On Thursday, June 14 New Jersey’s Monmouth Park and Borgata Casino began taking legal sports bets. Other casinos in New Jersey are ramping up to take bets and later this summer the law enacted by New Jersey’s governor will also allow online sports betting for those within the state.
While exciting, you may want to hold off on placing your bet in New Jersey. Why? Thus far, Monmouth Park offers terrible odds compared to Vegas sportsbooks.
Why Odds Matter
Think of gambling odds this way: they tell you how much money you must risk in order to place a bet and they indicate how well you will be compensated for your risk.
For example, The Action Network recently noted that the odds of the San Francisco 49ers winning the Super Bowl vary widely:
- Off-shore sportsbook: 28-1
- Las Vegas sportsbook: 20-1
- New Jersey sportsbook: 10-1
How to Read Fractional Odds
Fractional odds originated with horse racing in the United Kingdom. These days, you will see fractional odds representing a wide variety of sporting events.
You multiply this fractional number with your wager to get your total potential return (not including your stake).
So, if the odds for a 49ers Super Bowl win are 10-1 (also written as 10/1) then you calculate your return this way:
$100 (wager) x 10/1 (odds) = $1,000 (profit)
Your profit in this instance would be $1,000. You add back in your $100 wager and your total return would be $1,100.
When fractional odds are written with 1 as the denominator you can simply read them as, “for every $1 you risk, you win $x amount.”
Back to the odds for the 49ers to win the Super Bowl. If you bet $100, your potential profit with each venue is as follows:
- Off-shore sportsbook: $2,800
- Las Vegas sportsbook: $2,000
- New Jersey sportsbook:$1,000
Obviously, you would much rather risk $100 to win $2,800 than to win $1,000. That’s a huge difference!
What You Need to Know
…the opening odds from state-licensed sportsbooks are excessively greedy…
Shopping around for the best odds is incredibly important. If you want to keep placing sports bets you need to be sure you’re doing so in the most favorable situation. If order to win at sports betting in the long term, you need to win 56 percent of your wagers.
We’re absolutely celebrating the legalization of sports betting on a state-by-state basis, but brick and mortar locations closest to you may not be the best option for you. As each state brings their sports betting operations online we may see these discrepancies in odds settle a bit (we’ll watch and see!).
Thus far, the opening odds from state-licensed sportsbooks are excessively greedy and puts a bad taste in our mouth.