Odds and Probability

Odds and Probability

While not exactly the same, odds and probability are often used as interchangeable words in sports betting. These two terms might confuse novice bettors. Consequently, it is a must for all interested parties to be aware of both odds and probability.  Learn the difference between the two and their significance to our NHL betting guide by tackling the vital concepts of odds and probability.


Odds represent the likelihood that an event will occur and the chance that the same event will not occur. To say it simply, it has an “odds for” and an “odds against” concepts involving the underdog and the favored team in sports betting. The probability, on the contrary, is the measure of the likelihood that an event is going to happen. The difference all comes down to measurement and representation.

When using the two together, you must know that the relationship between odds and probability is harmonious and complementary. The odds per market comes from the probability of the chosen selection winning. The favorite team has a higher chance of winning so bookmakers give them lower odds, while the underdog has a lower chance of winning so bookmakers give them higher odds.

To put the relationship into a clear picture, here is a complete equation for the two when calculated:

100 ÷ odds = probability %


As there is always a result in any event, the total sum of the probability that an event is going to happen or not is both 100%. A tie or a draw is impossible to happen in NHL because of the overtime and shootout being implemented. So if you’re betting, one team must have a 60% chance of winning the game and the other team must have a 40% chance. However, if we are going to follow that case, the sportsbook will never make money out of your bets. There would be no excess money or profit if the odds are represented in exactly 100%. To make sure that you’re still facing a house edge, they give lower odds with higher probability exceeding 100. This amount surpassing the 100% is called the sportsbook’s overround. The higher the overround, the lower the bettor’s profit would be.

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