## Best Odds for Matched Betting Guide

Do you want to learn about the best odds for matched betting? This guide breaks down the different types of betting odds, and explains their pros and cons when used for matched betting to find the best option for you.

There are 4 main types of betting odds:

- Moneyline Odds (American Odds)
- Decimal Odds (European Odds)
- Percentage Odds (Implied Probability Odds)
- Fractional Odds (English Odds)

Each betting odds format has its advantages. Except, Fractional Odds they’re potentially the worst thing ever invented!

When matched betting we want to be able to compare odds between both teams or outcomes quickly and determine if the odds are a close match. As a result, the closer the match between corresponding odds of a betting market the small the qualifying loss we will incur.

### What do Betting Odds Mean?

Alright, before we get stuck into learning about each type of odds format. First, we need to understand what betting odds actually represent. Why do we even have betting odds?

##### A brief history of betting odds:

Interestingly, some of the first forms of gambling didn’t have any odds you simply picked an outcome like a horse or golf player and the money bet on all outcomes, horse and players would be pooled together. At the end of the event everyone who choose the winner shares the money in the pool as winnings. The sportsbook, race course or golf club would take a percentage from the pool as commission. This is called Parimutuel Betting.

Although simple, when Parimutuel Betting you don’t know how much you will eventually get paid out if your bet wins. This is because the money in the pool can change after you’ve placed your bet. If more people start betting on the outcome you have chosen your potential winnings will be shared between more people, meaning less winnings for you.

As a result, people wanted to know how much they would get paid if their bet won before placing their bet. Due to this a number of betting odds systems were created by sportsbooks to represent to a customer how much a sportsbook will payout if a given sports bet is won.

However, betting odds don’t just represent the expected payout of a bet. They also represent the underlying probability that a sportsbook assigns to the event occurring. Due to this all betting odds can be converted into an implied probability or win percentage.

In summary betting odds represent:

- How much a sportsbook will payout if a bet wins.
- The Implied probability of the bet winning

The first odds format we are going to look at are Moneyline Odds. The odds format most popular in the United States

### Moneyline Odds Explained

Moneyline Odds, sometimes referred to as American Odds are the most popular odds format in the United States. Consequently, An immediate advantage of this format is that it will be available at every sportsbook in the USA

This odds format uses positive (+) and negative (-) signs to signify what the number following the sign represents.

#### Negative (-) Moneyline Odds:

Numbers with a negative (-) sign in front of them represents how much you need to bet in order to win $100. For example, At odds of -200, I need to bet $200 to win $100

#### Positive (+) Moneyline Odds:

On the other hand, Numbers with a positive (+) sign in front of them represents how much money you would win from a $100 bet. For example, At odds of +200, you would win $200 from a $100 bet.

The baseline odds in this format is 100. What I mean by this is that odds of +100 and -100 are them same thing. You bet $100 to win $100.

As soon as the payout from a $100 bet drops below $100. The odds flip from positive to negative. You can never get odds of +90 or +50.

Hypothetically, the odds of +50 i.e. You bet $100 and win $50 are the same as the odds of -200. As if I bet $200 at -200 I would win $100. Thus, Betting $100 at -200 would win $50.

If you’re keeping up with me so far good job. Moneyline odds are certainly tricky to get your head around at first.

#### Advantage and Disadvantages of Moneyline Odds When Matched Betting

In my opinion, One of the main disadvantages of moneyline odds are that they are hard to immediately understand how much money your bet will win when you are dealing with negative odds.

If I told you to tell me how much you would win from a $100 bet at odds -367. It would be hard for you to tell me without using a calculator.

However, the advantages of moneyline odds far outweigh the disadvantages.

Firstly, moneyline odds are available at every sportsbook.

Secondly, as most regular gamblers are using them it raises less suspicion on you’re account when matched betting.

Last, when using moneyline odds it’s quite easy to compare the odds of a two way market. For example, say we need to find a close match between the odds of two teams of a sports match by eye. A zero qualifying loss occurs when the odds of both team equal 100% when converted to a percentage. This is known as a low hold bet.

If you look at the table below you will see that odds of +300 are 25% when express as a win probability. In order to find a zero qualifying loss match we would want to find a sportsbook offer the opposing team at 75%. In you find 75% on the chart below, you see that the odds represented as moneyline odds are -300. This means we can take the moneyline odds of both teams ignore the +/- signs and just look for the closest number.

#### Summary of Moneyline Odds for Matched Betting:

**Advantages**:

- Available at all sportsbooks
- Raises no suspicion when betting
- Easy to compare two-way odds matches by eye.

**Disadvantages:**

- Difficult to quickly see payout from negative odds bets
- Difficult to quickly convert to implied probability

Ok, let’s move onto decimal odds.

### Decimal Odds Explained

Decimal odds are sometimes referred to as European odds. As the name suggests they are popular in Europe.

The decimal odds format differs from moneyline odds as there are no positive or negative odds. The odds are displayed as a decimal number starting at 1.00 and increasing up to infinity but most sportsbooks only display up to 1’000 or 10’000.

