betting odds

How to Read Sport Betting Odds

Reading odds and understanding what they mean is important for those who love betting on sports events. Odds tell you the possibility of an event happening ( which team is likely to win) and how much your potential winnings are. Now for newbies, odds can appear confusing. That’s because there are several numbers on the board including moneylines, spread, totals, etc. and it may not be clear what they mean. Continue reading this article to learn more about how to read odds.

betting odds

What Do Odds Mean?

Odds determine the possibility of an outcome occurring. They represent a team, a horse, or an athlete that has a high likelihood of winning. Although odds are written in different ways, they all show how possible one event is likely to occur compared to another. For instance, when you flip a coin, you’re likely to flip heads or tails equally. In this case, odds are one to one or equal.

Odds are mostly used in sports betting. Betting sites use statistics and historical data of teams to predict which team is likely to win. Teams with the highest odds are considered favorite and those with low odds are called underdogs. But, betting on lower odds return much profit compared to betting on a favorite. Odds are expressed with a negative or positive sign in front of them.

Some common vocabulary about odds used when betting include;

  • Wager– money or risk put on an event’s outcome.
  • Bookie– a person who sets and accepts odds.
  • Line– current point or odds spread on any event.
  • Action– a wager of any amount.

How to Read Betting Odds

The team expected to win will have negative odds in a betting line, meaning that every dollar you wager, earns you less than a dollar if you win your bet. While the underdog, or team that’s predicted to lose will have positive odds meaning that for one dollar wagered, one gains more than a dollar if that bet wins. Now there are different types of odds, including;

American Odds

They’re what’s displayed on many sportsbooks. Sports betting in America is different. Odds either have a plus or minus sign in front and they’re in terms of 100 as an industry standard. For example; Los Angeles -105 (1.5) Spread, -120 Money Line, and Under 9 (-105) Total. If it is a negative sign, individuals will have to bet more than $100 to win a payout of $100. However, don’t worry since you can see your potential winnings before placing a bet.

Fractional Odds 

They are mostly used in Europe and horseracing. To calculate them, one does some mental division or enters their desired amount on a sportsbook and see what shows as their payout. For instance, if Green Eggs has odds of 3/5, it’s read as 3-5 and you wager with $10, you’ll win $6 (10 X 0.6).

Decimal Odds

These are mostly used in Europe, where the favorite has the lower of the two numbers with the underdog having the higher of the two numbers. Return= Initial Wager x Decimal Value is the equation used for calculating decimal odds. For instance, if Chicago odds are 1.90, you bet with $10, your return will be $19.09, which means you made a profit of $9.09.

Sport Betting Odds

Sports Odds Explained

Moneyline bet– this is a wager placed on the team that will outrightly win. Both teams are given odds for winning that game. For example, Titans Moneyline odds can be +130, which means that if you bet $100 you’ll win $130 if this team wins. If the sign was -130, it means, you must wager $150 to win $100.

Spread bet– it’s wagered on teams that’ll cover the point spread. For instance, Lakers +5 (-110) is read as Lakers plus 5 points at minus 100 odds. This means that for one to win their bets, Lakers must win the game or lose it by less than 5. If the sign was -5 (-110), it means that the team must win the game by more than 5 points for one to win their bet.

Total Over/Under Bet– it focuses on how many points were scored rather than which team won the game. Once a total point score is set, you can wager on whether the game’s actual score will be over or under the point score set. For instance, if it is over 7 (-115) it means that you must bet $115 on the combined run score above 7, to win $100 whereas if it’s under 7 (-110), you must wager $110, on the combined run score to be lower than 7 to win $100. How Do Odds Work in Football

 How Do Odds Work in Football 

Bookmakers sets odds for any given event, which allows bettors to compare their opinion to those of the person setting those prices to see if they’ll make profits if they win the bet at the odds offered. Now, the amount of prices set on an event varies depending on different sites. However, no implied percentage chance of odds is 100%. Let’s understand what odds mean in terms of probability. Let’s say Manchester United 7/2 are to beat Arsenal 4/5 to win the game, and the draw is 3/5, it means;

  • Home win – Manchester United 7/2 a 22.22% implied percentage chance
  • Draw – 3/1 implied percentage chance of 25%
  • Away win -Arsenal 4/5 with an implied percentage chance of 55.56%

The total implied % chance is 102.78%, with the extra 2.78% the ‘edge’ that’s built into this betting market. Often, match results are on the spectrum’s lower end. However, one should understand the total percentages of outcomes to know what they’re up against.

Final Thoughts 

Betting odds simply show the likelihood of an event happening. Hence enabling individuals to know how much money they’ll win if their bet wins. Understanding how odds work and what they mean for your betting activity will help you make more money on betting markets.

About the Author: Mark Bargatze

Mark has been a betting man for nearly 20 years now. He is mainly into sports betting & horse racing. But also likes to play an occasional poker tournament. He shares all his betting experience on his blog.

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