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How to Read Betting Odds and Lines Like a Pro

For online sports betting, there is a need to fully grasp what the numbers on the screen truly represent for you. It’s easy to pick a selection for a bet. It’s harder to pick a selection for a bet that offers some true value.

To make informed betting decisions, being able to interpret odds, for example, can be a valuable skill. You may be keen to jump into some action after picking up a Bet9ja sport bonus, but it’s advisable to first know what you are betting on.

Here are some ideas of the main areas in which you should focus to read betting lines like the pros.

The Format Of Odds

The first thing to understand is to get to grips with the different odds formats. The main ones are decimal, fractional and American odds. They all display the same information, but just in a completely different format.

It’s advisable just to stick to one preferred option to gain full working knowledge. There is no need to study all of them. It’s easy enough at any online betting site to just switch the format that you view odds in. Getting familiarised with your preferred odds format will just let you quickly size up the value of a bet at a glance, without needing to get out a bet calculator.

Simple Odds Format Overview

  • Decimal Odds – Total potential payout including both the stake and profit
  • Fractional Odds – Potential profit relative to the stake
  • American Odds – Positive odds reflect the profit from a 100 bet, negative odds represent how much to bet to achieve a 100 profit.

Implied Probability

Every price that you see listed in a sportsbook represents the implied probability of that outcome happening. So if it is Brazil at 8.00 to win the World Cup, that is a 12.5% implied probability.

If the Selecao were quoted at 4.0 in contrast, their implied probability would be a much stronger 25% chance of winning the trophy. So the lower the odds, the more of a chance that the bookmaker, who sets the lines, perceives it could happen.

How do you get to the implied probability? The easiest way is just to do a quick search online for an Odds Calculator that will tell you the implied probability of certain odds in the blink of an eye.

Of course, it’s worth recognising and becoming familiar with certain landmarks along the way, to speed things up.

Common Odds To Implied Probability Markers

1.3 = 75%

1.5 = 66%

1.8 = 54%

2.0 = 50%

4.0 = 25%

9.0 = 10%

You don’t want to stop every time you see a quote to find its implied value. Narrowing down a big list of options to a handful of select picks based on first-look odds means that you can then study those selections in deeper focus to see which are the best.

Line Movements

If you are reading betting lines like a pro, then you are not going to be looking at the betting lines from a static perspective. You need to consider the line movements that naturally happen over time.

Odds change all the time, sometimes it’s due to a major injury to a key player for example, or a swathe of public support coming in for one particular horse in a race. A significant shift in market sentiment indicates something is happening.

If you are tracking odds on a market, as you start to see something spiking, do a quick investigation of why. Look at the information in front of you and decide whether it is a good time to swing with the public perception before the odds shorten further, or for longer odds, go against the trend.

In Conclusion

Some pieces of betting advice are just common staples, like managing your bankroll, keeping up to date with the latest sports news and injury developments as close to the kick-off of a match as you can and avoiding playing any emotional bets.

These are all useful insights that can help when learning to read lines. Research and analysis is something that betting pros conduct regularly, as it is the only way to get to the bottom of everything. Gaining as much working knowledge as you can is only going to benefit the output when it comes to looking for, and spotting, those all-important value bets like pros.

Last Updated on August 22, 2023 by Admin

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