The payout for a winning bet using decimal odds is rather simple:

**Money Returned = Bet Stake x Decimal Odds**

One thing to note is that the payout factors in the original bet stake / money placed on the bet.

So a $100 bet at odds of 1.10 would return $110. The original $100 plus $10 winnings.

Therefore, a $100 bet at odds of 3.00 would return $300. The original $100 plus $200 winnings. This would be the equivalent of a +200 moneyline odds.

You can also covert decimal odds to an implied probability very quickly using the formula below:

**Implied Probability = 1 / Decimal Odds**

This is very useful when we start using advanced matched betting techniques which require the calculation of the expected value of a bet.

#### Advantage and Disadvantages of Decimal Odds When Matched Betting

One of the clear advantages of decimal odds are the ease at which you can quickly workout or estimate your bets potential winnings.

Another advantage is the simple conversion to an implied probability if you need to do some quick manual calculation or work out the expected value of a potential offer you have been sent.

However, decimal odds are not without it’s disadvantages. There is no guarantee all sportsbooks may offer decimal and decimal odds options may not be included in dutch matchers and oddsmatchers.

In contrast to moneyline odds, it is much harder to compare decimal odds by eye when trying to find a good 2-way Dutch bet. Take a look at the chart below and compare the decimal odds like we did with moneyline. The decimal odds of 4.00 equates to an implied probability of 25%. The correspond 75% bet that would make a zero qualifier loss is decimal odds of 1.33. Contrasting 4.00 and 1.33 it’s hard to determine how good a match they would be without consulting their implied probabilities.

Another disadvantage is that not all sportsbook may offer decimal odds.

#### Summary of Decimal Odds for Matched Betting

**Advantages:**

- Easy to see payout from our bets
- Easy and quick to covert to an implied probability

Disadvantages:

- Hard to compare odds between outcomes of a market by eye
- Not all sports may offer this odds format

### Percentage Odds Explained

As the name suggest this odds format is quite self explanatory. Rather than an odds system the implied probability of a bet is displayed. Instead of a team’s odds of winning displaying, +100 or 2.00. The odds would just be displayed as 50%

You may notice that if you use this odds setting when you total the percentages offered by the sportsbook the sum will be more than 100%, usually 105-110%. This is how sportsbooks make money by not offering the true odds. When matched betting we want to find a match between to sportsbook as close to 100%

As a result, The biggest advantage of percentage odds is we can scan between odds and compare odds the best using this method.

However, percentage odds have significant drawbacks. They are primarily used by people seeking value bets. Consequently, sportsbooks tend to subject accounts using this format to heightened scrutiny by their trading teams. This poses a challenge for matched bettors aiming to maintain a low profile and avoid detection.

Additionally, It’s hard to determine how much a bet will payout when we use percentage odds. Just like decimal odds, there is no guarantee all sportsbook will offer this odds format.

#### Summary of Percentage Odds for Matched Betting

**Advantages:**

- Easiest format to compare odds between sportsbooks

**Disadvatages:**

- Hard to know what our bet payout will be
- May put account under more scrutiny
- Not offered by all sportsbooks as an odds format

### Fractional Odds Explained

Well, Well, well what do we have here? Possibly the worst format of them all. They are however offered as an option by quite a few significant American sportsbooks so I’ll cover them here.

Fractional odds are sometimes referred to as English odds and are an odds format that originated for British and Irish Horse Racing. Fraction odds display how much money you would win as a ratio.

For example, 4/1 means that for every $1 you bet you will get $4 in winnings. Fractional odds of 5/2 mean for every $2 bet you will win $5 (every $1 bet will win $2.5)

Seems simple enough. However, issues arise when you start getting fractional odds like 8/13 or 16/5 it becomes trickier to know what we get paid and what probabilities these odds represent.

Additionally, it’s difficult to compare two fractional odds against each other by eye.

## Summary of Fractional Odds for Matched Betting

**Advantages:**

- None

**Disadvatages:**

- Hard to calculate winnings
- May not be available at all sportsbooks.
- Hard to compare two pairs of odds in Fractional

#### Are There Any Other Odds Formats?

There are some other odds formats. Mostly Asian odds formats such as Hong Kong Odds, Indonesian Odds and Malaysian Odds. You won’t ever uses these for matched betting.

## In Summary, What are the Best Odds for Matched Betting?

Now that we have looked at all the main odds formats, learned about their advantages and disadvantages. What are the best odds to use when matched betting?

In my opinion, there are two clear formats that are the best, decimal and moneyline odds. In most cases we use software to compare odds and calculate expected value. The only time the odds format will really matter is when we can’t use software. Maybe as the sportsbook is not listed on any Oddsmatchers / Dutch Matchers or we need to place a bet in-play whilst the game is live.

The most important factor of the odds format we’re using is that we blend in with the normal gamblers and don’t have our accounts put under any unnecessary scrutiny. This will maximize our profits.

For this reason I recommend you stick with the standard **American Moneyline Odds**.

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