Types Of Betting Odds In Sports Betting

Written by: Joseph Falchetti, Editor-in-Chief, Pro Sports Bettor and Casino Expert
Last updated:
6 minute read
Types Of Betting Odds In Sports Betting

In sports betting, odds are basically the reflection of the probability or chance of a particular outcome in a sporting event. Bookmakers establish prices or odds that will reflect the chances of an outcome taking place. Most online betting sites provide you with the choice of which type of betting odds you want to utilize. Having the betting odds explained is paramount to your success when you bet on sports.

If you’re unsure about what you see when you view betting odds, then you can’t accurately sports line shop or find value in betting markets, which is the key to success in sports betting. In this article, we explain the most popular types of betting odds in sports betting. These may service Americans, as well as a more international clientele. We will also touch on what exactly betting odds represent, and different sites have different odds. If you have tried betting online, you know that there are three types of betting odds that you will encounter. Europeans are more familiar with decimal odds where US bettors are more familiar with fractional ones.

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Types Of Betting Odds – Explained

Sports betting odds explained

Betting odds reflect the likelihood of a particular outcome as when it relates to sports betting or other events that a sportsbook has available for betting. They also represent the amount that players will have to risk and the amount they can win if their bets become winners. If an event is highly likely to occur, the odds will be lower. If an event is unlikely to occur, the odds will be higher. From a practical and wagering perspective, this makes sense.

You’re going to have to bet more to win less on an outcome that is highly likely. When an outcome is not so likely, you’re going to be able to bet less to win more. When it comes to bets close to even money, you’re going to bet around the same amount to win the same amount or close to it. Of course, we also have to account for the betting site’s vigorish, which is charged to both sides of a wager. However, the general rule still applies, higher odds = less chance of winning, but a higher payout and lower odds = stronger chance of winning, but a lower payout.

Converting Odds – Comparison of the values of the different odds formats

Decimal OddsFractional OddsMoneyline (US) OddsWin % (% needed to break even)Net Profit

Odds Types In Sports Betting

betting Odds Types blackboard

Depending on your region, your default odds format may be different. Gambling sites make this easier, though and are eager to accommodate players who prefer a different odds format, even if their region uses another type of odds. Most betting sites have the option to change odds formats. The best sportsbooks offer several different odds types.

The betting odds formats we will explain in this article are most popular in American, British, and European markets. There are a few other odds types in Asian markets, but these aren’t represented much in Western countries so we will leave those for another article.

American Odds In Betting On Sports

American odds, also known as moneyline odds, are most commonly used in the United States and Canada. They’re among the simplest to understand. The format centers around the $100 betting amount.

American betting Odds example

American odds have a positive (+) or a negative (-) sign next to the betting odds. If the odds are positive, the odds show how much a $100 bet would win if placed. If the odds are negative, it shows the amount that is needed to be wagered to win $100.

Calculating American Odds

For example, say we want to bet the New York Yankees at -160. We would need to wager $160 to win $100. If we win the bet, our net profit would be $100, and our $160 stake would be returned. Their opponent, the Tampa Bay Rays, are listed at +150. Instead of risking more to win less, we can place a $100 bet on the Rays and have a return of $150. If our bet wins, we will profit $150, and our $100 stake would be returned. Even money in American odds is expressed as +100.

Fractional Odds In Sports Betting

Fractional odds are used mostly in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Although, decimal odds are becoming a lot more popular in these markets. Fractional odds are based on, well, fractions. They can be a bit more complicated when calculating your profits than the other two formats in this article but still aren’t too difficult to understand.

Fractional betting Odds example

Fractional odds are what you might say to your friend if you’re interested in in a bet. You could say that you will give your buddy “four to one” on a wager, which would be expressed in fractional odds format as 4/1.

Calculate Fractional Odds Payouts

When the first number is larger than the second number, that means the potential profit is going to be larger than the amount staked. A $100 wager on a 4/1 fractional betting market would give us a profit of $400 and the return of our original stake of $100. Let’s turn it around, and bet a market that is 1/4. In this case, if our $100 wager wins, it would only net us $25 in profits, plus our original stake. Calculating your potential profits isn’t always that easy, however. Fractional odds can get a bit complicated. They’re probably our least favorite odds format for that reason. Even money is expressed in fractional odds as 1/1.

Decimal Odds In Sports Betting

Decimal odds are the most popular odds format in the world. Many experienced bettors opt to use decimal odds, even if those aren’t the native odds type of jurisdiction. They’re most popular in European countries aside from the UK and Ireland and are the favorites of sports bettors in Australia.

Decimal betting Odds example

In our opinion, decimal odds are the easiest to understand. There are no positive or negative signs or fractions to convert to understand decimal odds. Everything is expressed in a simple decimal format and can be calculated quickly and easily.

Payouts Calculation for Decimal Odds

For instance, if you placed a $100 bet on decimal odds of 2.2, you can simply multiply $100 x 2.2 to get $220. There’s no need to account for your original stake. It’s calculated into your winnings if you return. In this case, our net profit would be $120 on a $100 stake. Let’s look at it bet with decimal odds of 1.7. Using the same math, we can multiply $100 x 1.7 and get $170. We’re betting more to win less here. If our wager wins, we’re looking at $70 in profits, and our $100 stake returned. Even money in decimal odds is expressed as 2.0.

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Sports Betting Sites – Different Sports Odds

Betting sites are always changing their odds due to the changing markets, as we explained above. That’s why you might see a team favored by -150 at one gambling website but -160 at another or even larger disparities in the odds. Differences in odds between bookmakers can be an opportunity for profit for savvy gamblers. Why are odds different between betting sites? Well, there are a lot of factors at play.

If a sharp betting site like MyBookie Sportsbook, moves its odds, the rest of the market usually follows. That’s where you get opportunities for chasing steam if the rest of the market doesn’t adjust quickly. The betting websites that don’t move their odds will be beaten up by a larger volume of sharp bettors or wise guys. Online gambling sites will also move their odds in cases where they take a lot of money on one side or occasionally to bait public action on certain contests, which is known as line shading.

Check Out The Best Sports Betting Strategies Around

About the Author

Joseph Falchetti

Joseph Falchetti

Editor-in-Chief, Pro Sports Bettor and Casino Expert

Joe is the author of the majority of sports betting pages on SBS and he serves as a gambling consultant to our content team. He's been mentioned on Forbes.com as a gaming analyst, and his articles have been linked by larger publications, such as the New York Times.

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