Explanation On How Football Betting Odds Work


One of the basics of football betting is understanding the meaning of odds. We have discussed this in previous articles. Today we will be venturing into a new concept of how football betting odds work.

This article is ideal for newbies and experienced punters as we look in-depth on how the odd system works in football betting. As we all know bookmakers are constantly looking for ways to improve their profit margin.

This makes it imperative for punters to study and understand how to take advantage of loopholes left by bookies.

What Is A Football Bet

We cannot explain what an odd is without clearly defining what is a bet. A bet is essentially staking money on one or more possible events in a particular game. There are always at least two possibilities on a bet. In football, there are multiple possibilities but the three basic possibilities are Win, Loss and Draw.

These is commonly defined by many bookies as 1 x 2

  • 1 represents a Home win
  • X represents a Draw
  • 2 represents an Away win

The Different Types Of Bets, In Football

There are different types of bets than the classic 1×2. For example, there are goals betting also called under/over. First scorer, corner kick and many more. These bets are diverse and have been adapted to football and more continue to be introduced by bookies.



How Does The Sports Betting Odds Work?

Odds are theoretically multiplying coefficient defined by the bookmakers. They are used to link notions of the probability of a sporting event. Basically in football betting, odds are the probability that an event will happen or not.

With the advent of online sport betting sites, the impact of odds has become more pronounced as bookies adjust odds according to the risk they incur. Sometimes this can also be as a result of the number of bettors who bet on a particular event.

Since it is common knowledge that if you win a bet, your odds will be multiplied by the bet to give winnings. We will skip the basic part and look at the major aspects of what makes odds work.

We will be utilizing the European betting odd style which is in decimal point eg. 1.01. By convention the closer the odds are to 1.00, the more likely an event will occur. But lower odds also mean fewer earnings and profits.

When placing a bet the bookmaker will automatically multiply the bet by the odds so that you can directly see expected winnings for the bet.

If you are satisfied with the winnings you can validate by clicking confirm. You should always be careful and sure of your bet because most bookies don’t allow cancellation of bets.

Example Of How Odds Work In A Bet

If we chose a league game proposed by a local bookmaker between Arsenal and Chelsea which is as follows. Arsenal 1.3 draw 5.20 Chelsea 12.0. Let’s assume that the you bet 10 euros on this event we can actually calculate potential winnings.

  • Home Win

If you chooses Arsenal to win and the latter wins the match. You will pocket 10 x 1.3 = 13 euros. By deducting the initial stake, the profit is 3 euros.

This looks small for the risk of 10 euros bit it is logical as the odd is related to the probability of an event occurring. Since the bookmaker believes that the likely outcome is a home victory, the odds offered will most likely be a low price.

  • Draw

Want to play the draw? In this case, you will receive 10 x 5.2 = 52 euros or 42 euros profit if the event occurs. This is four times the initial stake but of course, the probability of a draw is slim and it is a   bet.

  • Away Win

On the other hand, if you bet on an away win for the visitors, and the result occurs. You will be able to cash 10 x 12 = 120 euros. This gives a profit of 110 euros. But as you can imagine the bookmaker is offering such odds because the margin of victory for Chelsea is very thin.

It is always important not to confuse gain and profit. To really know the profit you must not forget to subtract your gain from the initial stake.

Be careful you should not confuse gain and benefit. To really know the benefit you get from a bet, you must not forget to subtract your stake.



For example, for a wager with a bet of 100 euros at odds of 1.5. If the bet is winning the profit is 50 euros because (100 x 1.5) – 100 = 150 – 100 = 50 euros.

From this profit, we can deduce whether we are profitable or not. Indeed, it is from all these data that you will be able to calculate your ROI (return on investment).

What Is ROI (Return on Investment)

ROI is the fundamental concept that will allow you to evaluate the profitability of your bets in the long run. Basically ROI will allow you to know if you are making money in the long run or not.


In summary, you should know that odds are associated with the probability of a particular football event. It also allows you to understand the bookies’ minds regarding the risk or profit within a particular event.

You should also keep in mind that the closer an odd is to 1.00 the likelier the event and vice-versa. You do not have to be strong in maths to understand this concept since it is pure logic.

With this information about odds, you will be able to grasp the fundamentals of football betting which would put you on the path to beating the bookmakers.


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