Frequently Asked Questions
Sports betting odds are the activity of predicting sports results and placing a bet on the outcome. Sports betting preferences vary depending on the culture but the vast majority of bets are placed on football, American football, basketball, baseball, hockey, track cycling, auto racing, mixed martial arts, and boxing on both amateur and professional levels. Sports betting can also extend to non-athletic events, such as reality show contests and political elections, and non-human activities such as horse racing, greyhound racing, and illegal cockfighting. Also, it is not uncommon for sports betting websites to offer wagers for entertainment events such as the Grammy Awards, the Oscars, and the Emmy Awards.
The answer to this question actually depends to some extent on what part of the world we’re talking about. There are certain sports that are typical in some regions, but not so common in others. However, there are a few international sports favoured by bettors from all around the world. In terms of the total number of people who bet on them, the following sports definitely rank the highest:
- Football: the most-watched sport worldwide. This makes it the most popular and profitable sport to place bets on. Most bets in football are straightforward. You simply have to predict whether there will be a win or a draw or state the final score. Of course, there are other types of bets too and from different countries, as the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, France, Spain etc. Find all the important Football leagues and championships at DarkSport, like the English Premier League, the UEFA Champions League and others.
- Basketball: one of the fastest-growing sports in terms of popularity. While the NBA is the most famous league for the sport, collegiate leagues in the U.S. and the European basketball league also generate a lot of betting volume across the globe. Most basketball bets involve what is known as spread betting. This requires you to predict whether a team will beat another team by a particular margin. The most exciting bets involve predicting the margin by which a favourite team will beat an underdog when the top team is playing an away game.
- Tennis: betting on tennis competitions is easy both for newbies and experienced bettors because the game has no draws. Tennis provides a variety of simple bets, however, the most important one is predicting the winner of a match/tournament. To win a tennis bet, you need to study each player’s ranking and performance in previous tournaments. Other factors include whether players perform better on grass courts (used in competitions like Wimbledon) or on clay. Before placing your bet on any match, you can study the analysis of pundits and gain a better picture of who is more likely to win.
- Cricket: one of the oldest sports out there that is popular all around the world but mostly watched and played in the Commonwealth countries, the British territories and South Africa. Match betting is the most common type of cricket wager. This is a simple bet where you need to pick one out of three possible outcomes, namely: home team will win, away team will win or there will be a draw. Next comes the completed match which is basically a bet where you put a prediction if the match will finish during that day or not. Tied match - you just simply put Yes or No on a wager if the match will finish with a tie. Innings Run - with this bet type you predict the number of runs scored in the first innings of the match, usually this bet is put as over/under wager. Top Bowler is another popular cricket bet where you bet on a specific person, in this case on the player you believe will take the most wickets during the match/series. These are just some of the most used types of cricket bets, however, there are many others offered as well, depending on the sportsbook.
Other popular sports for betting that are NOT on this list include baseball, darts, rugby and hockey.
The math underlying odds and gambling can help determine whether a wager is worth pursuing. The first thing to understand is that there are three distinct types of odds: fractional, decimal, and American (moneyline). These types represent different formats to give probabilities, which are also used by bookmakers, and one type can be converted into another. Once the implied probability for an outcome is known, decisions can be made regarding whether or not to place a bet or wager.
Converting Odds to Implied Probabilities:
Although odds require seemingly complicated calculations, the concept is easier to understand once you fully grasp the three types of odds and how to convert the numbers into implied probabilities.
- Decimal odds represents the amount that is won for every 1 unit that is wagered. For instance, if the odds are 3.00 that a certain horse wins, the payout is 300 units for every 100 units wagered. Decimal odds are the most popular odds currently in use. They are offered by almost all bookmakers around the globe. Understanding betting odds with a decimal odds system is simple. The decimal odds state clearly how much money will be gained from a bet of 1 unit.
Note that 1 unit stake can mean 1, 10, or 100 – just make sure you know the bookmakers unit stake of preference. Most decimal odds go out to 2 decimal places for greater accuracy of the odds. It is worth remembering that decimal odds include the return of the unit stake as well. So decimal odds of 3.00 for example, returns 30 units which is 20 units profit and the 10 units returned stake.
- Fractional odds, sometimes called British odds, is the next most common type of odds. They are written as a fraction, such as 6/1, or expressed as a ratio, like six-to-one and used mostly by UK bookmakers. These odds follow the same base as decimal odds in that they are figured from a 1 unit stake, but unlike decimal odds, they express a different meaning.
Fractional odds tell a punter how much profit will be returned from a 1 unit stake as opposed to how much in total will be returned from a 1 unit stake. An offer of 2/1 fractional odds will pay out two times per unit stake. At 5/1 fractional odds, a punter would be paid out five times per unit stake. If a unit stake was 100 $DARK, it would translate to a 500 $DARK.
- American odds or sometimes called moneyline odds are accompanied by a plus (+) or minus (-) sign, with the plus sign assigned to the lower probability event with the higher payout. American odds are based on a 100 unit stake and tell a positive or negative outcome. If it is written positively, then American odds tell how much profit you will make on a 100 unit stake. If it is written negatively, then American odds tell how much of a stake is needed to make 100 units on the bet.