Betting odds explained. Anyone can learn how to bet on sports, but just a few can make a long-term profit from sports betting.
That’s why our team of experts made several articles about all the fundamentals. Into our introductory series for new bettors: Sports Betting Fundamentals.
In this sub-section, you can learn how to read odds, how to manage your bankroll, and what are the best betting systems.
We’ll walk you through some basic steps that you need to know before placing a sports bet online.
Let’s get started!
How to Understand and Read Odds
Understanding betting odds is one of the key skills to master if you want to know which wagers are worth taking.
That slight advantage that professional bettors can see in the opening odds. That is the reason why they make a steady profit! And why they can beat the odds in the long run.
So, in the sports betting industry, odds represent the bookie’s opinion! This on the probability of a particular outcome in a specific match or a game. With the odds, bookies create a certain price on the selected outcome. Almost all online sportsbooks in the world, offer at least three types of odds to their customers and some offer even more.
The Popular Types of Betting Odds
As we already said, there are the three most popular types of odds (Decimal, Fractional, and American). And several other less popular and more localized types of odds (Hong Kong, Indonesian and Malaysian odds.)
If you are a newcomer in the sports betting industry, then it is time to break down every type of odds. So you can learn things about the odds, how to read them, and how to convert them.
Decimal or European Odds
The decimal (European) odds are most used by the popular European sportsbooks. But for example, this type of odds are also popular in Australia. But can be found in almost every respectable sportsbook in the world. As the name suggests, the odds in this type are represented as a decimal number (1.10, 1.50, 2.30, 5.42, etc.)
Calculating the potential profit from decimal odds is rather easy. You need to multiply the odds with your stake, and then to deduct the amount of the stake to get net winnings from those odds.
Calculation: (odds * stake) – stake = net profit
In a basketball game between Dallas Mavericks (1.50) and LA Lakers (2.48), every bettor that decides to place a $100 wager on Dallas will possibly win $50 of net profit.
In contrast, a bettor who decides to place a $100 wager on LA Lakers. Can eventually win $148 of net profit, if LA Lakers win the game.
Overall, European (decimal) odds are rather easy to understand and straightforward, so many professional bettors prefer to use them, even if those aren’t the native odds type of jurisdiction.
We think this type of odds is maybe the best for beginners, as there are no positive or negative signs or fractions to convert. Everything can be calculated easily and fast, even the vig.
American (US) Odds
American odds, US odds, or the Moneyline odds, are the most popular type of odds in the United States of America and Canada. At first sight, they look complicated, but they are rather easy to use once when you understand them.
When you see +/- on sports betting lines, you will know that you are dealing with the American odds. This is the only type of odds that has plus and minus signs before the odds. Those signs indicate weather you place a wager on a favorite (the negative sign) or an underdog (the positive sign).
Calculating payouts depend on the sign, of course, if you are placing a wager on a favorite. The odds represent the amount of money you need to place to win $100 potentially. If you are placing a wager on the underdog, then the odds represent the amount you will potentially win with a $100 wager.
In a basketball game between Dallas Mavericks (-200) and LA Lakers (+148), every bettor that decides to place a $100 wager on Dallas will possibly win $50 of net profit.
In contrast, a bettor who decides to place a $100 wager on LA Lakers can eventually win $148 of net profit, if LA Lakers win the game. As you may see, the favorite odds (-200) show how much the bettor needs to wager to win $100.
In the end, despite American odds can be a bit confusing in the beginning, they are super easy and logical. Once, when you understand how these odds work. You will have no problems reading them and converting them into your favorite type of odds.
Fractional (UK) Odds
British (Fractional, UK) odds are most commonly used in Britain and Ireland. Fractional odds have originated from horse racing. Using and understanding fractional odds can look pretty confusing for a novice bettor, but they show a rather simple mathematical equation.
Whenever you see at your sportsbook two numbers separated by a slash, this is fractional betting odds (4/1, 1/1, 4/7, etc.). Calculating fractional odds is rather easy. When the first number is higher than the second one, that means that potential profit will be larger than the amount staked.
Here is an example:
In a basketball game between Dallas Mavericks (4/9) and LA Lakers (11/8), every bettor that decides to place a $100 wager on Dallas will possibly win $44 of net profit.
So, a bettor who decides to place a $100 wager on LA Lakers can eventually win $138 of net profit, if LA Lakers win the game. As you may see, the favorite odds (4/9) show that the bettor needs to wager $9 to win $4.
Overall, fractional odds can be a bit tricky at the start. But overall, understanding UK odds is important to US bettors, even if they don’t want to use them.
Other Types of Betting Odds Used by Sportsbooks Around the World
Sportsbooks around the world use several different types of odds. For example, you have Hong Kong odds, Indonesian (Indo) odds, and Malaysian (Malay) odds. Those odds are variations of Fractional, American, and Decimal odds, or a mixture of all of them.
Those odds are not used by many bettors in the world, as some of them are only used in the countries where they originated.
Despite the fact that you will rarely use these types of odds. It is nice to know how they work and how they look in the sportsbook.
How to Convert Betting Odds Format
Today it is easy to convert any type of odds to another using the online free odds converters.
Despite the fact that you can use free software, we think it is essential for every bettor to know (at least in theory). How to convert odds from one format to another.
Luckily, we have some tips and tricks on how to convert odds in the easiest way.
Converting Fractional to Decimal Odds
The easiest way to convert the fractional odds to decimal is to divide the first number of the fractional odd with the second number and then add 1.00 to get the decimal odds. Here is an example:
5/11 fractional odd is ((5/11) + 1) = 1.45 in decimal odds
Converting Decimal to Fractional Odds
To convert decimal into fractional odds, you need to subtract 1.00 from decimal odds and then find the first whole number. Here is an example:
1.25 decimal odd is 1.25 – 1.00 = 0.25/1 * 4 = 1/4 fractional odd
As you may see, every type of odds can be converted into another type. And it is just questioned whether you want to convert it manually or you want to use one of the free online converters. In the end, it is important to know the types of odds and to be aware of the differences.
Positive odds represent odds on the underdog. +140 odd shows how many profit you will get from a $100 wager.
There is no universal answer to that question. Many bettors think that football is the most accessible sport to bet, but it really depends on the bettor preferences and style of play.
This is one of the basic types of betting markets. If you want to know more about this betting market, visit our page and read the comprehensive guide about Moneyline betting market.