Sports Betting Odds – How They Work

Recent innovations in the field of sports betting have made wagers available worldwide. The widespread network of online betting sites is becoming increasingly popular, as it enables enthusiasts to place their bets on any sports game played at the moment.

In turn, such bettors may need to adapt to several formats in order to get the most out of each betting experience. One such variable which mainly depends on the continent where the site provides its betting services is the way sports betting odds are presented.

In this regard, there are typically three ways to display these odds, with each of them telling the story to the bettor in their own specific way. Once you learn how to read them, you’re ready to bet.

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Understanding Fractional Odds

Common for the UK, this method of displaying the odds for a particular game is also known as UK Odds, British Odds or Traditional Odds. Here, each team is associated with a fraction which shows the bettor’s total winnings. In general, the team with fractional odds which are less than 1 are more likely to win, but bring lower profit, and the other way around.

Just to illustrate, imagine a team has 4/1 odds of winning. Risking £1, you could win £4, plus the original wager, at a total of £5.


Understanding Decimal Odds

Most frequently used in continental Europe, Canada and Australia, these odds are also known as European Odds. This method has proven to be simple and particularly easy when trying to convert them from fractional odds.

These odds basically represent the decimal value of the fractional odds, plus one. They are quite straightforward, as they show the exact amount you’d get if your bet wins.

Betting $10 on a team with 1.45 odds would give a total profit of $10×1.45, i.e. $14.5, which is as simple as it gets, if you’re willing to try.


Understanding American Odds

Sportsbooks in the USA employ a particular way known as American odds in order to display these calculated chances of a team winning the particular game. This type is also known under the name Moneyline odds.

These odds make use of the positive and negative symbols, and associate these odds by dividing the two opponents into the favorite party and the underdog. Starting off with a bet of $100, they associate the favorite team with the negative money line, showing how much money you would need to wage in order to win $100. So, if the favorite team has -120 odds of winning, you would have to risk $120 in order to win $100, plus your original wager.

For underdogs, these American odds make use of the positive money line, which tells you how much you would win if you place a $100 bet.