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Odds can be explained as the reflection of** chance or probability of a certain event or outcome**. When people begin to gamble they become familiar with this term.

These are** calculated by bookmakers and serve as a guide to bettors**. Once you are familiar with this term it is easier to choose a winning team, calculate how much money you could win and spot if it is a value bet.

Many bettors wonder when scanning odds: How much will I win? This article serves to answer that question and also explains** how odds are calculated**,** how to calculated odds**, **why they change** and** how to understand odds** when scrolling down a regular sportsbook section of a site**.**

**Contents**

## Betting odds explained

Betting odds are established by bookmakers and are based on the **question of probability of an outcome of the event in question**. In every event, there is a **chance for any possible outcome** to happen and the odds are simply an interpretation of this chance.

Odds are the price associated with betting on a particular outcome, taking into account the probability of this outcome. As such, betting on a highly probable outcome will yield only small rewards, while a particularly risky bet on an extremely unlikely event can prove very lucrative if successful.

### How are they calculated?

Bookmakers calculate their **odds for each event and all the possible outcomes **of the event. This is usually compiled by Traders, Risk Analysts or Odds Compilers whose job is to produce **odds that closely represent the chance of an outcome**, taking into account all variables.

In addition to the chances of the team winning the Traders must account for the money that is likely to be placed.

The bookmakers like any other business, have to make money so the Trader will add a small percentage to the bet in order to make a profit.

After taking into account all of the above the odds are then calculated.

## Why odds change

Odds can change for a number of reasons but mainly change because the **circumstances of the event change**. For example they would change if:

- An injury occurred to a key player
- Defeat or victory of either team a few days before
- Any other unforeseen circumstances

**Consider the following case**: The Lakers and the Bulls are playing against each other and The Bulls have odds of +120 to win. However, two days before the match, two of team’s best players are ruled out of the match due to injury. The odds would then decrease as the bookmakers would assume that without their best players a victory is more difficult.

Furthermore, Bookmakers can also change the odds regardless of circumstances. For example, bookies can overestimate the chances of a team’s victory – so punters you have been warned!

### The evolution of live betting

Today, **most sites offer the option of live betting**. This mean that bookmakers can

**update and modify odds during a certain game or event,**which allows players to wager on favourable bets.

The overall principles of the concept of live betting are the same except as before except that the **events in the games itself influences the odds**.

For example: A Tennis match between Djokovic and Murry has odds of +125 in favor of Murry before the game. However after an hour, there is no doubt of Murry’s victory and they changed to -200. So, any person who placed a bet after they changed would not receive as much money for their bet as before.

## How to read them in a sportsbook

American odds are expressed either with a** negative number for example -180 or a positive number +120**.

A negative numbers means that you must bet to make a $100 profit and a positive number illustrates that indicated how much you might if you bet $100.

Furthermore, the minus sign is used for the favorites (the team most likely to win) and the plus sign for the underdogs. This way players have to bet more money to win money if they bet on the favourite team.

### How do they work

As stated before, the using the American Style of odds, the basic match winner is known as the Money Line

**For example**: if you bet $110 on a team with -110 and they win you will receive a $100 profit plus your original $110 stake. And if you bet $110 on a team with odds of +100 and they win, this will receive $110 on top of your original bet.

If the team you want to bet on has a money line of a + number the equation to discover your potential profit is at follows:

**Positive Money Lines odds X (stake/100)**

or for a negative symbol the equation is:

**(100/Negative Money Line odds) X stake**

Using the above equations will calculate how much money you could **possibly win for your bet** and then you can easily see which** bet is more valuable to you**.

**Taking the following case:** Miami Heat take on San Antonio Spurs and there odds are at -200 of Miami and +150 for Spurs. You bet $80 on Spurs to win so if Spurs win you will receive:** $120 (+150 X (80/100) **

If you bet $80 on Miami to win you would receive: **$40 (100/200 X 80)**

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