What Implied Odds Are In Sports Betting Terms

Anybody that is familiar with sports betting understands that there are typically three different bet types available to them in moneylines, spreads and totals. The ultimate goal of a sportsbook isn’t necessarily to predict the final margin of victory but rather it’s to make sure that they find a way to get 50% of the betting money to fall on each side in order to guarantee a profit. Since there is a commission charge on every wager placed with the sportsbook, a 50/50 split would result in them making a profit based solely on the juice that they bring in. The sportsbooks will do the best they can to create a split in order to limit their exposure and risk. Here is a look at what implied odds are in terms of sports betting numbers.

Understanding Juice

Most sportsbooks will imply a standard 20-cent line when it comes to collecting juice, which means that for every $100 in potential winnings the bettor is risking $120. The fact that the losses cost more money than the potential winnings means that for every $100 paid out the books can collect $120 in losses if they have a 50/50 split, which will result in a net profit of $20. There are some sites that offer lower juices in order to increase their membership but there will always be a notable number across the board. This is why you see lines constantly moving from one hour to the next when it comes to the majority of the more popular sports betting events.

Setting The Markets

The sports betting markets implied probability is simply the conversion of traditional odds in to a percentage. However, these conversions do no account for juice. This means that if you placed a bet on Team A +300, it doesn’t necessarily mean they should win 25% of the time. Instead, it means that in order to break even they would need to win 25% of the time. The sportsbooks can set the markets at whatever they deem appropriate in order to find the 50% line but the implied odds don’t represent the actual odds for an outcome with any given event.


It’s important to understand the difference between the actual odds for an event in comparison with the implied odds the sportsbooks have set in order to try to guarantee a certain amount of money will be placed on each side in any given situation. The point to remember is that the sportsbooks aren’t trying to find the actual number that will represent the final margin for a game. Instead, they are using the number that they feel will most likely create an even split between two sides. The sportsbooks will do whatever is in their power to guarantee they are making profits rather than losing money so it’s important to understand the particulars when it comes to sports betting. Implied odds are a much different thing than actual odds so make sure you keep that in mind moving forward.