View Full Version : Definite Win

3rd November 2016, 07:38 PM

I'm newish to sports betting and was just looking at some odds.
Take tennis for example player A is paying 1.2 for a win and player B 15 for the win.
I can see that the match is close to finishing with player A having dominated all sets and will without a doubt win unless by some act of god he breaks a leg.
So I jump in and put $100 down. Now I only make $20, but it was a safe $20.
Is this a valid strategy? I know it's not a certainty in sports like boxing where a lucky punch can throw the match last minute. But in say soccer 5 min to go and score is 2-0 let's say, the likely hood of a loss is very low.
I know you not going to make huge payouts but it's more for the fun, and a couple bucks for a beer.

What you all think? Or am I a complete fool who is missing something obvious.


4th November 2016, 11:05 AM
Hi Cain, welcome to the forum!

Betting on low odds selections does tend to payout better than regularly betting on higher odds selections, primarily due to the favourite-longshot bias (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Favourite-longshot_bias). With that in mind, if you bet on every selection that was at 1.20 odds or less, you should still lose out on the long-run due to bookmaker margins.

Keep in mind that bookmakers only offer odds if they believe the selection has a chance of losing. They have a ton of experience and a lot of data at their disposal so they are normally pretty accurate at assessing probabilities. You may see something as a definite win, but there will be a reason why the bookmaker doesn't think so.

With the decimal odds system you can take the reciprocal of the odds to figure out the implied probability of winning. For example, with player A at 1.20 odds, the implied probability of winning is 1/1.2 = 83.33%. If you believe player A has a better than 83.33% chance of winning then you should back them.

Every now and then I feel a bookmaker has got it completely wrong and will jump in aggressively. They rely heavily on stats but sometimes they miss subtle details in the game (body language suggesting fatigue, particular tendencies of a specific player, etc.). I've backed tennis players in-play as high as 1.38 odds when I've personally written off the chances of their opponent.

I recommend you use your judgement and bet in moderate amounts until you build up betting experience. This will enable you to assess whether you genuinely have an edge over bookmakers in low-odds selections. You can track your results (using a betting tracker like http://www.aussportsbetting.com/tools/betting-tracker-excel-worksheet/) to monitor your performance.

6th November 2016, 07:58 PM
Thank you for that.

Another question. I'm looking at alitte matched betting (my mate told me about it). I have just come across a game (soccer). Arsenal vs Tottanham, Bet365 paying $3.6 for the draw, but bet fair is paying $3.75 for a lay bet on the draw. Am I reading this wrong? cause in my mind if I place a $100 bet with bet365 for the win and a lay bet with betfair, I can only win???? this just doesn't seem right?

7th November 2016, 08:54 AM
Hi Cain,

Those odds makes sense because with lay bets it isn't Betfair who pays out at 3.75 odds, it is the lay bettor who does. A guaranteed win opportunity only occurs if the lay odds (adjusted for commission) are less than the bet365 odds.

With Betfair back odds you play the role of the punter, while with lay odds you play the role of the bookmaker. If you place a back wager you are hoping the selection will win and if you place a lay wager you are hoping the selection will lose.

If you placed a $10 lay bet on the draw at 3.75 odds, you are effectively playing the role of the bookmaker, with some other Betfair member playing the role of the punter with a $10 back bet. The amount of funds at risk with a lay bet are dependent on the odds, not just the stake. The member who is backing the draw stands to lose $10 if the bet loses and win a $27.50 profit if the bet wins. In contrast, as the lay bettor you will win $10 if the draw doesn't occur but will lose $27.50 if the result is a draw.

A guaranteed win is possible if the lay odds (adjusted for commission) are less than the bet365 odds. This is because when you're a lay bettor you want lower odds, not higher odds.

Playing around with this calculator may help to clarify things:

For the Original Wager Details, enter 100 as the stake, 3.60 as the back odds and 0% commission (because it's a back bet with bet365). Then enter 3.75 lay odds, No for "With same exchange as original wager?" and 5% as the exchange commission. The calculator will inform you that the lay odds need to bet below 3.47 for a guaranteed opportunity to make money. If you instead enter 3.30 as the lay odds the calculator will show a number of strategies to make a guaranteed profit.