Betting Odds explained: How are football odds calculated

Understanding betting odds is the most crucial factor before placing a sports bet. The quality of the odds you are getting is essential, and if you don't know how to calculate them on your own, you should learn. Not understanding the odds is the main reason people lose funds in the long run.

In our article, we would like to help you learn more about football betting in general, and how to understand odds and probabilities better, as well as how bookmakers work. We also have all the latest news and possible winning bets for you right here on Football Whispers. We can provide you with our latest football betting tips as well as for each specific league like our Premier League predictions. Your winnings will depend on how well you study your probabilities and understand exactly what you are getting into. Each bookmaker has specific terms and conditions which you must watch out for as well.

How do betting odds work? Odds explained


Calculating the odds is a long and hard process, but if you get the hang of it, you would be better equipped when you place bets and understand what is at stake in the future and to calculate probabilities yourself. You will become an expert calculator after a while but for now, let us help because it is nearly impossible to win just by chance.

Analyzing the Data

Data analysis is the first and most crucial step in the process of calculating the odds. Bookmakers usually hire specialists, like traders and odds compilers to compile all the data possible and make sense of it. Here we are talking about the smallest decimals and fractions of odds possible in order to know what types of bets they can offer.

They have the best tools possible and work with the best software to ensure that they get near-perfect results and objective statistical evaluation of each game and the possibilities. How likely is it that an event will occur during the match?

That's why these people answer every day by providing odds for hundreds of thousands of games in different sports.

The best people work on the most popular football events and teams, such as Bundesliga, English Premier League, FIFA World Cup, UEFA Champions League, and other specials markets such as Next Manager to leave, for example.

These days there is just too much information for an average person to take in, so bookies employ these specialists to help you make a profit. To help you get a kick start, certain ones can offer promo codes in order to give you a “free” bet which will let you experiment with various bookmakers. This can insure that even if you can't secure any winnings on your first try, you get a shot to miss.

Cash Projections

The next step after calculating each outcome's possibilities is to include the cash projections into the equation.

Bookmakers use advanced algorithms to calculate how much cash flow would be placed on a specific market. In addition to that, they have a database of past cash projections that helps them calculate the number better.

You might ask yourself, ‘Why are cash projections so important?' Well, cash projections help bookmakers keep an individual balance on each outcome and bet, so they don't mix up anything and end up losing a lot of money.

This eliminates certain risks of losing money, and bookmakers aren't too fond of losing money even to their customers.

Cash projections are a part of the odds, and they help market the events as well. Thanks to cash projections, bets that wouldn't usually see the light of day would attract a few more customers because the cash flow projections were added to the mix.

Whether the margin is low or high, it depends on the popularity of the sport or event.

The Margin

After bookies have calculated the odds and how much money they would stand to make from the matched, they need to post the odds.

But unfortunately, odds don’t leave the printing press without an adjustment first. They go through what’s called a “margin” or sometimes even called “juice.” this mysteries factor allows bookmakers to make their money.

We all know that bookies don’t offer fair odds to their customers, that’s why more and more people prefer to wager on betting exchanges instead.

The bookmakers use the margin and provide overall odds that are slightly lower than what they should be. If both outcomes have the same percent probability, then the odds should be even (2.0), which means that if you wager £100, you will stand to make £200 if you win.

Unfortunately, the actual odds bookies provide are lower than the conventional ones, which means that they might offer something like 1.5 or 1.9 depending on their generosity instead of even odds.

The difference between the odds is the “margin” itself. The best online bookmakers have a margin of about three to five percent, while land-based shops have a higher percentage because they pay more significant taxes than online platforms.

Many different bookmakers offer various offers to take advantage of the best odds on the market, like the Ladbrokes welcome bonus or the Coral welcome offer.

Margin odds

Calculating Football Odds – Frequently Asked Questions

live betting odds

Why do odds change?

The odds change because of physical events during the match itself, like a red flag, player change, injury, penalty, goal, or other events that might change the match's outcome. Another reason why the odds change is because of the initial cash projections, whenever they have to be adjusted. This is why you should always check, double check and check again before the teams' you bet on's games to make sure you are aware of exactly who is playing on allsides etc.

How can punters benefit from the football odds?

There are a couple of advantages to punters. He first one is that bookies may be wrong. We are so sure that we are getting the best that they provide. But that's not necessary. Analysts can be wrong; they are people too.

Bookies focus their best resources on more significant leagues and don't put as much work in minor leagues and competitions.

The odds there might not be the best, and there could be mistakes. Another way to benefit is to know where to place bets. When large sums of money are poured into one place, there is a vortex, and opportunities arise where you can place bets and get good wins off them.

Have bookies made a big mistake with calculating the odds in the past?

=Yes, they have. At the start of the 2016 season, all kinds of bookies placed different odds in the style of 5000/1 on Leicester City to win, and in the end, they did. Leicester's team quite literally defied all odds and very few bets could have implied a Foxies' win over the entire season.

That year bookmakers lost millions or square billions of dollars because they were all wrong when calculating the odds correctly. You can be sure that when they check back on it now, they cannot believe what happened, and neither could anybody in the soccer world at the time. That team will forever be engraved in the History books.

Our Final Conclusion

Odds are a significant part of the bookmaker business. They are the bread of the bookies because that's what they take out money to make a buck. Calculating the odds is a hard and essential task, and bookmakers only give the job to the most professional individuals in their field.

These people gather the necessary data, add the cash flow projections to it, and calculate the odds' margin before they release the price.

And they do that every day for millions of events across multiple sports and competitions. Bookmakers have made mistakes in the past, but they aren't that notable.

Read more how to get the best betting odds here.

Gavin is a full-time copywriter based in the UK and has developed in-depth knowledge of the igaming world by working in the betting industry for over five years. During this time, he has written thousands of articles covering various topics, including bookmaker reviews, ‘how to’ guides, bonus comparisons and much more.