Confused about Betting Odds? This Guide Will Make You A Pro

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Sports betting is now extremely popular and there are plenty of different markets that sports fans can bet on no matter what sport they like. However, while betting is something that can bring about a lot of entertainment, you will need to make sure that you have a strong grasp of how odds work. If you do not, you can end up losing a considerable sum of money. This is where this guide will come in handy.

Odds Explained Fully

What exactly do odds represent? Well, let us answer this question with an example. In Nigeria, we love football, so we are going to use a football example.

Let us pretend that Nigeria are playing England in a friendly at the magnificent stadium that is Wembley. Below you can find the odds that a sportsbook is offering up for this event.


Winning Odds





So, as you can see, England have been given odds of 1.60 to win, while Nigeria have been given odds of 6.00 to win.

But what does this mean exactly? Well, to put it simply, odds are an indication of a possible outcome occurring.

So, in the above example, England are heavy favourites to win the friendly match while Nigeria are complete underdogs with the bookies. According to the bookmakers, the two teams are not evenly matched, and England should win the match comfortably.

So, what is the actual chance of England winning the game with odds of 1.60? To work this out, we only need to use a simple equation.

Probability = 1/provide decimal odds

So, in the example that we provided above, England have odds of 1.60 to beat Nigeria in a football friendly. The probability that they come out on top can be seen below:

1/1.60 = 0.63 = 63%

On the other hand, Nigeria have odds of 6.00 to win, so the chance of them actually doing so are:

1/6.00 = 0.17 = 17%

If you want to win money when it comes down to sports betting (let’s face it, who doesn’t?), it is imperative that you know what the probability of something happening is when it is expressed in betting odds.

How Sports Odds Work

So, let us pretend that you like the odds that the sportsbook has provided for an England win. After all, England have a very good team with one of the most dangerous attacking lines in world football in the shape of Raheem Sterling, Harry Kane, and Jadon Sancho. When these three players are on form and playing in tandem, there are not many defences that can live with them. Therefore, you reckon that they will easily beat our beloved Nigeria. So, if you placed a bet on England to win, how much profit would you make if they go on to become victorious?

Well, once again, all we need to answer this question is a very simple equation.

Stake x Odds = Returns

Let us say that you decide to place N10,000 on England to win because you are that confident that they will do so. England go on to win 4-0 thanks to a brace from Kane and a goal apiece from Jack Grealish and Phil Jones.

10,000 x 1.60 = 16,000

You would see a return of N16,000, with a profit of N6,000 because you have to take away your initial wager.

This is Why Odds Are Very Important

It is extremely important for you to find the best odds available and the example that we provide below will prove why this is the case.

Let us imagine that we have two sports gamblers, one goes by Paul and the other goes by Peter. Both of them are experienced sports gamblers and get an impressive 65% of their wagers correct. However, Paul finds average odds of 1.90, while Paul finds average odds of 2.00. Now, let us say that each one of them places 1,000 bets every year – they will see 650 of them win and 350 of them lose. If they bet the N1,000 on each match, their yearly results would look like this:

Paul: 650 x 0.9 + 350 x (-1) = 235 x N1,000 = N235,000
Peter: 650 x 1 + 350 x (-1) = 300 x N1,000 = N300,000

So, as you can see, Paul is missing out on a N65,000 every year just because he does not make as much of an effort as Peter does when it comes to finding the bests odds to bet on for a particular event.

To be honest with you, there is simply no excuse for Paul’s lack of effort as there are plenty of oddschecker sites out there that you can use to find some of the best odds around. You will not even need to spend more than ten minutes of your time doing so. If there is only one thing that you end up taking away from this page (we obviously hope there is more than one), it is that you understand the importance of finding the best odds available. We mean, if you were buying a new house, you would do plenty of research to ensure that you get the best deal possible, so why would you not do that with odds as well? You are still spending your hardly-earned cash.

In a perfect world, we would have money at all the best bookies for Nigerians so that you can compare the odds whenever you would like to make a bet on a particular sport. However, the world that we live in is far from ideal and most of us do not have unlimited money. Therefore, we highly recommend that you open an account with at least two of the bookies that we highlight on this site. If you have already read our reviews, then you will know that they all provide competitive odds.

What Are Value Bets?

In order to have a successful betting career, you need to learn how to find what is known as value bets. To find out the value of a wager, there is another easy equation that we can make use of. All the equations that we use are pretty straightforward, so you do not need to be a maths genius to increase your odds of winning.

The equation that we can make use of is:

Value = (Odds x probability)-1

Let us give you another example here so things become easier to understand. Let us say that the international football break is now over in Europe and there are Premier League matches being played at the weekend. Arsenal are playing Manchester United and the winning odds that bookmaker provides for both of the teams.


Winning Odds



Manchester United


So, Arsenal have odds of 1.80 to win while Manchester United have odds of 3.00 to win. We do a bit of research to find out about the form of both teams and what players will be missing due to suspension and injury and we come to the conclusion that Manchester United have about a 45% chance of being victorious. Is this a value bet?

Using the equation that we just provided above, we get the following:

(3.00 x 0.45) – 1 = 0.35

Whenever you get a value that is larger than zero when using this equation, you will have what is known as a value bet. So, as there were odds of 3.00 and we believed that there was a 45% probability that Manchester United would win, we have 10% value with the bet that Manchester United will beat Arsenal.

So, why is it a good idea to bet if you can prove that there is plenty of value involved? Well, in order to be a successful gamble, you need to be able to assess likely outcomes better than the bookmaker that you have an account with. If you can manage to do this regularly, then you will see yourself walking away with plenty of profits. In the above example, we believed that Manchester United had a 45% chance of beating Arsenal, while the bookie’s odds of 3.00 shows that they felt that Manchester United had a 33.3% chance of being victorious. This is definitely a value bet as we believe that Manchester United’s chances of coming out on top are higher than what the sportsbook believes.

What About Betting Exchange?

There are some bookmakers out there that allow their players to bet against their fellow customers instead of against the bookie. In this scenario, customers can request odds from other customers. This is what is called a betting exchange. 1XBet is one such bookmaker that offers betting exchanges to Nigerians.

So How Does It Work?

The main difference between this and any other type of betting is that you can place a lay bet. In other words, you will be able to place a bet on a team to lose and not to win. Every bet that is put down with a betting exchange actually has two bets – one bet for a team to be victorious and one bet backing that same team to lose.

So, if you want to place a football exchange bet and you place N1,000 on Aston Villa to win at odds of 4.00, which will give you a profit of N3,000. You will then need to find a fellow punter that is happy to risk N,3000 at 1.30 for N1,000 returns.

Since the customers are placing bets against each other, the bookie does not really care which team wins as they take commission from any winnings that are made when betting exchanges take place.

The Benefits of a Betting Exchange

The ability to make a betting exchange gives you greater choice as a sports bettor. Before betting exchanges were invented, if a bookie did not want to risk the stakes or odds that you were suggesting, there was no chance of you being able to place a bet. With the invention of betting exchanges, this all changed as you simply had to locate someone else who would be happy to lay your bet. To put it in other words, betting exchanges now allow customers to find the odds and markets that they’re looking for.

Furthermore, with a betting exchange, you will end up with more value. Bookies remove fractions off all of their odds so that they are able to make money. With a betting exchange though, the layers have to offer up fair odds because failure to do so will result in nobody else accepting their wager.

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