listed.  If you back Manchester half your stakes goes on the team who start with a -3.0 goal deficit, the other half goes on Man.Utd with a -3.5 goal deficit.

Once again you simply add the handicap to the final score-line to ascertain the result.  So if Manchester Utd draw or lose the match, you lose because you’ve failed to overcome the handicap. You also lose if they only win by only 1 or 2 goals.

If they win by exactly three goals then the first part of your stake is voided and returned as a ‘push’ bet, and the other half of your stake is a loser. If they win by 4 or more goals then the whole bet is a winner.

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