Betting odds are the foundation of sports gambling, but many bettors find them hard to understand. These numbers show possible winnings and how likely events are to happen in sports betting. Bookies use odds to keep their books balanced and figure out payouts, so it's essential for gamblers to get how they work and how to calculate them.

This article intends to clear up confusion about betting odds and explain how they function in sports betting. It will look at the three main odds formats: fractional, decimal, and American (moneyline). Readers will learn to interpret these different formats, compare them, and understand how odds show probability and possible winnings. In the end, bettors will be better prepared to make smart choices when placing bets on their favorite sports.

## Understanding Fractional Odds

Fractional odds also called British odds or traditional odds, are common in the UK and Ireland. People write them as a fraction or ratio, like 6/1 or six-to-one. The fraction shows the ratio of possible profit to the stake. For example, with 6/1 odds, you can win £6 for every £1 you bet, plus you get your initial stake back.

To explain, let's look at the odds for the top three teams to win the NBA Championship:

- Brooklyn Nets: 13/5
- Golden State Warriors: 9/2
- Milwaukee Bucks: 7/1

These odds show that the Brooklyn Nets are the favorites, while Golden State and Milwaukee have longer odds 1.

### How to Read Fractional Odds

Reading fractional odds is simple. The left number represents the potential profit, while the right number represents the stake. Odds of 9/2 mean you could win £9 for every £2 you bet 1.

### Converting Fractional Odds to Probability

You can turn fractional odds into probability with this formula [2]:

Probability = B / (A + B)

A stands for the left number and B for the right number in the fractional odds.

Let's say you want to change 5/2 odds to probability:

Probability = 2 / (5 + 2) = 2/7 = 0.286 = 28.6%

So, 5/2 odds suggest a 28.6% chance of an event happening 2.

### Figuring Out Possible Winnings

To work out possible winnings from fractional odds, you need to multiply your bet by the fraction. Let's say the odds are 6/1 and you bet £10, your possible profit looks like this:

£10 x (6/1) = £60

Now add your first bet to the profit to get the total amount you'd receive:

£60 + £10 = £70

So, if you bet £10 at 6/1 odds, you'd get £70 back in total 1.

To make smart bets, you need to know how fractional odds work. When you learn to read them turn them into probabilities, and figure out what you might win, you can better judge the risks and rewards of your bets.

## Decoding Decimal Odds

Decimal odds go by several names: European odds digital odds, or continental odds. You'll find them used in continental Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada 2. People find them easier to grasp and work with than other odds formats. The numbers give away the favorites and underdogs at a glance 2.

The decimal odds figure shows how much money you can win for every £1 you bet. This includes the total payout, not just your profit 2. To put it , the stake is part of the decimal number, which makes it easier to work out 2.

For instance, if the decimal odds are 6, a winning wager would get a total payout of £6 for every £1 bet, which covers the initial stake plus a £5 profit 3. Any number between 1 and 2 is a favourite bet, while 2 stands for an even money bet 3.

### Interpreting Decimal Odds

Let's look at an example about the odds to win the 2020 U.S. presidential election 2:

- Donald Trump: 4.00
- Joe Biden: 1.3

These figures show how much you can win for every £1 you bet. For example, if you put £100 on Donald Trump and he wins, you'd get £400 back in total (£100 x 4.00). This includes your original £100 stake so your actual profit would be £300 2.

In the same way, if you bet £100 on Joe Biden and win, you'd get £130 back in total (£100 x 1.3). Your actual profit would be £30 once you take out your original bet 2. Here, the bookmaker got it right by making Biden the favorite to win the election 2.

The decimal odds' value has an influence on the likelihood of a candidate's victory, as judged by the bookmaker. A higher value means a lower chance of winning and a more dangerous wager 2.

### To Figure Out Payouts with Decimal Odds

You can work out possible payouts using decimal odds. Just multiply your bet by the decimal odds number 2. This total includes your original stake, which is why many gamblers prefer decimal odds.

For example, in a Champions League semifinal between Real Madrid and Chelsea, the decimal odds to bet on the three possible outcomes were [3]:

- Real Madrid win: 2.25
- Draw: 3.15
- Chelsea win: 3.35

A £10 bet on Real Madrid to win would give you £22.50 back (2.25 x £10). This includes your original £10 stake plus £12.50 in winnings. If you put £10 on a draw, you'd get £31.50 back (3.15 x £10). A £10 bet on Chelsea to win would return £33.50 (3.35 x £10) 3.

