Sports Betting 101: Types of Odds


Nov 14 2022 07:14PM

Sports betting can be labeled confusing, and one of the biggest culprits of that stigma is odds and how they are displayed. There are three main ways odds can be, American, fractional, and decimal. There are many factors that can determine how you will see the odds portrayed, but the most important factor is location.

American Odds

American odds are what is used with basically every American sportsbook. The numbers revolve around the ratios of a $100 bet. Like point spreads, if a team has a negative number as their odds, they are the favorite. You bet a choice a possible positive outcome; the negative number will represent the amount you would have to wager to win $100. For instance, placing a $140 bet on a team with -140 odds would pay out $100 for a win. Not everyone is betting identical $100 units every time, so the number acts as a ratio. For example, a $70 bet would earn $50 to win with the same -140 odds.

Betting the underdog (or team with the + numbers beside them) works in reverse. The number is a representation of how much a win will payout on a $100 wager. So, for instance, betting $100 on a team with +150 odds would pay out $150 with a win. Generally, the American odds will appear beside all bets, even spreads.

Fractional Odds

If you are seeing fractional odds, you are probably in one of two situations: either you are betting on horse racing or are in the United Kingdom. Fractional odds are displayed as follows:

(Winnings)/(Bet Amount)

So if a bet shows the odds of 6/5, a $5 dollar bet would win $6.There are a few tricks to make fractional odds a bit easier to understand. If the numerator (the number on top) is larger than the denominator (the number on bottom), that bet would be considered an underdog or the same as a plus sign (+) next to the odds in the American format. A bet where the numerator is smaller than the denominator would be a favorite, or a minus sign (-) in the American Format.

Below are a few examples of Fractional odds with their American counterparts.

10/11 = -110

4/1 = +400

2/11 = -550

Decimal Odds

Decimal Odds are commonly referred to as European odds as they are popular throughout Europe. These types of odds are also commonly found in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Decimal Odds represent the amount of money won for every $1 wagered, including the initial wager. A $1 bet on a 5.00 line would result in $5, $4 of profit plus the initial $1 wager. The quick trick to start understanding Decimal Odds is to start by identifying which odds are considered underdogs and which are favorites. If an odd is greater than 2.00 the bet is considered an underdog, plus (+) odds in American Odds and a larger numerator in Fractional Odds. If a line is less than 2.00 then that bet is considered a favorite, minus (-) odds in American Odds and a smaller numerator in Fractional Odds. A line set at exactly 2.00 is an even money bet. Below are a few examples of Decimal Odds and their American and Fractional counterparts:

1.909 = -110 = 10/11

5.00 = +400 = 4/1

1.182 = -550 = 2/11

As you can see things can get pretty confusing if you do not understand the differences between the ways to display odds. Our advice to you is to start with the type of odds displayed in your region and become comfortable with those. Once you understand your local odds, it is much easier to branch out and learn the others.