Betting Odds 101: Everything you need to know about them

With the popularity of online betting growing in leaps and bound over the last two decades, many countries around the world have either legalized online gambling or are in the process of legalizing it. The gambling market and industry are now saturated with many betting companies and games. Bettors can now place bets on almost everything in the world, ranging from casino games to sports and even political events. Betting on sports such as NFL, MLB, horse racing, football, baseball, NBA, hockey, boxing, etc offers bettors a lot of returns and winnings. To place your bets on sports, the very first thing you have to understand is how betting odds work, how to calculate your betting odds to know your potential returns and the probability of an event happening.

In this article, we will comprehensively dissect and analyze everything you need to know about betting odds and how they work.

Everything You Need to Know about Betting Odds
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  • Betting odds are digits utilized by sports bookies to signify the probability of an event occurring.

  • Betting odds gives you a broad overview of your returns or winnings if the bet is successful.

  • Betting odds types includes American odds, Decimal odds and Fractional odds

Betting Odds Explained

Betting odds are digits utilized by sports bookies to signify the probability of an event occurring. A proper understanding of probability is needed to understand betting odds better.

Probability is simply the possibility of an event occurring and is generally shown as a percentage. Take, for example, the tossing of a coin. There are basically two outcomes for a tossed coin. Its either it lands on its head or tail. And the two possibilities have a 50 – 50 chance.

Betting odds gives you a broad overview of your returns or winnings if the bet is successful. Betting odds are usually shown in decimal or fractions. Traditional sportsbooks usually show their odds in fractions. For example, they might display an odd like 5/1 on Manchester City to win the 2019/2020 English Premier League.

Betting Odds Types

Betting odds are usually shown in the following forms:

  • American odds
  • Decimal odds
  • Fractional odds

These odds are used for two main purposes:

  1. Betting odds signify the probability of the match result they are fixed to.
  2. Betting odds also help you in calculating your total winnings if your bet is successful.

It is, however risky to rely only on the odds when assessing the probability of an outcome happening. Odds are determined by factors other than the usual factors really applicable to the result of the event.

The sports bookie may utilize the odds to encourage bets on a particular side, and the probabilities for just one outcome is usually greater than 100% because the bookmaker usually deducts a cut from the odds and the sum the bookmaker is charging to receive your wager. The sum is generally referred to as either vigorish’ or ‘the juice’ or ‘cut’.

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American Odds Explained

As suggested by its name, the American odds are well known among United States sports bookies. American betting odds are also referred to as Moneyline Odds. It is very easy to notice the ‘favorite’ team and the ‘underdog’ with the American odds.

American odds are usually preceded by the minus (–) and plus (+) signs followed by any three-digit number. These two signs (- and +) on a moneyline shows your potential returns and whether you are placing your bet on the underdog or the favorite. Positive digits indicate both the underdog on the betting line and the payout you will receive if you place a bet of $100. Negative digits indicate both the favorite team and the payout you will receive if you place a bet of $100. However, the method of calculating the eventual payout for the favorite team and underdog is different. Let us look at the following examples:

MatchupOdds
Atlanta United- 110 favorite
Portland Timbers+250 underdogs

          

  • Atlanta United is -110 to win Saturday’s match.
  • If you place a successful $110 wager on Atlanta United, you will win $100 as returns.
  • You will also receive your $110 wager back.
  • Your total payout will be $210

However, if you are placing your bet on the underdog, things will be a little bit different because the positive digits will indicate your winnings if you wager $100.

  • Portland Timbers are given odds of +250 this Saturday.
  • If you place a successful $100 wager, you will win $250 as returns.
  • You will also receive your $100 wager back.
  • Your total payout will be $350

If letters ‘PK’ are displayed alongside the match odds, it is a short-form of ‘pick’, and it simply means that none of the teams are termed favorite or underdog.

Decimal Odds Explained

The decimal odds are very popular in Canada, Europe, and Australia. It is usually referred to as the easiest betting odds type when it comes to understanding betting odds. Many sports bookies offer their odds using the decimal odds type. Decimal Odds are also referred to as European Odds in the United Kingdom.

If you are betting on the decimal odds, the quoted figure is the actual returns you will get if your bet is successful. The decimal odds are basically equal to decimal value of fractional odds, +1. Lets consider the following examples:

  • If you place your bet on Atlanta United with decimal odds of 2.40.
  • A successful bet of $200 will result in a return of $200.
  • Your total payout will be $480 (2.40 x your wager of $200)

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Fractional Odds Explained

Fractional odds are mostly used in the United Kingdom, especially when wagering on horse racing. Fractional odds estimate your winnings net total for every successful bet comparable to your stake. Fractional odds are also known as traditional odds, UK odds or British odds. Let’s illustrate how fractional odds work with some examples:

  • Atlanta United takes on Portland Timbers in the MLS
  • The odds given to Portland Timbers are 5/1, the eventual payout will be x5 if you bet on Portland Timbers to win and they win
  • A $30 bet will yield a return of $150 ($30 x 5 = $150)
  • You will also receive your $30 wager back
  • Your total payout will be $180

On the other hand, if a bettor backs Atlanta United to win with odds of 1/5, he will receive a payout of $1 for any $5 bet he places. This means that he will receive a total payout of $6 for placing a bet of $5.

Payout Calculation

You need an odds calculator or odds converter when you are placing your bet on more than one match, game or sport at the same time. The odds calculator makes it easier to calculate your potential winnings, especially when you match and mix more than one game and result on a betting slip.

Odds calculator becomes even more important with the obvious difference in odds offered at different sportsbooks.

Sportsbooks with best betting odds

Find out which sportsbook that offers the best services at our sports betting comparison page for profitable bets. The information on our sports betting comparison page is researched critically to help you make the best choices and to ensure you profit maximally from your games. Thus, it is imperative that you give a glance at this page and do yourself bag loads of favors.

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1
99%
Sports: 17+
Live Betting:
Mobile:
Min. Odds: -200
2
98%
Sports: 16+
Live Betting:
Mobile:
Min. Odds: -190
3
98%
Sports: 21+
Live Betting:
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Min. Odds: N/A
4
98%
Sports: 14+
Live Betting:
Mobile:
Min. Odds: N/A
5
96%
Sports: 20+
Live Betting:
Mobile:
Min. Odds: N/A

Frequently Asked Questions about Betting Odds

FAQ

Betting odds can be displayed in any form irrespective of the sport. However, the geographical location of the bettors or players usually affects how betting odds are displayed. For example, many sportsbooks display NFL odds using the American betting odds type because majority of NFL audience live in the US.

Sports betting odds are determined by sports bookies based on several criteria. Such criterion includes player’s injury or absence, venue of the game and so on. Odds vary and changes quickly even when the game has started.

Although, the format of the betting types is different, however, there are no major differences in the purpose of the odd types – which is to display your potential winnings on a bet. And this remains constant irrespective of the betting odd types used.

It is essential that you understand how betting odds work because it helps you in choosing which sportsbook to place your bet with and the different betting odds format. It also stops you from making risky mistakes like betting on games with bad odds.

You can make use of an odds calculator or odds converter to calculate your returns especially when you are placing your bet on more than one match, game or sport at the same time. This gives you less stress.

Conclusion

Understand how the Odds work
One of the very first things you have to fully understand before betting on sports is how betting odds work including how to calculate your betting odds to know your potential returns and the probability of an event happening. This article has addressed everything you need to know about betting odds.With the full understanding of how betting odds work, you are now a master of bets. Continue placing your bets and smiling to the bank.
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