Explain Odds On and Odds Against
This text is based on our personal experiences and represents our opinions.
If you have tuned into the horse racing on TV at any point, then you will have heard the betting terms, odds on, and odds against. It’s inevitable, but what does it mean? How do you explain Odds On and Odds Against to someone? Well, it is not that complicated really, and nothing to get phased by. If you have been betting online, then you have been using these phrases without even realising it. Sports betting is all about taking a risk on the outcome of an event. Will an event happen, or will it not? Will a football team win a match? That question has to be weighed up against the chances of that team losing the match, or drawing that match. The bookmaker will set the odds on the probability of an outcome not happening, and that is the price which you will see presented online to you. Basically the terms Odds On and Odds Against explain themselves to a certain degree. Take the old fable about the tortoise and the hare. Because the hare was the fastest competitor of the two, he would have been favourite to win the race. Therefore, the hare would have been Odds On to win. The Odds On the outcome of him winning (in mathematical terms, not monetarily) were relatively high, and therefore that will translate into short odds. The slow tortoise however, well, no-one fancied his chances much, so the Odds Against him winning were large. This would have translated as big profit margins for the punter.
Odds On describes the price set on the most probable outcome of a sporting event. It is Odds On that Manchester United will beat Rotherham in the FA Cup for example. It is Odds on that Rafael Nadal would beat Tim Henman if he came out of retirement for example. That kind of thing. It is also Odds On that Chelsea won’t get relegated from the Premier League this season. So when you hear the term Odds On, it is a reasoning that the bookmaker thinks that something is extremely likely to happen. When you hear the terms Odds Against, then you are generally taking about an outside chance at best. Wigan to win the Premier League? They would be Odds Against for that for example. England winning the Rugby World Cup, they will be Odds Against in making that happen next year. So the terms are straightforward, and it is simply a term of expression in betting circles. Something Odds On is likely to happen, and that means that you aren’t going to enjoy great odds. If you are betting on something at 1/3 for example, then it will be Odds on, because it has a better than Evens chance of happening, and that means not so much profit margin being offered by the bookie.