How eSports Odds Work

eSports has become hugely popular over the last decade and the top competitions have millions of dollars in prize money. Fans can tune in to the games using live streaming and there is massive interest in watching the major events, including DOTA 2 The International, League of Legends World Championship, and Fortnite World Cup. Such is the interest in professional eSports events, online sportsbooks started offering betting odds and eSports betting has developed into big business.

All the major online bookmakers now offer eSports betting markets and we have seen the rise of dedicated eSports bookmakers. However, before you begin betting on eSports, you must know how eSports odds work.

eSports odds work in much the same way as conventional odds. So, if you have ever placed a bet on a sporting or entertainment event, you will have some understanding of how eSports odds work. You need to know exactly how the odds work before you place a bet on eSports because you could be wasting your money. You would never give money away for something you do not understand and the same applies for eSports betting and odds.

eSports odds are a straightforward way of assessing how likely an event is to happen. The lower the odds, the more likely the outcome is going to happen and the higher the odds, the less likely the outcome is going to happen. For example, one team could be available at odds of 2/1 to win the League of Legends World Championship and another team could have odds of 10/1 to win the same tournament. Based on these odds, the team at 2/1 is considered a major favourite to win the tournament whereas the team with odds of 10/1 is considered unlikely to win the tournament, so with that in mind it’s good to have a basic understanding of mathematical fundamentals when you’re looking to place a bet.

In terms of predicting the winner and making money when betting on eSports, it is not as simple as the example above. There are many factors to consider when betting on eSports and although the odds provide you with a good idea of which team could win the event, it does not mean it is guaranteed to happen that way. We always see upsets and you must use the odds as a guide but also complete your own research and consider all the factors, including important team members who could be missing, the venue, recent form, and player motivation.

There are three types of eSports odds, and they are fractional, decimal, and American. Fractional odds are those used in the example above, so 2/1 and 10/1 are fractional odds you could see when betting on eSports. These odds displayed in decimal form would be 3 and 11 and in American form they would be +200 and +1000. Most eSports bookmakers will allow you to choose the type of odds you would like to use when betting.

It is worth noting, when betting on eSports or any other event, the online bookmaker wants to make a bit of profit for themselves. In doing so, they will ensure eSports odds are calculated to contain a small profit. This is done by offering odds that are slightly less than the true odds for the outcome. This produces a profit margin, and you want to bet on the eSports odds that give you the higher pay out when successful. It is not an easy task to work out the profit margin yourself but thankfully, you can use an eSports margin calculator. All you need to do is input the eSports odds of your choice and the calculator will instantly work out the margin the bookmaker will take. You can use fractional, decimal, or American odds and the calculator will show the results for all three. If you can find eSports odds with a bookmaker margin of under 3%, that is considered low.

Now you know how to calculate the margin and payout of eSports odds, we can look at an example of eSports odds in action. We can use real odds available at the time of writing for a 2022 League of Legends Pro League match. The match is between LNG Esports and FunPlus Phoenix, with the winner odds at 1/2 for LNG Sports and 6/4 for FunPlus Phoenix. We already know that means LNG Sports are considered the favourites to win the match because their odds are lower. So, if you were to bet £10 on LNG Sports to win the match at odds of 1/2 and the bet wins, you will get £15 in returns, meaning a profit of £5. If you bet £10 on FunPlus Phoenix to win at odds of 6/4 and they won, you would get £25 in returns, meaning a profit of £15. 

Nakoa Davis