Most important reasons to compare odds
A newcomer to betting may assume that, for the most part, odds are fairly similar between bookmakers. This is a reasonable enough assumption, too; it seems a little, well, odd that bookmakers would offer such radically different odds, so why compare odds? The difference can’t be that significant, can it?
Actually, it can. Bookmakers calculate their own odds, which means that each bookie’s profit margins and preferences are built into their calculation. As a result, two bookmakers can offer wildly different odds on the same event – just like, for example, two sports fans might have differing opinions on the potential outcome of their team’s latest game.
If you were to bet with a bookmaker who had offered poor odds, then you’re effectively short-changing yourself. If your bet wins, then all the insight, knowledge, and research utilised when deciding what to bet on has, at least in part, been wasted. Sure, the bet has won so you should still be comfortably in profit, but you haven’t profited as much as you might have – which is a real shame.
What’s more, it’s also worth thinking about the long-term effect of not comparing to find the best betting odds in Canada. In isolation, placing a bet at poor odds and potentially missing out on $3-5 worth of profit doesn’t seem that concerning. However, if you place a couple of bets per week and usually win 50% of them, then you could be losing out on $20 per month – which is a huge $240 per year (and this is a conservative estimate!), just because of the odds. It’s therefore clear that finding the best betting odds in Canada is imperative for all players.
Online vs. Offline: Chasing the best odds
Online betting is a relatively new innovation in comparison to standard offline bookmakers, many of which have roots that go back to the early 20th century. It’s therefore worth asking if the old-school offline bookies might have an advantage when it comes to offering good odds, or whether they should be included in a search for the best betting odds in Canada.
However, for the most part, the answer is “no”. While there may be occasional exceptions, online odds are more likely to be the best betting odds in Canada than offline odds. There’s a few reasons for this, but one of the simplest explanations is profit margins: offline bookmakers tend to have higher overheads than those found online, which means their odds are “worse” (from the bettor’s perspective) to ensure they can still turn a profit despite higher outgoings.
When looking for the best betting odds in Canada, offline bookmakers do not need to be considered. An odds comparison in Canada based on online operators should be more than sufficient to ensuring you can find the best odds for your intended bets.
The history of betting odds
Long before the advent of bookmakers offering the best betting odds in Canada, odds as a general concept were part of society, used as a way to assess the potential likelihood of a situation. There are mentions of odds found in the Shakespeare play Henry IV, for example, and odds have also been used in mathematics and statistics for centuries.
We use odds in much the same way today; as a way of suggesting how likely an event will be. If odds are “long”, then an event is said to be unlikely; “short” odds suggest an outcome is very likely indeed. How odds are displayed can vary; below, we’ve sought to explain the three most popular formats.
Decimal odds explained
Decimal odds are displayed as figures, such as 5.0, 6.2, 7.5, and so on. To calculate your return, you would take your stake and times it by the odds. So, for example, if you are wagering $10 at odds of 5.0, the return on that bet would be $50 including your stake; your winnings would be $40 (50-10). Decimal odds are most commonly used and essential for arbing and matched betting, which we will discuss in more depth below.
Fractional odds explained
Fractional odds are displayed in fractions, such as 1/2, 4/5, 16/1 and so on. The number on the right of the fraction represents how much you would need to stake to win the number on the left. So, for example, if you were to wager $10 at 16/1, the return would be $160.
American odds explained
Each outcome in American odds is expressed as a plus (+) or minus (-) number. If the odds are +, the number will be the amount that you would win if you bet $100. If they are -, the number will be the amount you need to bet in order to win $100. For example, if you wagered $100 at +450, you would win $450 (plus your stake).
How are odds being calculated
Bookmakers calculate odds for sporting events by using proprietary algorithms and statistical models to define the likelihood of outcomes in those events. It’s simply impossible for us to say how exactly bookmakers are calculating odds: understandably, exact methods vary, and no bookmaker is going to give away what is literally a secret to their success. However, we can say that these models will make a prediction as to the outcome of the event, and will include what is known as the “vig”, or “overround”; this is the bookmakers’ margin, designed to ensure that they make a profit on every market they offer. Following the initial calculation, bookmakers will provide odds that customers can begin to bet on.
It is important to note here that bookmakers’ calculation of odds is not something that takes place once for each market and is then complete. The initial odds calculated by the bookies can and do change based on a number of factors, including how much money has been taken on each potential outcome. The bookmakers’ aim is to ensure that they aren’t over-exposed, so they may – for example – shorten the odds on a popular favourite, or make other changes that ensure they have a completely balanced “book”.
How to calculate the expected value
It is not just bookmakers who can use odds to perform calculations; bettors also can, with expected value (EV) by far the most common way of using this to their advantage. The Expected Value of a bet, as the name suggests, indicates how much you can expect to win (or lose) on each bet you might make. To calculate it, you use the following formula:
(Probability of Winning) x (Amount Won per Bet) – (Probability of Losing) x (Amount Lost per Bet)
A full EV calculation example
Let’s take the example of a $10 bet on a football match between Liverpool and Norwich City; Liverpool’s odds to win are 1.25, while Norwich are priced at 14.0 and the Draw is 6.4.
To get the probability of an event occurring, we divide the number 1 by its decimal odds, which should hopefully be the best betting odds in Canada for that particular selection. So “Norwich to win” has a probability of 0.071. If you were to bet $10 on them to win, you’d win $130. The probability of Norwich not winning is the total of the probability for Liverpool (0.8) and the Draw (0.156) – in other words, 0.956. Assuming Norwich lose, your bet will lose $10.
