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Fixed Odds In Sports Betting

Fixed Odds In Sports Betting

Liz Hudston
Liz Hudston
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6 Min
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What Are Fixed Odds?
How To Calculate Fixed Odds
Pro Sports And Fixed Odds

In sports betting, it isn’t uncommon for lines and odds to shift from time to time. In fact, it’s very rare for odds to stagnate for a long period.

Because of this, there are a number of betting methods that sportsbooks use when they are offering odds to bettors. One of these is fixed odds betting.

In fixed odds betting, when you place a bet at certain odds, your payout will remain the same regardless of how much the odds of that event fluctuate in the future.

A lot of sportsbooks use fixed odds betting because it is extremely easy and straightforward to calculate winnings using this method.

Fixed odds betting differs from other forms of betting such as starting price (SP) betting and pari-mutuel (pool) betting, which is commonly used in horse racing.

There are many other things that you need to know regarding fixed odds betting, so read on for an in-depth explanation of how fixed odds betting works.

What Is Fixed Odds Betting

In the betting world, fixed odds may mean several things. Some bettors use the term to refer to games that have been fixed—the act of throwing away games—which is an illegal activity and not the focus of this article.

Fixed odds betting, for us, means locking in a bet at a certain price or odds. So once the sportsbook accepts your wager, the odds of your bet will not change.

For example, take this moneyline bet that opens up with the following odds:

  • New York Giants – (+180)
  • Baltimore Ravens – (-220)

If you bet $100 on the Giants with the above odds, your potential payout will be $280. So let’s say that some big news drops, which in turn affects the Giants’ odds. The odds then shift from +280 to +240.

Whatever the case, whether the odds drop or rise, once the sportsbook has accepted your wager, you’re guaranteed that you’ll get that agreed-upon sum if your ticket ends up being a winning ticket.

So even if the Giants’ odds drop to +230 by the time the game kicks off, that price drop will have no effect at all on your wager since you placed it at odds of +280.

Let’s take another example, but this time of a futures bet. Before the 2019 NBA season began, the Raptors had odds of +1850 to win the 2019 NBA finals. Before game 1 of the NBA finals, their odds had dropped to +250.

Since the Raptors ended up winning the finals, any bettor who wagered on Toronto when the team’s odds were initially +1850 earned $1,850 for every $100 that they wagered. So fixed odds can offer a lot of value when you’re betting on preseason futures.

How Does Fixed Odds Betting Work?

Fixed odds betting, which is the most commonly used form of betting, works in a simple way. Once you lock in your odds, the sportsbook will pay you based on the odds that they offered you at the time that you placed your bet.

Fixed odds betting is different from other forms of betting such as starting price and pari-mutuel betting. In starting price betting, which is commonly used in horse racing, you get the odds of the event just before the event starts.

So you can place your bet in advance, but you’ll only know how much you’re going to win once the event starts.

In parimutuel betting, which is also commonly used in horse racing, your potential returns are calculated once everyone has placed their bets and all the money has been pooled and divided accordingly.

So, as you can see, fixed odds betting is the only form of betting where your returns are guaranteed once you place your bet.

How To Calculate Fixed Odds

Calculating your winnings through fixed-odds betting is extremely simple. All you have to do is calculate your winnings using the odds that the sportsbook is offering you when you’re placing your bet.

For example, if you place $100 on a moneyline bet that is priced at +140, once you lock that wager in, your bet will be settled at those odds, regardless of whether the odds move or not.

So, in such a scenario, if the team that you’re betting on wins the game, you’ll win $140 and have a total payout of $240, which includes your original stake.

Fixed Odds Strategies

Like everything in sports betting, you need to use strategies if you want to become successful long-term. There are a number of fixed-odds strategies that you can use. We are going to discuss some of them below:

Search For Value Early On

Value is important in fixed odds betting. Since betting odds change from time to time, it’s important that you search for the best odds and lines possible.

A lot of sharps usually pounce once the lines are released, and this may be one of the best strategies that new bettors should follow.

If you can spot value very early on, then we highly recommend that you take advantage of it before the value disappears.

Use Bonuses To Your Advantage

Bonuses are now a staple of the betting world. If you come across any bonus offer, you can use it to your advantage to get the most out of fixed-odds betting.

By taking advantage of bonus offers, you can drastically increase the amount that you’re going to win. And who doesn’t love bumping up their winnings?

Hedge Your Bets In Applicable Scenarios

Hedging is another common tactic that has gained momentum in recent years. Hedging is simply backing the opposite side of a wager in order to guarantee a profit or cut back on some losses.

Since odds constantly fluctuate, you can hedge your bets in certain scenarios once the odds have moved favorably.

For example, let’s say that you placed a moneyline bet on Team A when the team was priced at +200. Some big news drops, causing the odds of Team A to drop and those of Team B to rise.

Since this price drop won’t affect your already-placed wager, you can cunningly use this situation to your advantage.

So, in such a scenario, you can lock in a profit by backing Team B once the odds of Team B reach a certain price.

Sports & Scenarios For Fixed Odds Betting

Fixed odds betting is the default in major sports such as football, basketball, soccer, etc.

However, in sports like horse racing where you have the freedom to choose between starting price betting, fixed-odds betting, and pari-mutuel wagering, it may be best to consider which of the three is the most appropriate to go for.

Fixed Odds Betting: Things To Know

Here are some important things that you always need to keep in mind regarding fixed odds betting:

  • Once the betting site accepts your wager, the price cannot be changed.
  • If the odds change before you lock in your wager, the sportsbook will use the new odds to determine your payout.
  • You cannot reserve odds; if you think that the odds may change in the future, you have to place a bet at the current price in order to avoid missing out on those odds.
  • Future odds changes will not affect your wager.
  • Sportsbooks still incorporate vigorish in fixed-odds betting.
  • Sometimes, bookies make mistakes when they are calculating odds. In extremely rare scenarios, the sportsbook may cancel your bet if the odds that they offered you were formulated by an error.

Fixed Odds Betting In Professional Sports

By default, most sportsbooks use fixed odds betting. So once you lock in your wager, you’ll find that no future odds changes will affect it.

So you can expect fixed odds betting in the following professional sports:

  • Basketball
  • Football
  • Soccer
  • Baseball
  • Hockey
  • Tennis

The one sport where fixed odds betting isn’t used by default is horse racing. This is because starting price betting and pari-mutuel wagering are common alternatives in horse racing.

Fixed odds betting is commonly used in European races while starting price betting is common in Australia and the United Kingdom.

In North America, pari-mutuel betting is found in almost all of the horse and greyhound racing tracks.

Another common alternative to fixed-odds betting is ‘best odds guaranteed.’ In this type of betting, you can place a bet in advance, and if the starting price odds are greater than your selected odds, then the oddsmaker will use the starting price odds to determine your payout. 

Essentially, you’ll always get the best odds possible with this alternative.

Thirsty For More Betting Knowledge? Check Our Gambling Education Hub.


About the author

A seasoned sports betting and casino content specialist covering US markets for over a decade. She enjoys long walks, old movies, and learning new thi...

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