How Sports Betting Odds Work

How Sports Betting Odds Work

Betting odds are a representation of the probability of an event occurring. These odds will also affect the payout you can receive. If you’re looking to bet on sports, you will need to understand how they work first.

Betting is now legal in a growing number of U.S. states, and bettors should familiarize themselves with betting odds before getting started and placing their first bets. In this guide, you’ll be able to learn about the types of odds and how to read them to determine if a bet has value or not.

Moneyline Odds

Moneyline odds are the most common way to display betting odds at U.S. sportsbooks and Louisiana sports betting sites. These odds show which team is the favorite and which is the underdog and show how much you can win from placing your bet.

 Betting favorites are shown with a minus (-) sign, and the number indicates how much you need to stake to win $100. For example, odds of -150 will show you that this option is the favorite, and you’ll need to bet $150 to win $100. If the bet wins, you’ll get your initial stake as well as the winnings, meaning you’ll have $250 returned to you.

On the other hand, underdogs are shown with a plus (+) sign, and the number tells you how much you’ll win with a stake of $100. For example, odds of +200 mean that betting $100 will triple your stake if you win, giving you $200 in winnings and your $100 stake back. 

Occasionally, the contest might be close enough that there’s no favorite, with both options having the same odds. This will typically be -110, but some sportsbooks will offer different odds for closely rated outcomes in rare cases. These are known as even contests, where the two teams or competitors are evenly matched. 

Fractional and Decimal Odds

Moneyline odds are the most popular ways of displaying odds in the U.S., and all U.S. sportsbooks will show them by default. However, they’re not the only way you’ll see odds displayed. Fractional and decimal odds are also used, which provide a different way of viewing the odds and working out how much you can win.

Fractional odds use fractions such as 3/4, 1/2, 3/1, and more. These are commonly used by sportsbooks in the UK and are relatively simple to use.

To work out how much you can win, you simply multiply your stake by the sum of the numerator (top number) divided by the denominator (bottom number). For example, if you bet $10 on an event with odds of 1/2, you would win $5 and receive your stake back.

Decimal odds use decimal numbers and are even easier to calculate your odds from. All you need to do is multiply the decimal by your stake, and you’ll get the amount you’ll receive back from your win, including the stake. For example, if you bet $10 on an outcome with odds of 4.0 and it wins, you’ll receive $40 in total. 

Which Odds are Best?

While some people may argue that one type of odds is better than the other, the reality is that the best type is the one you prefer. Most online sportsbooks will allow you to switch through the types to try out different options or pick the one you find easiest to use. 

Whichever type of odds you choose to use, it won’t impact how much you win. Whether you use Moneyline, fractional or decimal, the odds are changed accordingly to reflect the same amount of money won from your stake. 

 

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About Ryan Knuppel 2 Articles
Ryan has been one of the leading sports business & iGaming professionals for over 15 years. He started as a freelance writer and now operates one of the top sports content agencies around, Knup Solutions. He has literally written 10,000 plus sports and betting related articles across the web. Just search his name and you will see some of the work he has submitted to top iGaming sites.