The calculation above, then, reads:
0.071 x 130 – 0.956 x 10 (simplified, this sum could read as 9.23 – 9.56)
In short, the expected value for a $10 bet on Norwich at the odds above would be -0.33.
What this means is that if you made a hypothetical bet like the above 100 times, you could expect to end up losing $33 in total. In other words, it’s a bad bet to make. Ideally, any bet you make will have an EV that is in the “plus” figures, and the higher the better. A positive EV bet won’t win every time, and nor will a negative EV bet always lose.
Odds betting strategies
Some bettors use the best betting odds in Canada to their advantage, as part of a wider betting strategy. Here are two popular choices that are dependent on odds.
Arb betting strategy
Arbing is a betting strategy that allows people to lock in a profit by placing two bets: a back bet (betting an event will happen) and a lay bet (betting an event will not happen). Profit is achieved by finding bookmaker odds that are higher than the lay odds. Provided the odds are higher at the bookmaker than the lay odds at the exchange, arbing means that the bettor makes a profit regardless of whether the back bet wins or loses.
Here’s an example using a horse called Gambling Guy:
- The best betting odds in Canada for Gambling Guy to win the race are 6.0.
- You can lay Gambling Guy to win the race (betting that Gambling Guy will not win) at 5.5.
- As the bookmaker odds are higher than the exchange, this means it is an arb.
- You back Gambling Guy for $100 at the bookmaker.
- You then lay $109.49, presuming 2% commission, at your chosen exchange.
- As you have bet both for and against Gambling Guy, one of your bets must win – but it doesn’t matter which, as you will return $7.80 of profit whatever the result.
Matched betting strategy
Matched betting involves using free bets from bookmakers in order to guarantee a profit from a particular event. As with arbing, it involves both backing and laying – but it does not require the bookmaker odds to be higher than the lay odds in order to deliver a profit.
However, to draw the most profit from a free bet, matched bettors do rely on odds: they need the bookmaker odds and the lay odds to be as close as possible in order to deliver the best possible return. Here’s an example of a “bad match” – when the best betting odds in Canada and the lay odds are very far apart:
- You have a $20 free bet to use.
- You back the horse Gambling Guy to win at odds of 6.
- You then calculate the lay for Gambling Guy at odds of 8; your lay stake will be $12.53 presuming 2% commission.
- Regardless of whether Gambling Guy wins or loses, you profit $12.28 (or thereabouts) from the free bet.
However, a good match – where the odds are closer together – delivers much better profits:
- You back Gambling Guy to win at odds of 6.
- You then lay Gambling Guy at odds of 6.2 – far closer than our first example of 8, but still not an arb.
- The guaranteed profit from the above should be around $15.86 from the free bet – nearly $3 more from the example where the back and lay odds were far apart.
The most popular markets in…
The range of cricket markets is expansive, so you should be able to find an option that suits your requirements. The most popular markets where you can look for the best betting odds in Canada include the basic match winner, the top bowler for the match, and which of the competing teams will see the highest number of runs from their opening partnership.
Of all the sports, football perhaps has the highest number of markets available. The “1×2” market (Team A win, draw, Team B win) will always be incredibly popular, but more niche markets such as corners betting or “Match Winner & Both Teams To Score” are also good places to find the best betting odds in Canada.
The tournament winner market is usually the most popular golf betting market, though many bettors do like to place “each way” bets – where, as in horse racing, an amount is paid out if a particular golfer places. In addition, during tournaments, people are also keen to find the best betting odds in Canada on markets such as “player to be in the lead after day one/day two”.
While not a sport that most people immediately associate with best betting odds in Canada, many bookmakers offer F1 markets – and fans of motorsport are happy to partake. As well as ante-post or futures bets for the winner of the F1 World Championship each year, popular F1 bets focus on each individual race, with the race winner and winning constructor particularly popular bets.
Odds comparison FAQ
Still have a few questions about the importance of finding the best betting odds in Canada when looking to place your bets, or wondering how a sports betting odds comparison service such as the one provided by Gambling Guy works? Here’s where you can find out; our complete odds comparison FAQ.
Yes. Our odds comparison service is designed to ensure that our readers are always able to find the very best betting odds in Canada, so they can always achieve the best possible price for their bets. There is little point in then reducing that value by charging for our service. With Gambling Guy, you can compare online betting odds in Canada and place your bets with the peace of mind that comes from knowing you have achieved excellent value.
There are a lot of reasons that bettors tend to favour a bookmaker, with familiarity one of the most important – so the idea of looking elsewhere for preferable bookmaker odds Canada players can use may initially sound a little perturbing, as you’re a loyal customer of an existing bookie. However, just because you like a bookmaker, or have used their service for a long time, does not mean that they are able to provide the best bookmaker odds for your bets.
There’s very little scope for mistakes when comparing odds, but it’s helpful to take a moment to double-check the odds before you actually place your bet. Many bookmakers change odds at a moment’s notice, and the betslip might not always update to reflect this, so make sure you’re still getting the best betting odds in Canada before you submit your bet.
Using the Gambling Guy sports betting odds comparison service guarantees you, as a bettor, three incredible advantages. First, you will be able to place your bets online, which offers maximum convenience. Secondly, you will be able to find the best prices without having to visit every potential bookmaker website in sequence, which saves you a significant amount of time. Finally, you can be sure that you are able to find the best betting odds in Canada and therefore the best possible return from your wagers in the future.