The odds you’ll find when visiting the Betway Sports betting website are used to express two things: the probability of an outcome and the money you’ll win if your bet is successful. And they hardly ever miss: in most cases, the predictions at Betway are right.
As a general rule, the less money you can win by betting on a result, the “safer” (or more likely) the same result is. It makes you wonder how bookmakers like Betway predict the outcome of an event, no matter if it’s a soccer match or a car race?
As you might expect, the bookmakers don’t rely on divination to predict the outcome of a soccer match. Instead, they work with professional predictors, sometimes called oddsmakers, to do the predicting for them. And the oddsmakers don’t have crystal balls or time machines in their offices – they have computers with huge piles of information.
Whenever a player does something notable on the football pitch – a goal, a free-kick, a foul, and anything in between – these events are recorded in a database. Based on these records, oddsmakers can draw up trends that outline how a player will perform in their next game. The same is true for coaches, referees, and everyone else who has an impact on the outcome of a match.
Plus, they take into account several other factors, like the advantage of the home turf (teams usually tend to perform better if they play at their home stadium as opposed to when they visit another one), any injuries or suspensions, the time of the day, the weather, and so on. All these factors are taken into account when calculating the probability of each outcome.
From probabilities to odds
Based on these probabilities, oddsmakers can predict which team is the more likely to win a match, which players are more likely to score or get yellow cards, how many goals are likely to be scored during the match, and every other option you can bet on. The bookmakers then take these probabilities, adjust them to ensure they remain profitable, and post them on their websites or their retail locations.
Can I calculate the odds myself?
Well, you could – but it would be a huge task – and not the calculations themselves but the process of collecting all the necessary information. When we mentioned “big data” above, we meant big – the records of all players on each team, plus all the officials and coaches. Plus, there is always the algorithm needed to transform the information into probabilities. Of course, if your goal isn’t to bet perfectly every time, you can always go with safer bets, without accumulators, with a long-term strategy. But that’s a story for another time.