From beginners to experienced bettors, everyone should learn how to calculate betting margins. When shopping through online sportsbooks looking for the most competitive odds, a simple calculation can be used to identify the best odds on offer. But what are betting margins?

What are betting margins?

Betting margins represent the difference between the odds (an implied probability) the customer is offered and the true probability of the outcome. It begs the question, why do betting margins exist?

In 2019 bookmakers received £13.4 billion in bets within the United Kingdom. The provision of sportsbooks is an extremely profitable business and it’s through betting margins that companies turn your bets into profits.

Bookmakers accept bets on a market and attempt to price it in such a way that it does not represent the true probability of the outcome. The use of a margin gives sportsbooks the edge over bettors.

Bookmakers aim to set the odds so that they are attractive to both sides of the market. But the odds can’t be fully balanced or they wouldn’t turn a profit. So, by building in a profit margin (also called the ‘overround’) into the betting odds, it means they will make money on all possible outcomes.

The key for bettors is to seek out where you think the odds represent good value for you – that is higher odds than your own estimation of the probability. For example, if a bookmaker prices a team as 4/1 to win and you think it should be more like 3/1 then you have found betting value.

How does a betting calculator work?

All bettors should aim to understand how betting works – in an industry where knowledge is power, getting to grips with all the elements of a bet and the mathematics used to calculate the return on any stakes for a wager is going to be hugely beneficial.

A betting calculator allows bettors to skip the complex maths and streamlines the whole process. Margin calculators can be found on a variety of sports betting sites, such as this great tool for converting odds into probability.

It’s easy to use. Simply enter the odds (American, fractional, or decimal), followed by the stake placed on the bet and the tool will determine how much profit you should expect to make. The calculator will produce the probability as a percentage.

The use of calculators for FIFA Esports betting

The use of betting calculators has grown in popularity in recent years, as has the Esports betting market. A combination of the lack of real sport as a result of the global COVID-19 virus and increased investment into the competitive Esports gaming market has led to a huge increase in traffic for Esports betting odds – notably, FIFA Esports betting.

FIFA is a very popular football video game which can be played entirely online and so is unaffected by a global pandemic. It also lends itself very well to competitive video gaming. Many online bookmakers are now offering odds on this particular Esport so online tools such as betting calculators are very useful for those who like to place bets on the outcomes.

Calculating the expected value of bets is always going to benefit the sportsbook user. We discussed the merits of using betting calculators and as bettors learn how to bet on FIFA Esports, we can only recommend those players try to calculate the expected value of bets.

There is always value in calculating betting margins and shopping around for best prices. It provides a building block in determining any profitable bet before you place it.

It’s important to note that by using a betting calculator bettors are able to learn more about the mathematical mechanics behind Esports betting and how obtaining the best possible betting odds to give you bigger wins is crucial to long term success. Why settle for 3/1 at William Hill when you can get 7/2 for the same bet over at Ladbrokes?

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