Sports Betting Odds Explained: What to Know Before Placing Bets

Sports betting is becoming a popular and less taboo activity. This is mainly thanks to the internet since online sportsbooks made this activity more accessible than ever. There’s no need for you to travel to the nearest bookie or go to casinos that also offer sports betting.

As long as you are connected to the internet and you have a capable device, you can place bets anytime and anywhere you are. You can even participate in live sports betting events that allow you to place wagers as a sports match progresses.

What are Sports Betting Odds?

Sports betting odds simply represent the amounts staked between the teams or athletes involved in a match. These odds are created or calculated by bookmakers for punters to have a glimpse of how a match would end.

This also shows how much punters can make from placing wagers on a certain party if they win. So, it’s the probability of a match outcome and how much you’ll bring home if you’re right with the bet/s you placed.

Sports betting odds are displayed as numbers, so many might immediately find it intimidating or hard to read. Well, not really. As long as you know what they stand for, a quick look at these numbers would immediately let you know which team is the favorite and which is the underdog.

Types of Sports Betting Odds

When it comes to displayed odds, sportsbooks tend to show them differently. There are three main types of sports betting odds that you’ll find online. Sometimes, some sportsbooks allow you to see the odds in different ways, but most of the time, they don’t.

Here are the three main types of sports betting odds you should know about:

American Odds

Many would say that American Odds are harder to understand compared to the other types of betting odds we’ll explain in a bit. What you should know is that American odds show you which team is the favorite and the underdog and how much you’ll win based on them.

If you see a bookie displaying odds that look like this, then you’re looking at American Odds:

  • Team A: +200
  • Team B: -110

So, what does that mean?

Odds with a negative sign (-) are the favorites or favored bets. This is the sample amount you need to bet to win a certain amount. Based on the example above, if you bet $110 for Team B and they do win, you’ll win $100.

Now, the odds with the positive sign (+) are the underdogs and if you bet on them and they end up winning, you’ll get a better payout. So, in the example above, if you bet $100 because you think Team A will win despite being the least favored team and you’re right about it, you’ll get a $200 profit.

If you’re thinking of placing bets on your favorite league anytime soon, then be sure to keep on reading. We’ll have sports bet odds explained in a way that even beginners would understand.

Fractional Odds

Fractional odds are also called British odds as this is what bookmakers in the UK would usually use. It’s also the traditional betting odds used in horse race betting.

Fractional odds look like this:

  • Team A: 5/1
  • Team B: 1/5

What you’re looking at here is the total of how much you will win. So if you place a $100 bet on Team A and they win, your winnings will be calculated like this:

100 x 5 = 100 (You win $500)

If you place a bet on Team B, your payout is $1 for every $5 bet. So, if Team B wins, you’ll get a total of $6 if you place a $5 bet or $12 if your bet is $10.

Decimal Odds

Decimal odds are also widely used in Europe, and it’s also popular in Australia and Canada. Many would say that this is the easiest to read and it must be true since most online bookies these days would allow you to change the odd format to decimals.

Decimal odds look like this:

  • Team A: 4.50
  • Team B: 900.00

Whatever team has the lower number is the favored team, so winnings on them are of course lower than the winnings if the underdog manages to win. So based on the example, here’s how much you’ll win if you place a $10 bet on either team:

  • Team A: 4.50 x 10 = $45
  • Team B: 900 x 10 = $9000

So understanding betting odds may take some time to get used to, but you’ll get the hang of it when you place more bets. Generally, decimal odds are recommended for beginners, but it’s also really about preference. It also depends on the bookie where you’ll place your bets.

Now, if you’ve never placed bets on any sports events before, visiting a sportsbook can confuse you once you see the numbers or the sports betting odds. This is why you’ll need to understand how sports betting odds work.