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Sports betting continues to be one of the dominant contributors to the online GGY in the UK, and together with casino gameplay it accounts for more than 93% of the money generated within the iGaming space.

Football betting is particularly popular on these shores, which is why operators make this type of wagering a key focus of their welcome offers for new players. You can find out more at, in a bid to identify the best and most competitively priced sites for placing football bets.

In this post, we will take a closer look at the presentation of football betting odds, while asking how you can identify the best value prices in real-time.

How do Football Betting Odds Work?

On a fundamental level, football betting is a process of predicting the outcome of a specific event, whether this is an individual match, league, or international tournament. If your prediction is correct, you will win money, with your precise return determined by the odds that were in play when you placed your wager.

But how are these odds calculated? Well, every football match and tournament have a finite number of outcomes, each of which has a basic mathematical probability of coming to fruition. To put this into context, rolling a dice will deliver one of six potential outcomes, each of which has a basic 16.67% chance of happening.

Of course, the probability of outcomes in a football match is also influenced by the respective quality of each team, along with factors such as home advantage, form, and injuries.

Sportsbooks factor in all these elements to create fair and representative betting odds, which can change in real-time and may also be influenced by the distribution of early wagers. Such odds also create a relatively clear value proposition for punters to consider, as you look to measure the probability of winning against the potential returns on offer.

For example, let’s say that you want Chelsea to beat Manchester City in this weekend’s Champions League final and back them at the average price of 7/2. This makes them slight outsiders compared to City’s price of 12/5, while it also means that you will accrue £7 for every £2 wagered online.

So, a wager of £10 will pay out £35 in winnings if Chelsea do prevail, which is a tidy return by anybody’s standards and one that should create a tangible value proposition.

You can also use a sportsbook’s odds to calculate your estimated probability of winning, using a simple and trusted formula (probability (%) = B / (A+B).

As an example, let’s say that Chelsea’s odds drifted to 4/1 ahead of the showpiece final. This should be calculated at 1 / (4+1), creating a value of 0.20 and a 20% percent chance that the Blues will overcome Pep Guardiola’s men over the course of 90 (or 120 minutes).

Conversely, should City’s price shorten further to ¼ as they become odds-on favourites, this will equate to an 80% chance of the EPL champions prevailing. This is therefore a far more likely outcome, albeit one that will pay out at a noticeably smaller and less favourable rate.

Identifying and Creating Value in Football Betting Odds

This represents the key challenge for punters, who must identify the best value odds and wagers while making the most of their bankroll and respecting their unique appetite for risk.

But what steps can you take to determine the best betting selections or actively create value in real-time odds? Well, your first step should be to develop a viable bankroll management strategy, which is based on a finite sum of money that you can afford to lose each day, week, or month.

It’s best to keep this as simple as possible, perhaps by utilising a simple system to determine how much you should wager based on each wager’s unique odds.

When backing odds-on favourites, for example, you’ll note that the probability of winning is always more than 50%. This, combined with lower than average returns should encourage you to increase your stake or betting unit incrementally, so that you can optimise returns without risking your hard-earned money.

However, betting on outside or less likely outcomes should carry a much lower stake, as the potential returns increase sharply with your increased risk as a punter.

Beyond this, we would also recommend utilising unique wagers and markets such as handicap betting. This is typically used to create additional value and lengthen prices when backing odds-on favourites, by handicapping such sides by one or more goals.

If you were going to wager on the UCL final once again, for example, you’ll see that neither option offers huge value. However, backing Chelsea to win with a -1 goal handicap means that the Blues must win by two clear goals for the wager to come in, potentially increasing your odds as high as 15/1 in the process.

The key is to use handicap betting selectively and ideally in instances where there’s a clear favourite, while ensuring that the structure of your wager doesn’t overly compromise your chances of winning.