What is the hold percentage in sports betting?
When it comes to sports betting markets, the hold percentage is an important number to keep in mind. This number represents the percentage of money that the sportsbook keeps as profit from all the bets placed. For example, if the hold percentage is 10%, then the sportsbook will keep $10 for every $100 that is bet. This is in addition to the money they keep from those who bet on the losing side. While the sportsbooks may not win money on every single game, over time this hold allows them to make money regardless of the outcomes of the games themselves.
The higher the hold percentage, the more money the sportsbooks will make. However, it is important to note that the hold percentage can vary depending on the sport event and the book. There are certain books that have a higher hold % than others. An easy way to identify these books is if they are making you pay -115 on two sides of a line rather than -110.This means their hold is 6.98% instead of 4.76%.
How do you calculate hold %?
The easiest way to understand hold is by thinking of the NFL Super Bowl coin toss. We know there are two outcomes, heads or tails, each with a 50% chance of occurring. This means the sum of the probabilities for all outcomes is 100%. If you convert 50% to betting odds (using our odds converter tool) you see this is equal to +100 odds. However, if you actually go to bet on either Heads or Tails you see the books are normally offering -115 for both sides. This extra 15 cents is the book’s fee (also known as juice, vig, hold) for taking your bet. If you convert the -115 line to a probability, you get 53.49%, the implied probability based on the betting line, which is 3.49% higher than the true probability of outcome (either heads or tails). If you sum the implied probability of both heads and tails (53.49%+53.49%) you get 106.98%. Subtract 100 from this number and you get the hold % of 6.98%. The books are giving you an option to bet on the coin toss that guarantees them profit because the probability of the betting line, implied probability, is higher than the probability of the event itself, true probability.
What does our calculator tell you?
It tells you the exact hold % and even more importantly what the true odds should be when you remove the hold, also known as “de-vigging”. This is very important to understand when you try to calculate your own betting odds. By removing this hold you can get a much more clear picture of how your own projections match up, which is key to becoming a long term successful sports gambler.