Understanding Odds And Probability
The core of all sports betting, and gambling in general, is odds. So what are odds, and why are they so important when placing a bet, or taking a risk? First, odds are important because they indicate the likelihood of an outcome occurring. In any situation, where there is an unknown factor, there are odds that the result may be one outcome, or another. If one takes flipping a coin as an example, the odds in this case would be easy to calculate, given that the result can either be heads or tails. And, essentially, there is an equal chance of either result occurring.
But what if we take something like two sports teams going head to head? There are many factors to take into consideration, such as how well the teams have been playing, what weather the match is taking place in, and if any players are absent from each team. In this case the odds are much more difficult to calculate, and must be done by a professional who understands the game, and the teams. At the end of the day the odds given are simply a guess, and this is what makes sports betting so interesting.
Since the outcome of the match is unknown, the odds given are nothing more than a speculation. This means that low odds are not always going to be right, and the same for high odds. An underdog team may be given high odds of winning, given that they are seen as less likely to win. But, it does not mean that the team is incapable of winning. They may win, and placing a bet on that team to win means that the bettor has accepted high odds. And, in the world of sports betting, high odds mean great payouts.
Risk Versus Reward
If an underdog team has been assigned odds of 1/10, it means that the bookmaker has decided that the team is very likely to lose. The odds also indicate, however, how much a bet will earn if it is a success. If a bettor placed $1 on 1/10 odds, the payout would be $10. And if the bettor placed $10, the payout would be $100. So, essentially, a risky bet is one that can be a great deal more lucrative.
On the other hand, if a result is seen as very likely to occur, high odds are given, for example; 1/2. This means that an outcome is seen as much more likely, and so the payouts given are much less lucrative. After all, there is not much risk involved. At least that is the impression given to the bookmaker. But, as already said; there are often unforeseen results. A $10 bet on 1/2 odds will payout just $20, but the chances of winning are a great deal more likely.
The task of the bettor is to decide which bets are worth the risks. A brave bettor will bet on underdog teams in hopes of scoring big, while reserved bettors will place bets only on teams seen as sure to win. Either way, betting wisely is always recommended, even where underdog teams are concerned.