Sports Betting Odds Explained: How Do Betting Odds Work ?

Sports Betting Odds Explained

For millennia sports betting has provided the opportunity for people to feel the thrill of having a stake in events and earn profits by correctly calculating possibilities from the outcomes.

The modern mass media makes it easier nowadays for sports fans to gain deep insight on the performance of their favorite athletes and teams. This allows them to successfully predict the outcome of the sporting events.

On the other hand , bookmaking businesses make it possible for sports fans to earn money by allowing them to place bets on the outcomes of sporting events. Bookmakers, also known as bookies, operate either through brick- and-mortar establishments ; casinos or betting shops, or by providing sports betting platforms that lets fans to place bets online, including at online casinos , as well as, telegram casinos.

This is a growing industry where sportsbook software providers develop and sell sportsbook software to bookmakers. This leads bookmakers to organize the operation of their selected sports betting platform. The revenue of the sports betting industry in the US is estimated to grow to as much as 10 billion US dollars per annum by 2028 after the country has joined other countries in legal sports betting in 2019. The bookmakers state their bets in one of three different forms known as sports betting odds.

What Are Betting Odds?

What are Sports Betting Odds

Betting Odds are numerical representations used to express the likelihood of various outcomes in a sporting event. They help bettors understand the potential returns on their wagers.

In simple words, bookmakers provide sports betting odds to show how likely something is to happen and how much players can potentially win if they bet on a certain team or player.In the realm of sports betting odds, it's crucial for bookmakers to have access to reliable and up-to-date information. That's where a comprehensive betting odds feed steps in, providing real-time data on a wide range of sporting events.

These odds come in different formats, such as, American or Money Line Odds, British or Fractional Odds, and European or Decimal Odds. Understanding these odds is crucial for making informed betting decisions and maximizing potential profits. Let's delve into each type to grasp their significance in the realm of sports betting. As betting odds can be somewhat difficult for newcomers to understand, let me explain them as simple as possible.

Understanding Different Betting Odds Formats

As betting odds can be somewhat difficult for newcomers to understand, let me explain them as simple as possible.

American/Money Line Odds: How They Work

American odds, also called Money Line or US odds, are the standard betting odds utilized by American sportsbooks. They are displayed as a positive or negative number.

So, what do the + and - mean in sports betting?

The positive number is the amount of money you will win if you place a $100 bet. The negative is the amount of money you need to wager to make a $100 profit.

For example, Let us have a look at 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics basketball odds . They were posted at top US sportsbooks as displayed below.

American or Money Line Odds - example

DraftKings offered the odds of -900 dollars that the USA men’s basketball team would win the gold medal. This means that you needed to wager $900 with DraftKings to make a $100 profit. The other sportsbook offered -1100 as the odds for the same outcome. This means that you needed to wager $1100 with FanDuel to make a $100 profit.

The same sportsbooks offered higher (and equal in this case) money line odds for France's basketball team winning the gold medal. Both DraftKings and FanDuel offered the odds of +600 that the men'sbasketball team of France would win the gold medal. This means that you would win $600 if you placed a $100 bet with either DraftKings or FanDuel - and France’s men’s basketball team won the gold medal!

This example makes it clear that in American/money line odds the team with highest positive odds offered is considered the underdog, indicating that it is less favored to win the event. And the team with lowest negative odds is the favorite. So, in the Money Line odds, the favorites’ odds are accompanied by a minus (-) sign while the odds for the underdogs are accompanied by a positive (+) sign.

Fractional/British Odds: How do They Work?

Fractional, also known as British odds, are used in the United Kingdom and, as the name suggests, are represented as a fraction. Let us have a look at the odds at a popular odds comparison site – OddsChecker, that displays the 2024 Premier League winner betting odds.

OddsChecker offers 5/1 fractional odds for the 2024 Premier League winner betting odds for Liverpool.

