Odds & Probability

Chances

Odds are referred to as “fair” if betting odds equal the true value of the odds. It looks simple but it is definitely more complex than an event like a coin flip, where you can calculate the chance of an outcome more easily. We all know that the probability of flipping a head occurring is 50% and also 50% for tails as there are only 2 outcomes. Let’s suppose the bookmaker offers 6/5 (2.2 in decimals) for heads. Based on mathematic calculation to find the probability, this is 1 / (decimal odd) * 100, which makes it 1 / 2.2 = 0.45 * 100 = 45%.
This is to say that the odds of 2.2 that were offered for heads represents a 45% chance of heads occurring even though we know that the true value of heads should be 50%, which is represented by evens (2.0) (1 / 2.0 = 0.50 * 100 = 50%. Therefore the 2.2 odds are inaccurate and pay 5% extra potential winning chances to the punter at no risk, we call this the Value Bet, as it gives a better advantage over the bookmaker. Now we know that if odds were below evens (2.0), the bookmakers would have an upper advantage over the punter.

In football betting it is a lot complex on calculating the probability. You cannot make an intelligent guess of odds about England winning the world cup.

You remain dependent upon the past performance of a team when you want to make a guess about its win in future matches. You need to observe the performance of a player or the whole team to be able to make such a prediction. There is also the factor of weather that you have to consider when making a prediction. In long events like a golf tournament or a test match in cricket, change of weather conditions can easily influence the outcome of the event. To make a guess about fair odds for Chelsea winning a long event like Premiership that will take place after 9 months is indeed a very difficult task.

As such, it is fair to say that calculation of fair odds in a long sporting event is only an intelligent guess rather than an exact mathematical calculation. Punters often take a cue from the fair odds given by bookmakers and they stand to make huge profits when they are able to spot a mistake in their predictions.