Decimal odds provide an easy way to work out potential winnings, as they already include the initial bet. This makes them a top pick for gamblers in areas where fractional or American odds aren't as used 2 3.

## American (Moneyline) Odds Explained

American odds also called moneyline odds, are common in the United States. A minus (-) sign comes before the odds for favorites showing how much you need to bet to win £100. A plus (+) sign comes before the odds for underdogs showing how much you'd win if you bet £100 2.

Let's take the Kansas City Chiefs and Pittsburgh Steelers as an example. If the moneyline odds show -760 for the Chiefs and +585 for the Steelers, this tells us the Chiefs are the favorites. You'd have to bet £760 on them to win £100 if they come out on top. The Steelers, on the flip side, are the underdogs. A £100 bet on them would make you £585 richer if they manage to win against the odds 2.

### Positive and negative moneyline odds

Moneyline favorites almost always have a minus sign, while underdogs always have a plus sign next to their odds 4. Moneylines appear in American odds and are based on a £100 bet. The odds next to a favorite show how much you need to bet to win £100, while the odds for an underdog show how much you'd win with a £100 bet 4.

For example, if a moneyline favorite has odds of -180, someone betting to win £100 must risk £180. A winning £180 bet at -180 odds would give you £280 (£180 initial stake + £100 profit) 4.

### Changing moneyline odds to implied probability

You can turn moneyline odds into percentages with formulas to find out the implied probability of a bet 5. For negative odds (favorites) here's the formula:

(Odds / (Odds + 100)) * 100 = Implied Probability

When odds are positive (underdogs), use this formula:

(100 / (Odds + 100)) * 100 = Implied Probability

Let's say a team has moneyline odds of -310. To figure out their chances of winning:

(310 / (310 + 100)) * 100 = 75.6%

Now, if another team has moneyline odds of +245, we can calculate their winning probability:

(100 / (245 + 100)) * 100 = 28.9%

Figuring out the implied probability can give bettors a clearer picture of how likely an outcome is to happen and help them make smarter choices when betting 5.

## Comparing Odds Formats and Conclusion

Betting odds have a big impact on sports wagering. They give us a peek into possible returns and how likely events are to happen. This article has talked about the three main ways odds are shown: fractions, decimals, and American (moneyline). When you know how to read these formats, you can make smarter choices and better judge the risks and rewards of your bets. To come up with a solid betting plan, it's essential to know how to turn odds into probabilities and figure out how much you might win.

In the end, understanding betting odds is key for anyone who wants to bet on sports . Odds give useful info, but remember, they show what bookmakers think and what the market's doing, not what's sure to happen. To do well in sports betting, you should mix your knowledge of odds with deep research careful money management, and a good grasp of the sports you're betting on. This know-how helps bettors handle the tricky world of sports betting with more self-assurance and understanding.

## FAQs

**How are odds calculated in sports betting?**

Sports betting odds show how much you need to bet to win a specific amount. For example, odds of -110 mean you have to bet £110 to win £100. In the same way, odds of -150 require a bet of £150 to win £100.

**What does it mean when odds are +7?**

In betting, +7 refers to the point spread. If you place a bet on a team with -7 odds, that team needs to win by more than seven points for you to win your bet. On the flip side, if you bet on a team at +7, they need to lose by less than seven points, or win the game outright, for your bet to pay off.

**What are 7/1 betting odds?**

Odds of 7/1 show that for every £1 you bet, you can win £7 if your chosen outcome happens. This means the bookmaker puts up seven times the amount you've bet.

**What does an odds ratio of 3 to 1 signify?**

An odds ratio of 3/1 tells you that you'll get a profit three times your bet if you win. Let's say you bet £1 at these odds. If you win, you'll get £4 back in total. This includes your original £1 bet plus £3 in winnings. On the flip side, 1/3 odds mean you'll earn a third of your bet as profit.

## References

[1] - https://www.olbg.com/blogs/converting-odds-probability

[2] - https://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/042115/betting-basics-fractional-decimal-american-moneyline-odds.asp

[3] - https://www.nytimes.com/athletic/2544857/2022/01/27/how-to-read-decimal-odds-in-sports-betting/

[4] - https://www.forbes.com/betting/guide/what-does-moneyline-mean/

[5] - https://www.legalsportsreport.com/how-to-bet/implied-probability/