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Sports Betting Numbers and Facts You Need to Know

April 30, 2014

As a sports bettor, it’s very important to understand the odds and the chances of winning. Therefore, I decided it would be a good idea to create a blog post with some sports betting statistics, odds calculations and facts everyone needs to know. Many of these you might already know, but hopefully you’ll learn a bit from this:

Basic straight bet odds calculations

Betting against the spread – a straight bet – is pretty simple to calculate the odds on. You get 11/10 odds ATS, which means a win on an $11 wager nets you a $10 profit. Straight bets are the most common types of bets. The average bettor wins about 50% of the games, which is a loss in the long run. Top sports bettors win around 60% of the time, which is a big win in the long run. 52.4% is the break-even point on straight bets.

Parlay and teaser odds calculations

Parlays and teasers are a lot more fun to wager on than straight bets, but they’re also more difficult to win. Therefore, they payout better. Parlay and teaser odds differ from sportsbook to sportsbook. So make sure you know the odds at your sportsbook before wagering. Standard football parlay odds are as follows:

2 Teams 13/5
3 Teams 6.5/1
4 Teams 12/1
5 Teams 25/1
6 Teams 45/1
7 Teams 85/1
8 Teams 165/1
9 Teams 300/1
10 Teams 550/1
11 Teams 850/1
12 Teams 1150/1
13 Teams 1450/1
14 Teams 2250/1
15 Teams 3000/1

And the odds on teasers…

6pts 6.5 pts 7 pts 7.5 pts
2 Teams 10/11 10/12 10/13 10/14
3 Teams 3/2 13/10 11/10 1/1
4 Teams 5/2 2/1 3/2 13/10
5 Teams 4/1 7/2 3/1 2/1
6 Teams 6/1 5/1 4/1 3/1
7 Teams 10/1 9/1 8/1 5/1
8 Teams 15/1 12/1 10/1 8/1
9 Teams 20/1 15/1 12/1 10/1
10 Teams 25/1 20/1 15/1 12/1
11 Teams 35/1 25/1 20/1 15/1
12 Teams 50/1 35/1 25/1 20/1
13 Teams 75/1 50/1 35/1 25/1
14 Teams 100/1 75/1 50/1 35/1
15 Teams 150/1 100/1 75/1 50/1

Understanding return on investment (ROI) ROI is a big thing to us sports bettors. ROI is figured by dividing your profit by the amount wagered. For example, say you bet on 1,000 games at $11 a pop and win half of them. On 500 of the games, you lose $11 ($5,5000 total). On 500 of the games, you win $10 ($5,000 total). Your net loss was $500 on $11,000 worth of bets. Dividing $500 (losses) by $11,000 (amount wagered), we get an ROI of –4.5%. ROI is important because it shows you just how successful you are as a sports bettor. In the above example, we averaged losing 50 cents every game played. That’s not going to cut it. As you can see, you’ll need to win far more often than 50% to make money betting on sports.

College football betting statistics (based on 2013 season) It’s actually quite amazing how similar ATS records for home and road teams in college football were in 2013. Home teams were 421-415-11 (50.36%) and road teams were 364-366-7 (49.86%). So if you are looking for an edge by randomly betting on either home or road teams, you won’t find it. What about the favorites? They covered 51.64% of the time, while underdogs beat the spread 48.36%. What about the overs? They hit 49.64% of the time. What does this data tell me? You can’t rely on betting on random overs/unders/favorites/dogs/etc. To win, you have to base decisions on individual games.

NFL betting statistics (based on 2013 season) Since there are fewer teams, there is less data in the NFL, but still enough to give us what we need to know. In 2013, the favorites covered at a ridiculous 70.94% clip. Underdogs won only 29.06% of the time. Home teams faired pretty well also. They covered 52.29% of the time (enough to turn a slight profit), while the road teams covered 47.71%. Overs hit 47.92%. Had you bet heavily on the favorites in 2013, you would have made a killing. What does this data tell me? Absolutely nothing. The 70.94% cover rate for the favorites was nothing more than an anomaly. I wouldn’t take this data to mean you should bet big on favorites this year. In fact, you might want to go the other way. Vegas might expect big betting on the favorites after last year’s results, so expect tighter spreads to compensate.