Break-Even Win Rates

Sports betting expert stanford wong presents break even win rates

Sharp Sports Betting is a tool for those interested in winning money at sports betting. The book explains the most common sports bets, what all the numbers mean, and the mathematics behind the numbers.

Let’s discuss some principles of sports betting. All sports bettors should learn the information below. All other kinds of casino advantage players, including blackjack players of all skill sets, which includes card counters, should also have a good working knowledge of these terms, as it is impossible to know when advantageous opportunities may present themselves.

Break-Even Win Rates for Sports Bets

For each betting term such as -130 or +120, you can calculate the particular probability of winning for which the bet would break even in the long run. The default term of -110 is associated with a break- even point of 52.4 percent winners.

For a bet quoted as EV (EV in a sportsbook means “even money,” not Expected Value. Sometimes the board will spell it out, “even,” instead of “EV.”), the probability of winning would have to be 50 percent for the bet to break even in the long run.

For Super Bowls, the Nevada sportsbooks generally offer a proposition on who will receive the kickoff. Typically the prop is offered with both teams at EV. It’s easy enough to see that there is no house edge for the casino on that bet. You could bet $100 on one team and match it with $100 on the other team, and whichever team receives the opening kickoff will bring back your entire $200. The industry runs this one prop as a loss leader, the same as a grocery store offering an item at cost to get you to shop there instead of at a competitor’s store. Enough people who visit to make the no-vig bet also make other bets that do have a house vig that the sportsbook keeps offering that no-vig bet Super Bowl after Super Bowl.

Table 1, below, gives the break-even rates associated with various bet terms. You can interpolate to find values not explicitly stated in the table.

For example, try to find -110. You won’t find it; it’s not in table 1. However you can find -111 associated with the break-even win rate 52.5 percent, and you can find -108 associated with the break-even win rate of 52.0 percent. So you know that -110 must have a break-even win rate of between 52.0 and 52.5 percent, and interpolation would lead you to choose 52.3 or 52.4 percent.

Table 1 allows you to find the break-even win rate that corresponds to the terms on any sportsbook bet that is expressed as how much to bet to win $100 or how much a $100 bet will win.

Suppose you see a prop offered at -130. Table 1 tells you that the event must happen 56.5 percent of the time for you to break even, and the event must be more likely than that for you to have the expectation of showing a profit on the bet. If that event happens less than 56.5 percent of the time, then the bet has a negative expected value.

Table 1

Break-Even Win Rates for Sports Bets

BE terms BE terms BE terms BE terms BE terms

                 79.5 -388 59.5 -147 39.5 153 19.5 413

                 79.0 -376 59.0 -144 39.0 156 19.0 426

98.5 -6567 78.5 -365 58.5 -141 38.5 160 18.5 441

98.0 -4900 78.0 -355 58.0 -138 38.0 163 18.0 456

97.5 -3900 77.5 -344 57.5 -135 37.5 167 17.5 471

97.0 -3233 77.0 -335 57.0 -133 37.0 170 17.0 488

96.5 -2757 76.5 -326 56.5 -130 36.5 174 16.5 506

96.0 -2400 76.0 -317 56.0 -127 36.0 178 16.0 525

95.5 -2122 75.5 -308 55.5 -125 35.5 182 15.5 545

95.0 -1900 75.0 -300 55.0 -122 35.0 186 15.0 567

94.5 -1718 74.5 -292 54.5 -120 34.5 190 14.5 590

94.0 -1567 74.0 -285 54.0 -117 34.0 194 14.0 614

93.5 -1438 73.5 -277 53.5 -115 33.5 199 13.5 641

93.0 -1329 73.0 -270 53.0 -113 33.0 203 13.0 669

92.5 -1233 72.5 -264 52.5 -111 32.5 208 12.5 700

92.0 -1150 72.0 -257 52.0 -108 32.0 213 12.0 733

91.5 -1076 71.5 -251 51.5 -106 31.5 217 11.5 770

91.0 -1011 71.0 -245 51.0 -104 31.0 223 11.0 809

90.5 -953 70.5 -239 50.5 -102 30.5 228 10.5 852

90.0 -900 70.0 -233 50.0 EV 30.0 233 10.0 900

89.5 -852 69.5 -228 49.5 102 29.5 239 9.5 953

89.0 -809 69.0 -223 49.0 104 29.0 245 9.0 1011

88.5 -770 68.5 -217 48.5 106 28.5 251 8.5 1076

88.0 -733 68.0 -213 48.0 108 28.0 257 8.0 1150

87.5 -700 67.5 -208 47.5 111 27.5 264 7.5 1233

87.0 -669 67.0 -203 47.0 113 27.0 270 7.0 1329

86.5 -641 66.5 -199 46.5 115 26.5 277 6.5 1438

86.0 -614 66.0 -194 46.0 117 26.0 285 6.0 1567

85.5 -590 65.5 -190 45.5 120 25.5 292 5.5 1718

85.0 -567 65.0 -186 45.0 122 25.0 300 5.0 1900

84.5 -545 64.5 -182 44.5 125 24.5 308 4.5 2122

84.0 -525 64.0 -178 44.0 127 24.0 317 4.0 2400

83.5 -506 63.5 -174 43.5 130 23.5 326 3.5 2757

83.0 -488 63.0 -170 43.0 133 23.0 335 3.0 3233

82.5 -471 62.5 -167 42.5 135 22.5 344 2.5 3900

82.0 -456 62.0 -163 42.0 138 22.0 355 2.0 4900

81.5 -441 61.5 -160 41.5 141 21.5 365 1.5 6567

81.0 -426 61.0 -156 41.0 144 21.0 376

80.5 -413 60.5 -153 40.5 147 20.5 388

80.0 -400 60.0 -150 40.0 150 20.0 400

This is part of an occasional series of articles.

Excerpted with permission from Sharp Sports Betting by Stanford Wong, edited for this format.


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