It means that you will profit five times the amount you wagered in case Liverpool wins the Premier League. So, a $1 bet at 5/1 fractional odds would pay out $6 in total, or a $5 profit for your $1 original wager.

OddsChecker gives Arsenal the 7/2 odds for the Premier League winner betting odds. It means a $1 bet at 7/2 odds would pay out $4.5 in total, consisting of a $7/2 profit and your $1 original wager in case Arsenal wins the Premier League.

As it is clear from these examples, multiplying the fractional odds by your wager shows what profit you would collect with fractional betting odds. The same as OddsChecker gives Tottenham the 4500/1 odds for the Premier League winner betting odds. Then for every $1 you bet; you will collect $4500 profit in case Tottenham wins the Premier League for a total payout of $4501!

The OddsChecker bet for Manchester City to win the Premier League is 8/13. Then for every $1 you bet you will collect $8/13 profit and your $1 original wager. This shows that Manchester City is a strong favorite to win the Premier League.

These OddsChecker bets illustrate that lower fractional odds correspond to favorites, and higher fractional odds correspond to underdogs.

There is another way of reading the fractional or British odds: the right column is the amount you need to wager to win the figure in the left column. If you have odds of 8/13, then for every 13 units you bet, you win 8 units in profit. If you bet £13, you would win £8 profit, and in case you bet £130, you would win £80 in profit and so on. Of course, besides winning a profit you also get back your original stake as fractional odds don’t include your stake back.

There is a special term for fractional odds when the number in the right column is bigger than the left. When this happens it is called odds-on: a bet that is very likely going to win. As we saw earlier, odds-on bets represent favorites.

Decimal/European Odds: How do They Work?

Decimal odds are popular in Europe and Asia and the main reason for their popularity is the ease of its use. As the name suggests, these odds are displayed as a decimal: they tell you how much your total returns are - the stake included, per unit staked.

For example, if you have odds of 1.5 then for every 1 unit staked you get a return of 1.5 units. With decimal odds, this is the total return and it includes the origin al stake. So, this would be a breakdown of 0.5 units of profit and 1 unit from the original stake.

Decimal or European Odds - example

Let us have a look at another example. The decimal odds displayed above are for betting on the Premier League game between Arsenal and Chelsea on April 23 2024. As you can see, Arsenal win odds was 1.51, and Chelsea win at 7.50, and the draw was at 5.30. If you were to bet $10 on each, it is easy to calculate the return in a decimal format. You would get back $15.10 in case of Arsenal’s win, $75 if Chelsea won and $53 in case of a draw.

Using Betting Odds to Place a Bet on a Sports Betting Platform

It is relatively straightforward to place bets once you have gained an understanding of how betting odds work. It involves a few general steps that we will review briefly below.

  • - Register an Account on a Sports Betting Platform: You should first decide which sports betting platform or sportsbook you want to use.

  • - Make a Deposit: When you’re signed in you need to deposit funds into your betting account. Deposits are usually processed instantly.

  • - Choose Your Sport and Market: Navigate the sportsbook to look through potential bets that you want to place.

  • - Choose Your Odds and Add to Bet Slip: Once you’ve found a bet that you’re happy with, check the odds and add it to your bet slip. The bet slip is where you build your bet before placing it. Once again, you’ll just need to follow the instructions.

    Once you place your stake amount, the potential returns and total cost of your bet will also be displayed on the bet slip. After you place your bet, the bet slip will show a receipt of the bet. Below is a sample receipt from DraftKings’ Help Center.

    The sample bet slip receipt shows that one bet at -142 odds on Ottawa Senators ice hockey team has been placed wagering $10 with a Total Payout of $17.04.

    Sample Bet Slip Receipt

In Conclusion

American, British, and European odds offer different methods to convey the same information and they can seamlessly be converted from one to another. Understanding betting odds is essential for navigating the world of sports betting. By comprehending these formats and how they work, bettors can make more informed decisions and maximize their chances of success.

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