Sports Betting Odds: How Does It Work?

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How to read sports betting odds is an essential step in becoming a successful sports bettor.

Some consider this a difficult task, but with a bit of investment of time and practice, research will soon become second nature.

Above all, understanding your odds will help you determine bet sizes and payouts and discover the value of your bet lines.

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When starting your sports betting journey, you have three main betting categories to choose from:

  • Fractional (UK) odds
  • Decimal (European) odds
  • Moneyline (US) odds.

These are different ways of showing the same odds; there is no difference in payouts.

This means that the odds (or percentage probabilities) of an event occurring can be transformed and expressed in the odds mentioned above.

Why Should I Understand Sports Betting Odds?

Understanding the odds is essential to successful sports betting sessions.You can choose from sites worldwide that only display odds in one format.

Furthermore, it also helps avoid mistakes like making big bets on events with low odds.

Main Betting Odds

There are three ways to view your sports betting odds. Although each display differs, the following examples imply the same win rate (33.33%).

Moneyline (US) Odds

Moneyline odds are considered sports betting odds favored by US players.

This bet type is often called “American” or “US odds.” The favorite team or players odds will have a minus sign (-) representing the amount you must bet to win $100.

Conversely, the underdog odds are marked with a plus (+) symbol to show the amount won per $100 wagered.

2018 brought a considerable change to the sports betting industry.

The US legalized betting in 30 states, and others are considering the legislation change.

The functionality of the odds ensures the winner gets back the amount they won plus their original wager.

The difference between favorite odds and underdog odds widens in correlation to the probability of the favorite winning increases.

Fractional (UK) Odds

Fractional odds are also referred to as ‘British’ odds, ‘UK odds,’ or ‘traditional’ odds.

Favored among the bookmakers in the UK and Ireland, UK odds hold a considerable fan base.

Fractional odds use a forward slash (/) or hyphen (-) to represent each side of the odds.

The UK odds represent fractional figures, such as 6/1 (6 to 1) means you win $6 for every $1 wagered and get back your dollars.

For instance, this is the ratio of the amount won or to win to the original stake.

You win your wager ($1) on top of your win ($6), which results in a total payout of $7.

So if you bet $10 on 6/1 and win, you will get a total payout of $70 ($60 win +$10 stake).

Decimal (European) Odds

Decimal odds (also known as ‘European’ or ‘continental’ odds) are prevalent in continental Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada.

European odds are by far the easiest bet to understand. The numbers quickly identify favorites and underdogs.

The odds decimal represents the amount you can win for every $1 wagered. With decimal odds, the numbers represent total payouts rather than wins.

Your stake is thus already in the decimal number, making it easier to calculate your total payout.

FAQs About Sports Betting Odds

Are The Types Of Odds Based Only On Sport?

Sports betting odds are playable in any layout for any event. Nevertheless, the types of betting odds used commonly depend on the sport and the type of bet.

Odds for betting on races, soccer, and tennis displays in a fractional style. While baseball usually uses Moneyline odds.

Why Are Odds Important In Sports Betting?

Betting odds are significant as they indicate how likely you are to win on a particular bet.
In addition to determining payouts, you also need to know the answer to “how do the odds work?”.
By knowing this information, the bettor will understand how the sportsbook might think of a particular outcome.

What Are +200 Odds In Sports Betting?

Odds called +200 are the American format. The odds of +200 point out the amount a bettor could win by betting $100.
In this case, the payout is $300 ($100 stake + $200 net win).

What Are The Most Readable Betting Odds?

Decimal odds are the easiest to read. You need only a few calculations to determine your total payout on your stake.


Understanding how the odds work allows you to maximize your potential winnings.

Using the above mentioned tools, you can easily bet without worrying about losing. Based on this article, you can enjoy your sports betting experience with the best foot forward.