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Football bets - Basics

Odds

To bet successfully, first of you have to understand what odds are. They form the basics of every of you bets.

I. What are odds?

II. Odds and probabilities

III. Types of odds

a) Decimal odds
b) Fractional odds

Conversion of fractional quotas into decimal quotas
Conversion of fractinal quotas into implied probability

c) American odds    

Positive US-odds

Conversion of positive US-odds into decimal odds
Conversion of positive US-odds into implied probability

Negative US-odds

Conversion negative US-odds into decimal odds
Conversion negative US-odds into implied probability  

IV. What type of odd should I use? 

V. What are Value Bets?

The challenge: finding Value Bets
KickForm Value Bets Finder

Alternative calculations

Calculating a Value Bet (option 1)
Calculating a Value Bet (option 2)

I. What are odds?

Odds are the probability of the occurrence of a certain event. Through an odd you state for example the probability of Borussia Dortmund defeating Bayern Munich. But how exactly does the concept of probability function/work?

II. Odds and probabilities

Probability is a measurement for the certainty or uncertainty of an event taking place. It determines for example how certain it is that Dortmund will defeat Bayern. This probability is expressed in percent most of the time.

Example

When you flip a coin it can either land on heads or tales. The probability for both possibilities is the same. To calculate the respective percentage of probability, you have to divide 100 percent by the potential outcomes of flipping the coin: so two. The probability for heads or tales is consequently 50 percent.

III. Different types of odds

Depending on country and/or bookmaker you will come across different types of odds. They aren’t presented in the accustomed percent. Nevertheless, they just form another way of expressing probability and so you can convert them easily and in no time with the help of a few tricks. For calculating you usually utilise units that can have a differing worth. To simplify matters we assume that one unit equals one Euro.

a) Decimal odds

Decimal odds, also called european quotas, don’t only state the probability of a certain event but also indirectly what you get in exchange for your stake. They are the most common type of citing odds.

Example

The odd for a win of Leverkusen against Hamburg is 2,0. If you put 5 Euros on a win of Leverkusen and Leverkusen wins the match, you will get 10 Euros back. So for each Euro you get two back. Therefore, you won 5 Euros.

Conversion of decimal odds into implied probability:

Whats is the probability of Leverkusen winning (the so called implied probability) put in percentage? For figuring that out you have to divide 100 percent by the odd of 2,0. The implied probability in this case then is 50 percent. The following example will clarify that calculation:

Example

Odd 2,50 >  What is the implied probabilityt?
100  percent : 2,50 = 40 percent
So the odd of 2,50 equals an implied probability of 40 percent. 

Conversion of implied probability into decimal odds:

All of that also works the other way round. If you want to convert a probability into a decimal odd, you have to divide 100 by the percent of probability.

Example 

Implied prbability of 25 percent > What is the decimal odd?
100 percent: 25 percent = decimal odd of 4

If you don’t want to get out your calculator each time to convert the implied probability into percent, you can memorise the following as a rule of thumb: The more likely it is that a team wins the lower the decimal odd. To help you keep the most frequently used conversions in mind, we put together a summary of the most common odds.

Table | Odds and Probabilities

Odd 1,01 1,5 1,83 2 2,5 3 4 5 10
Probability 99% 67% 55% 50% 40% 33% 25% 20% 10%

b) Fractional odds

Fractional odds, also called fraction-quotas or UK odds, are another possibility to express probabilities. They are utilised foremost in Great Britain. These odds show both your stake as well as your winnings. A fractional odd of 6/2 for example states that for a stake of 2 Euros you get 6 Euros back. Hence, the numerator always displays the winnings while the denominator shows your stake. 

Example

The odd of a win of Everton against Manchester United is 3/2. Should you put 2 Euros on Everton winning and Everton then wins the match, you receive 3 Euros. Your profit is sccordingly 1 Euro.

Conversion of fractional odds into decimal odds:

If you don't get along too well with fractional odds, you might as well convert them into decimal odds. For that you determine the quotient of the fraction and add 1 to the result. 

Example

Fractional odd of 3/2 > What is the decimal odd?

3 : 2 = 1,5
1,5 + 1 = 2,50
The fractional odd of 3/2 equals the decimal odd of 2,50. 

Caution!

Betting-rookies routinely assume that decimal odds can be converted into fractional odds by simply putting 1 as the numerator and the decimal odd as the denominator. A decimal odd of 2,5 would then translate into 1/2,5 as a fractional odd. But that is WRONG.

