How Esports Betting Odds Are Calculated

You want the best esports betting experience possible – and one huge factor in that is having an understanding of just how esports betting odds work. You want to know how esports betting odds are calculated and how are live betting odds calculated and here’s where we’ll tell you about it – just read on for more!

What Are Esports & Esports Betting?

Before telling you how esports betting odds are calculated, let’s clarify what esports and esports betting is.

Esports is any competitive online videogaming, with a huge choice available to you, whether it’s first-person shooters (FPS), such as CS:GO, Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) games, such as League of Legends, or sporting esports, such as FIFA. Esports have millions of fans and players worldwide, with games and tournaments draw huge streaming audiences through Twitch and other streaming services.

What Is Esports Betting?

In the last couple of decades, esports have become more and more popular, especially when live sports stopped through Covid, and there’s been a similarly massive rise in esports betting. Despite the games and the betting markets being wildly different from sports betting, the basics of both are the same – if you’ve ever put down a bet on your football team, your favourite striker to score first, or how many goals they’ll win by, then you’re on familiar ground!

With esports, you’ll see outright betting on the results, over/under bets and handicap betting. But then you’ll also see different betting markets – map winners and kills markets. And of course, with so much live streaming with esports, you’ll find live esports betting is huge, with constantly shifting odds and betting markets.

how esports betting odds are calculated

How Esports Betting Odds Are Calculated

When you go esports betting, you need to know how esports betting odds are calculated and you’ll also want to know how are live betting odds calculated.

What Are Odds Anyway?

The odds on esports are just the same as you see with sports, with three different odds formats – fractional, decimal, and American – check out the guides to how to read betting odds and how to convert American odds to decimal for all the skinny on that.

Basically, odds are just the way to show bettors the chance of winning – a 2/1 bet has a far greater chance of winning, in the bookmaker’s view, than something with 200/1 odds. If you back a horse at 2/1 odds (3.00 decimal, 200 American) with a £1 stake, you’ll get £2 winnings plus your £1 stake – that’s £3 returned.

How Odds Are Calculated

When it comes to how esports betting odds are calculated, the bookmaker relies on a combination of experts (Traders, Odds Compilers, Risk Analysts) to assess the betting market and the actual market itself, particularly when working out live betting odds. The experts give the bookmaker the probability of an event happening, based on every possible factor – current form, injuries, past performance against the opponent, and so on, all to get the best view of how the particular betting market will play out. They also take into account the money that will be placed, with the favourites in matches usually having more cash placed on them than any underdog.

The bookmaker uses this information to set their odds, estimating how many people will bet on what outcomes, and calculating what odds will both attract customers and bring the bookmaker the best return. This is why, when considering how are live betting odds calculated, you’ll see odds changing constantly as the situation changes in the live game.

But there’s one more factor when thinking about how esports betting odds are calculated, the bookmaker always looks to make a profit.

The Bookmaker Margin Affects How Esports Betting Odds Are Calculated

The bookmakers profit might be referred to as the margin or the vig, but essentially they set themselves a profit they want to make and adjust the odds accordingly, adding a small percentage to a market to ensure they (nearly) always make money!

Think of it this way – a great CS:GO team playing an underdog team will be the favourite with lower odds because they have the higher chance of winning. Odds on the underdog are higher because the bookie’s research tells them there’s little chance of a win. Through complex statistical calculations, plus factoring in more money being placed on the favourite, plus the margin added in, the bookmaker’s odds are set to see them turn a profit.


When making your bets, knowing how esports betting odds are calculated, how are live betting odds calculated, and knowing that bookmakers are always going to set odds in their favour is vital to get the very best experience and to maximise your betting returns. But by carefully studying form and using your knowledge of esports, you can minimise that advantage and find the best value for your esports betting.

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