DFF Beginners’ Camp: What are sports betting odds?

Bookmakers use mathematical calculation models to determine the probability of certain events. These probabilities are represented in the form of ratios, also called odds.

Daily Fantasy Football Beginners’ Camp: odds & sports betting

The more improbable event is, the higher the ratio and vice versa. A high ratio means that you get greater multiples for each Euro spent.

In daily fantasy football you use odds to calculate or estimate the probability of certain events. Therefore sports betting odds are a necessary foundation for any aspiring fantasy footballer. With the help of odds you can, for example, estimate how many goals a team will score or the likelihood of them keeping a clean sheet. These odds are very important when it comes to choosing players from teams which offer a high probability of scoring points. If a team has an 80% chance of keeping a clean sheet, then the defenders in this team can be a very good choice – always, of course, depending on the tournament and the budget.

Where can I find the odds?

Each betting provider displays its odds publicly on the Internet and there is no problem with finding out about it. The odds can vary depending on the basis of calculation and often it makes sense to refer to multiple values for comparison.

You find all relevant information for your match-day preparation in our weekly previews.

How are the odds presented?

The presentation of odds varies by continent, but two models are commonly used in Europe.

Decimal odds

This is the convention in continental Europe. The ratio of probability is expressed as a decimal. A probability of 20% (or 0.2) is easily converted into a decimal number.

0.2 / (1-0.2) = 0.2/0.8 = 0.25

With a 0.25 Euro stake there will be a profit of 1 Euro; with a 1 Euro stake the profit will be 4 Euros. In addition, the original 1 Euro stake will be refunded. Hence a bookmaker in continental Europe will pay out 5 Euros. The term gross rate is used because the initial stake is included in the expected win. The simple rule of thumb to remember is that the closer the ratio is to 1, the more likely the bettor is to win, the higher the number is, the less likely they are to win.

Fractional odds

This is the traditional means of representation with British bookmakers. A probability of 20% is shown in the form of 4: 1. This means that you get 4 Euros for every Euro spent. The term net rate is used in this context, since you can immediately see the potential gain.

What odds are important for the fantasy footballer?

There are three rates which you should check before every match.

  • Match odds
  • Goals more/less than (also called over/under goals)
  • Clean sheet odds

Match odds

Look on the websites of sports betting providers to see whether a fixture is likely to end in a win for the home team (1), a draw (x) or a victory for the away team (2)

Let’s take the opening game of the European Championship as an example. Here France is playing against Romania. The odds are as follows

1 x 2
1.30 4.75 13.00

What do these numbers mean? As already mentioned above, the closer a number is to 1, the more likely the result is, the higher the number is, the less likely it is. The bookmaker therefore see France as runaway favourites (1.30) while it is considered highly unlikely that the outsider will win (13:00). The match odds will allow you perfectly to assess whether there is a clear favourite in an encounter, as France is in the above game. If both numbers are close together, then the game is considered to be balanced. An example is the Euro game Ireland against Sweden with the odds:

1 x 2
3.00 3.00 2.50

A Swedish victory is predicted to be only slightly more likely than a win or a draw.

Goals more/less than (over/under goals)

After you have already found out whether a team is a clear favourite, you can go one step further. The “more/less than” goal forecasts will help you to assess the likelihood of there being many or few goals. At the opening game of the European Championship, the odds look like this:

Goals over under
2.50 2.15 1.66

This means that it is much more likely that there will be fewer than 2.5 goals at the start of the Championship. If a goal fest was expected, the odds would look like this

Goals over under
2.50 1.65 2.20

The match odds and more/less than goals odds will be your best friends when setting up the offensive. This brings us to the next part of the team – the defence.

Clean sheet odds

The clean sheet odds indicate which teams have a high probability of keeping a clean sheet. The presentation varies here and these odds are often specified directly in percentage form. You can always find these values in our match day preliminary discussions.

Your will generally pick your defence and your goalkeeper from the games where there is a high probability of keeping a clean sheet. This means that you will have the best chance of picking up the coveted clean sheet bonus for your defence.

Where can you play? Bethard, FantasyBet, Fanteam

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Herbert is a doctor of philosophy, speaks 5 languages fluently and moved to Barcelona to be close to good football... Herbert was Head of Education at Pokerstrategy and responsible for ensuring that 8 million members successfully learned poker. He discusses Instructional Design and Learning Theories on Griffl.org.
As a founding member of 11Heroes, Herbert plays a similar role as at Pokerstrategy.com. You can find him on Twitter as @DrFantasy11

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