August 31, 2012
Swansea vs. Sunderland – (1st September 2012)
Swansea have shown great form in their first 2 games of the season, demolishing QPR 5-0 and beating West Ham 3-0. Michu, who arrived from Rayo Vallecano for £2m after scoring 17 goals last season, has been a revelation. If Sunderland are to win this game, they will have to find a way to restrict him.
In turn, Swansea will have to keep an eye on Sunderland’s new purchases. They have added the quality of Adam Johnson and Steven Fletcher to their squad, which will make them a potent threat in the league this season. The goal threat that Read the rest of this entry »
August 30, 2012
This is the first in a series of posts by Smarkets CEO Jason Trost that aim to shed light on the sports betting industry. Today, we discuss odds and probability and how they relate to each other in sports betting.
Odds and probability are very closely related but are not the same thing. Probability uses the total chances of an event happening, whereas odds use the chance against an event happening. Lets look at a coin toss as an example.
When tossing a coin, there is a 50% chance that it will land on heads and a 50% chance that it will land on tails. These are the only two possible outcomes. Added together, these equal 100%. If we wanted to express this in odds terms, most people think ‘it’s ½’. But it’s actually 1/1. Why is that?
We can define probability and odds using the following equations:
Probability = Number of desirable outcomes/Number of possible outcomes
Odds = Number of desirable outcomes/Number of undesirable outcomes
Using the coin toss example, the probability of it landing on heads is ½ (50%) because there are 2 possible outcomes (heads or tails) and 1 desirable outcome (heads). The odds are 1/1 because there is 1 desirable outcome (heads) and 1 undesirable outcome (tails).
Let’s take a Netherlands vs. Denmark match as our next example. Bookmaker A has the Netherlands odds to win as 4/7. This means that if this same match is theoretically played 11 times, the Netherlands would win 7 times and lose 4 times.
The two most commonly seen formats for expressing odds are fractional and decimal. Fractional odds are the traditional format used in the UK. Decimal odds are used in other European countries. However, with the advent of betting exchanges, decimal odds are becoming an increasingly popular format. Some bookmakers now offer the option to switch between fractional, percentage (only Smarkets) and decimal view.
It’s often easier to translate odds into probability or percentage terms because it can give you a better sense of what the chances of you winning your bet are.
To convert odds to probability you take the bottom number and divide it by the sum of the top and bottom numbers. In this case, 4+7 = 11. We then take 7, divide it by 11 and multiply by 100 to arrive at 64%. So the probability that the Netherlands will win is 64%. This makes sense as the Netherlands historically have a stronger win record over Denmark. You’d be better (you’re more likely to win but you will also get paid less – payout proportional to probability) off placing a bet in favour of the Netherlands instead of in favour of Denmark.
And what about the betting exchange? They often offer ‘better odds’ than bookmakers but all you can see is a grid with decimal numbers. As mentioned above, decimals are just another format used to display odds. If we want to know what odds of 4/7 are in decimal format you simply divide the top number by the bottom number and add 1.
In this case, we have 4/7 = 0.57. If we add 1 we get 1.57. Many people prefer betting using decimals when betting because it is easier to work out what your projected profit could be, but in the end it’s up to you to decide what works best.
American sportsbooks tend to use the ‘Moneyline’ format when expressing odds. To convert 4/7 or 1.57 to this format, we use one of two formulas. If the decimal value is less than 2.00, we use:
(-100)/(decimal value – 1)
In this instance, our decimal value is 1.57. If we substitute it into the equation we get: (-100)/(1.57-1) = -175.
So the moneyline for the Netherlands in this game is -175. This means that betting £175 will win you a profit of £100, should the Netherlands win. If they lose, you lose your initial stake.
Conversely, if you had a decimal value greater than 2.00, the equation used is:
(decimal value – 1)*100
This value would be a positive figure and it means that you’d have to bet that much in order to win £100.
