Sports Betting Odds for Dummies: The What, Why, and How!

Man checking out sports betting odds

Looking up to bet on some online sportsbooks but end up confused with the odds?

For beginners, sports betting odds can be confusing. They can come in many forms, and if you’re not familiar with them, you will end up losing money instead of getting more. Nowadays, online betting is becoming a popular activity.

Find out about what are and how do sports betting odds work in this article now. 

Sports Betting Odds Explained

When it comes to sports betting, odds often serve two purposes. One is for computing the payouts of winning wagers. Whenever you place your bets with a bookmaker, you will get offered odds.

This will play a big role in how much you can win. The higher your odds are, the bigger the chances you have to win the bet.

The second purpose of odds is to show the probability of certain outcomes. The bigger the possibility of the outcome happening, the lower your chance of winning becomes.

You can expect to win less when you are betting on a result that is most likely to happen. The more unlikely outcomes can be a better sign of you winning big.

Sports betting odds in a game are also essential in leveling the playing field. Sportsbooks encourage you to want to bet on the underdog as much as you want to bet on favorites. When the payoff is the same for both sides, everyone would always bet on the favorite.

Odds can be a bit daunting when you’re starting. However, you can check on DocSports free picks for expert daily odds predictions.

How Do Sports Betting Odds Work

The basic principle behind sports betting odds is straightforward. However, the three different formats of odds can create some confusion for beginners. One important factor is to know how each format works and how to calculate them.

You’ll be encountering these formats at some point, and it’s beneficial to be familiar with each one. They all work the same way and are only different in expressing the odds in particular wagers.

Moneyline/American Odds

Moneyline odds, or also called American odds, are the most common format used in the United States. It’s also the most-used odds format in online sportsbooks. These odds are often displayed as either a positive or a negative number.

The sign in front of the number suggests that placing a bet on that particular outcome will give more payout than you have wagered. It can also mean if it’ll give you less money than what you betted on.

For odds with a negative (-) means that the outcome is more probable to happen. Placing a bet on that outcome will then give a lesser payout than the money you put in.

Positive (+) signed odds show that the result is less expected to happen. This also means that your payout would be bigger than the amount you used in betting. When you know how much the bet’s exact payout would be, the numbers in the odds will start becoming significant.

For example, when you see a listed odd with a negative sign, like -140, it shows how much money you will need to bet in to win. With that idea, -140 tells you that you need to bet 140 dollars to win a profit of 100 dollars.

The same principle applies to online betting. One great thing about betting online is that the online sportsbook will make the calculations for you before you put your bet. After that, you can click on the outcome or team you plan on betting on.

Input the amount you wish to bet, and it will show you what your potential payout would be. Once you’re sure, you can confirm and start placing your bets.

Decimal Style Odds

These are the most common odds format that sportsbooks use in Europe. Unlike other odds, they are the easiest to understand.

Multiply the amount you wish to bet by the decimal odds displayed. The product is what your payout will be.

For instance, is when you’re planning to put a $10 bet on a team with 2.40 decimal odds. What you only need to do is multiply your $10 bet by the 2.40 odds. The product will tell you that the payout will be $24.

Remember that, in decimal-style odds, the amount you bet on is part of the product. To find out your profits, subtract your wager from the product. Using the example, it would be $24- $10, so your potential payout will be $14.

Although it’s the easiest to understand, this odds format is rarely used in North American sportsbooks. Most online betting sites give you the freedom to choose how you’d like your betting odds displayed. You can change the odds format to decimal-style odds if you’re more comfortable with it.

Fractional Odds

Fractional odds are the traditional format sportsbooks in the United Kingdom often use. They are often the odds used in UK horse racing online sportsbooks. Among the three formats, this is the trickiest when it comes to calculating potential payouts.

Despite that, the fundamental principle of fractional odds is not that complicated. To compute your total potential payout, you will have to add your original stake. The odds are in fraction form. For example, 3/1 is three to one.

In 3/1, you can win three units for every one unit betted on. 1/1 means even money, meaning you can win one unit for every unit gambled on.

How Do Sports Betting Odds Work: The Ultimate Guide

How do sports betting odds work? Now you know! Knowing how to calculate your profits and how much you need to bet is important in your chances of winning.

Odds help you calculate your potential payouts and show the probability of happenings. Familiarizing yourself with these formats will help you understand the odds better.

However, you don’t have to stop here. Want to up your chances in sports betting? Check out our other blog posts to discover more tips and tricks!

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