Conversion of fractional odds into implied probability

You can convert fractional odds directly into implied probability. For doing so you divide the denominator by the sum of numerator and denominator and afterwards multiply the result by 100.

Example

fractional odd of 3/2 > What is the implied probability?
2 : (2+3) = 2 : 5 = 0,4
0,4 x 100 = 40 percent
So the fractional odd of 3/2 equals an implied probability of 40 percent.

c) American odds

American odds, also called Lines, have to be divided into positive and negative odds.  

Positive US-odds

Positive odds display how much net gain you receive when betting 100 Euros (or 100 Dollar et.).

Example

The odd for the New Yorky Red Bulls winning against New England amounts to + 150. If you now bet 100 Euros on a win by New York and New York actually wins the game, you will receive 250 Euros. You, therefore, make a net gain of 150 Euros.
Conversion positive US-odds into decimal odds:

Should you find the odds of Americans incomprehensible, you can easily translate them into decimal odds as well. For that you divide the positive US-odd by 100 and then add 1 to the result. 

Example

American odd + 150
What is the deciaml odd?
150 : 100 = 1,5
 1,5 + 1 = 2,50
The US-odd +150 equals therfore the deciaml odd of 2,50.
Conversion positive US-odds into implied probability:

You can also convert the positive US-odds into implied probability. For that you have to divide 100 by the sum of the US-odd and 100. To then again obtain percentage points, you have to multiply the result with 100.

Example

American odd of + 150
What is the implied probability?
100 : (150 + 100) = 100 : 250 = 0,4
0,4 x 100 = 40 Prozent
So the US-odd of +150 equals the implied probability of 40 percent.

Negative US-odds

Negative odds display, how much you have to bet, to receive a net gain of 100 Euros (or Dollars etc.).

Example

The odd for a win by Toronto against Philadelphia amounts to - 150. If you now put 150 Euros on Toronto winning and they actually win the match, you will receive 250 Euros. Hence, you make a net gain of100 Euros.
Conversion of negative US-odds into decimal odds: 

To convert the negative American odds into decimal odds, you have to divide 100 by the odd (regardless of the minus sign) and then add 1 to the result.

Example

American odd of - 150  What is the deciaml odd?
100: 150 = 0,67
0,67 + 1 = 1,67
So the US-odd of+150 equals the decimal odd of 1,67.
Conversion of negative US-odds into implied probability:

You can also convert the negative into the implied probability. But since this calculation is quite complex, it is easier to convert the negative US-odd into a decimal odd first (see above) and in the next step calculate the implied probability from it (100 : decimal odd).

Did you lose track? For an overview and a quick chart to look things up we listed the common odds and their conversion.

Chart | Overview decimal odds, fractional odds and american odds

EU odd

US odd

UK odd


EU odd

US odd

UK odd


EU odd

US odd

UK odd

1,1

1/10

-1000

 

4,2

16/5

320

 

7,1

61/10

610

1,2

1/5

-500

 

4,3

33/10

330

 

7,2

31/5

620

1,3

3/10

-333

 

4,4

17/5

340

 

7,3

63/10

630

1,4

2/5

-250

 

4,5

7/2

350

 

7,4

32/5

640

1,5

1/2

-200

 

4,6

18/5

360

 

7,5

13/2

650

1,6

3/5

-167

 

4,7

37/10

370

 

7,6

33/5

660

1,7

7/10

-143

 

4,8

19/5

380

 

7,7

67/10

670

1,8

4/5

-125

 

4,9

39/10

390

 

7,8

34/5

680

1,9

9/10

-111

 

5

4/1

400

 

7,9

69/10

690

2

1/1

100

 

5,1

41/10

410

 

8

7/1

700

2,1

11/10

110

 

5,2

21/5

420

 

8,1

71/10

710

2,2

6/5

120

 

5,3

43/10

430

 

8,2

36/5

720

2,3

13/10

130

 

5,4

22/5

440

 

8,3

73/10

730

2,4

7/5

140

 

5,5

9/2

450

 

8,4

37/5

740

2,5

3/2

150

 

5,6

23/5

460

 

8,5

15/2

750

2,6

8/5

160

 

5,7

47/10

470

 

8,6

38/5

760

2,7

17/10

170

 

5,6

23/5

460

 

8,7

77/10

770

2,8

9/5

180

 

5,7

47/10

470

 

8,8

39/5

780

2,9

19/10

190

 

5,8

24/5

480

 

8,9

79/10

790

3

2/1

200

 

5,9

49/10

490

 

