lay odds
  1. To offer a bet in which one stands more to lose than the opponent; or a bet in some other way favourable to the opponent.
    • 1597, Henry IV, Part II, Act V, Scene 5; by William Shakespeare
      Prince John: "I will lay odds that, ere this year expire, / We bear our civil swords and native fire / As far as France. I heard a bird so sing, / Whose music, to my thinking, pleas'd the King."
    • 1904, The Sea-Wolf, by Jack London, chapter XXIV
      "We're dead safe," he assured them with a laugh. "No salt mines this time, Smoke. But I'll tell you what -- I'll lay odds of five to one it's the Macedonia."
  2. To feel certain about something.
  • give odds
  • take odds

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