If you have ever read any cricketing match or what the bookmakers are offering, then you would have come across these strange decimal numbers that don't often make sense. What do odds mean? That is actually pretty easy to understand once you know how to read them.
What do odds mean?
Let us try to explain this with an example. Manchester United is playing against Arsenal at Old Trafford.
You want to bet on this match and these are the odds you see:
Manchester United ($1.50) Arsenal ($2.50)
This means that if you bet $10 on Manchester United, you will get back 1.5x your stake. That is, you will get back $15. Your profit will be $5.00 if you bet on Manchester United and win.
On the other hand, if you bet on Arsenal and win, you will get back $10 x 2.5 or a total of $25.00. That means your profit is going to be $15.00.
There are different ways of writing down the odds as well. The fractional system is another popular one that you will see or the American system, which is perhaps the most confusing of all to understand.
Why is it important to read the odds?
Apart from the obvious reason that you will be able to calculate your return by knowing how to read odds, you also need to know how to read them to be able to find betting opportunities. If you find that a particular team or a player is being undervalued by the bookmaker then you can use that to your advantage.
The odds are derived using mathematical models, however, they do tend to be wrong a fair bit of the time. What do odds mean? You should be able to get an idea of the probability of a team winning or a player doing well by reading the odds. If you find a discrepancy then you can cash in on it big time.