9

8/1

800

3,1

21/10

210

 

6

5/1

500

 

9,1

71/10

810

3,2

11/5

220

 

6,1

51/10

510

 

9,2

41/5

820

3,3

23/10

230

 

6,2

26/5

520

 

9,3

83/10

830

3,4

12/5

240

 

6,3

53/10

530

 

9,4

42/5

840

3,5

5/2

250

 

6,4

27/5

540

 

9,5

17/2

850

3,6

13/5

260

 

6,5

11/2

550

 

9,6

43/5

860

3,7

27/10

270

 

6,6

28/5

560

 

9,7

87/10

870

3,8

14/5

280

 

6,7

57/10

570

 

9,8

44/5

880

3,9

29/10

290

 

6,8

29/5

580

 

9,9

89/10

890

4

3/1

300

 

6,9

59/10

590

 

10

9/1

900

4,1

31/10

310

 

7

6/1

600

       


IV. What type of odd should I use?

We recommend you use the odds that are the most understandable for you. If bookmakers work with different odds, just use this guideto convert them respectively. That way you make sure that you don't make mistakes when assessing a game and possibly loose money.

V. What are Value Bets?

Value Bets are bets that are overvalued by the bookmaker and thus, present too high of a quote. They are therefore at hand when the probability that an event will occur is much higher according to you estimation than assumed by the bookmaker.

Example

Bayern München plays Viktoria Cologne in the first round of the DFB Cup. The bookmakers' odd is 2,0 for a by Bayern. The implied probability is, thus, 50 percent. But as an experienced football expert you know that it is proportionally a lot more likely that Bayern will win. The implied probability should, therefore, rather be 80 or 90 percent. So it is a Value Bet that you should definitely bet on.

The challenge: finding Value Bets

Unfortunately, no bookmaker will offer you such an unrealistic odd you can detect at first sight. The challenge is to find Value Bets. 

KickForm Value Bets Finder

With the help of our KickForm ValueBets Finder that challenge becomes an easy thing for you. Since we issue our own odds with our calculations, you can directly compare them with those of bookmakers. That way you can automatically detect Value Bets. That's what we call Algorithm Recommendation.

Calculate a Value Bet with the help of the KickForm ValueBets Finder

To check whether you found a Value Bet, you have to multiply the KickForm probability in percent by the bookmaker's odd and then divide the result by 100.

(KickForm probability in percent x bookmaker's odd): 100 = KickForm Value Bet

If the result is above 1, it is a Value Bet. The following applies: The higher above 1, the more value the bet has. If the value is less than 1, you should stay away from the bet. It isn't a Value Bet.

Example

Dortmund play against Darmstadt. KickForm calculates that Dortmund will win with a probability of 65 percent. The bookmakers deploy an odd off 2,0. Have you found a Value Bet?
(65 Prozent x 2,0) : 100 = 1,3
The result is above 1, you found a Value Bet.You should bet on the match.

Alternative calculations

Alternatively you may as well calculate Value Bets with your own estimated probability. For that there are two different formulas that allow for you to check whether you found a Value Bet.

Calculating a Value Bet (option 1)

To check whether a match is a Value Bet, you have to multiply your estimated probability of a win by the bookmaker's odd and then divide the result by 100. If it is more than 1, you have found a Value Bet. You should most definitely bet on it. As a rule of thump it applies that: the more the result is over 1, the more successful the bet. If the result is less than 1, you should stay away from the bet. Ultimately this option works just as our KickForm Value Bet Finder with the difference that you use your own estimation instead of the KickForm-Prognosis.

Example

Bayern plays against Bremen. You estimate the probability of Bayern winning is 70 percent while while your bookmaker states an odd of 1,5.  (Your probability in percent x bookmaker's odd) : 100 =  Value (70 percent x 1,5) : 100 = 1,05 The result is above 1, you should bet on the match.

Calculating a Value Bet (option 2)

For the second option to calculate a Value Bet, you have to your estimated probability by the bookmaker's decimal odd and then subtract 100 percent from the result. If the result is above 0, you have found a Value Bet. You should bet on it. If the result is less than 0 and, therefore, negative, you should stay away from the bet. 

Example
Your bookmaker issues an odd of 2,0 for the match between Dortmund and Schalke. Since Dortmund is in a rather poor form lately, you estimate the probability of a win by Dortmund to be merely 40 percent. Is this bet forth it?
(40 percent x 2,0) –100 percent = -20 percent
The result si less than 0, you should not place the bet.

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