Sports Betting Math That You Need to Know

sports betting math

3 minutes

Last Updated: September 27, 2022

Sports betting is a simple and fun activity that can greatly enhance your experience when watching your favorite sports.

That said, if you want to be a sports bettor that’s consistently winning, you have to take this activity very seriously.

Primarily, this includes understanding the math behind sports betting. Much like casino gambling, sports betting favors the house.

Luckily, you can minimize this advantage by understanding the sport you’re betting on and the numbers around it. Read this article and learn all of the crucial sports betting math that you need to know.

Understanding How Odds Work

One of the most complicated aspects of the sports betting experience for beginner bettors is actually understanding how odds work.

That said, this is one mathematical feature of sports betting that you should absolutely be certain of.

When it comes to this, there are three main types of odds you’ll come across with most bookies, including These are decimal, fractional, and moneyline (American) odds.

understanding odds sports betting

Converting the odds to their implied probabilities is arguably the most important mathematical aspect of sports betting.

The key to finding good-value bets based on math is to find markets with a higher winning probability than the bookie’s implied probability.

Choosing the Right Bets

If you already know how to read different sports betting odds formats, the next thing you need is an effective approach you’ll use to pick the right markets and bets.

One of the simplest methods you can implement without much effort is to shop around for the best offers you can find.

Before placing a bet, compare the odds at several bookmakers to see which one offers you the best value.

This is especially useful if you’re often betting on close games. Perhaps you think that the odds on one team don’t really reflect its winning chances.

Analyzing such information and applying math to see which bet offers you the best value can greatly contribute to your long-term profits.

The Math Behind Sports Betting Bonuses

Lastly, if you want to fully use the numbers to your advantage, it’s also crucial to understand the math behind the various sports betting bonuses that you can claim, especially online.

Most online betting sites offer you some sort of bonus for signing up or committing for prolonged periods. That said, not all of these bonuses are equally favorable.

For example, just because one bonus lists a more rewarding amount, it doesn’t mean that it offers you better value. And, the only way to find out the truth is to look into the other numbers listed in the fine print.

sports betting and bonuses

In some cases, the sportsbook might limit the minimum odds at which you’ll have to wager. Moreover, it could also have wagering requirements that are more challenging to clear.

It could even have a bonus matching less than 100% of the deposit, meaning that you have to deposit more than you get in bonus money. All these numbers are crucial to understand and calculate before you start betting.

How Many Bets Do You Need to Win to Be Profitable?

So, with all of the math we’ve discussed above in mind, what percentage of your bets do you need to win to be a profitable sports bettor?

Before we give you an answer, we can bet that it’s lower than you think. The answer is that sports bettors who win 53% of their bets most likely have winning records.

Moreover, professional sports bettors winning around 55% of their bets are regularly profiting from their betting activities.

So, to put it into context, if you bet on 20 football games in the last month and won 11 while losing 9, you probably have a winning record.

Again, this is something most sports bettors would look at and think that it’s bad. However, taking money from the sportsbook, especially in the long run, is something very few sports bettors manage to achieve.

Considering all of the numbers we’ve shared, hopefully, you’ve learned the importance of some key math that can significantly impact your sports betting experience.

Remember the key points we’ve talked about, and make sure to always put in the time and effort to find the best bets based on statistical data.

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