What Does True Odds Mean In Sports Betting and Wagering?
There is absolutely nothing worse in this world than getting less than you deserve. That holds true not only in every day life, but in the sports betting industry as well. Every time a bettor places a bet at sportsbook or online, they have no choice but to accept the odds offered to them. Most times, sportsbooks offer up odds that are much lower than what should be offered. This not only effects the potential payout, but could affect the bankroll, as a bettor may be inclined to bet more in order to win more money. This is why knowing how to find ‘true odds” is so important. It helps bettors to understand the difference between odds that have value and odds that don’t.
What Does True Odds Mean?
When you hear someone use the term “true odds” they are referring to the actual odds of something happening as opposed to what a linemaker or sportsbook would offer. The “true odds” are a better indication of the actual probability of something happening.
As an example, let’s take a look at a simple coin flip. If you are going to bet on said coin flip and parlay the results of three coin flips together, you would be in line for a solid payout. We can easily figure out the “true odds” for this scenario since we know that there are just two possible outcomes for each coin flip – heads or tails. For three tosses, there are eight different possible combinations – heads/heads/heads, heads/heads/tails, heads/tails/heads, tails/heads/heads, heads/tails/tails, tails/heads/tails, tails/tails/heads and tails/tails/tails. Each one of these outcomes is just as likely as any other and since a coin flip is a total random even, there is no possible handicapping angles we can use to better our chances.
For this scenario, the “true odds” would be the odds we would have to get in order to break even over the long term. If you bet the same combination every single time – tails/heads/tails – you should expect to be correct once every eight flips, meaning you would need “true odds” of 7/1 in order to break even.
How to Find Value in True Odds
Once you determine the “true odds” of any bet the hard part is done. The next step is deciphering if those odds actually have any value attached to them. Using the above example, since we determined 7/1 are the “true odds”, any offer above 8/1 would provided plenty of value because the payout is better that the “true odds”. Finding this discrepancy in the odds is a solid way to make money over the long term (as long as you consistently pick winners).
How Do Sportsbooks Get Away with Offering Non-True Odds?
Now that we know how to find the value in “true odds”, we should be a bit skeptical of the odds Las Vegas sportsbooks offer. Most sportsbooks offer up 6/1 odds for three-game parlays, which is well below the true odds. By making this bet on a constant basis you are sure to lose money over the long-term, unless you are an exceptional handicapper and can hit these at a very high, unsustainable percentage.
Sportsbooks have absolutely no interest in offering true odds to their customers at any time. They make their money by offering odds that give them the biggest possible edge at all times. As a bettor, the way to get around this is with hard work and focus. Successful bettors put in the time and effort to hunt down “true odds” and capitalize on them when they see an opportunity.
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