While at first glance it can look intimidating, it’s not actually that difficult to understand odds and probability and how they relate to sports betting.
|Decimal (if fractional known)||(top fractional #/bottom fractional #) +1|
|Moneyline (under 2.00 decimal value)||(100)/(decimal value -1)|
|Moneyline (over 2.00 decimal value)||(decimal value -1) *100|
Example Calculations Table:
|Format||Value||Back bet return (where stake = £10 and return – stake + profit)||Lay bet return (where stake = £10 and return – stake + profit)|
August 29, 2012
We at Smarkets are looking for new graduates to join our team. If you love Smarkets, want to experience life at a growing London start-up and want to help build our betting exchange, read on:
Smarkets is disrupting the online sports gambling industry by offering a modern betting exchange product with significantly lower transaction fees than the competition. Since launching in February 2010, we have traded over £150 million worth of bets. Smarkets has been featured in publications such as Wired UK, The Wall Street Journal and TechCrunch and was recently selected as part of the Startups 100. We share an office in East London with other exciting start-ups.
About the role
We are looking for fresh graduates who are interested in being part of something big. As a client services representative you’ll be the first point of contact with our customers, so an outgoing attitude is a must. We’re not looking for someone who is content doing the minimal amount either, so don’t get in touch with us if your idea of a job is a place you show your face from 9 to 5 and nothing more. We’re ideally looking for someone who wants to grow and learn with us as the company develops. Because you’ll be working for a rapidly growing start-up, you’ll have the opportunity to work on projects in fields as diverse as marketing, business development and outreach, accounting and finance, software development, office management and more.
- Interact with customers through various online and offline channels, ensuring you provide an exemplary level of customer support
- Basic office administrative tasks as required
- Maintain a current social media presence using Twitter, Facebook and other channels as necessary
- Contribute to the growth of the company by getting involved in other aspects of the business (marketing, customer outreach, business development, partnership negotiation, finance and accounting, software development and/or office management)
- University graduate or equivalent experience
- Outgoing, people person
- Excellent communication skills (this includes strong written and spoken English)
- Adept at working independently and with little direction (we love self-starters)
- Excellent problem solving skills
- Entrepreneurial attitude
- Familiarity with bookmakers and betting exchanges an asset
- Comfortable working in an online environment; familiarity with or a desire to learn programming languages a plus
- You’ll get teased endlessly if you can’t touch type
- This is a full-time job (with frequent evening and weekend work) based near Old Street, London, United Kingdom
- Salary dependent on experience
- Please note you must have the right to work in the UK
- We are unable to assist with relocation
If the idea of a flexible, fun environment to work in that is free from corporate politics appeals to you, then please get in touch with us. Who knows, maybe you’ll be heading your own department in two years’ time.
If you want to work with us we’d love to hear your experience with Smarkets so sign up, maybe place a bet, but definitely poke around on the website. Once you’ve done that, send your CV and covering letter to firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘Client Services Representative’ in the subject line. Please be sure to include your typing speed and your Smarkets account email (if applicable) on your CV.
August 21, 2012
Chelsea vs. Newcastle United
Chelsea recorded a solid yet unspectacular win against Wigan this past weekend while Newcastle restored their 1 goal advantage to win 2-1 against a quality Tottenham Hotspur side. Both teams showed their defensive qualities whilst displaying great moments of creativity and ruthlessness for their goals.
Chelsea have recruited very well in the transfer window. They have secured the services of creative attacking talents such as Oscar, Marin and wonder kid Eden Hazard. Although Newcastle have brought in Read the rest of this entry »
August 1, 2012
No one can complain about a lack of surprise in the Olympic Men’s Football so far. Biggest of all would be Spain’s elimination – the favourites failed to score a goal before being sent home. Brazil have shown impressive moments of individual and team flair that have led to some fantastic goals. Team GB have put us home fans through a bit of a roller coaster; promising so much, nobody knew just how they would play. However they are starting to become a bit of a dark horse.
We have to remember that this Great Britain team has only played Read the rest of this entry »