Put simply, odds in betting dictate the amount of money you stand to win while also painting a picture of your winning probability. Although probability and odds in betting are not exclusive as both can be swayed by certain events.
If your research points to the odds being skewed from the actual probability, check out a few online resources to help decide when good value has been found in your bets. After having a basic understanding of what odds are, the next crucial step will be learning how to read odds.
American odds or moneyline odds are predominant in the USA and are common ground on any sportsbook targeting the USA audience. Unlike in other odds, in American odds the odds for the favourite and underdog are calculated differently. The first thing you need to know is the difference between the two. In American odds the Negative sign (-) will always indicate the favourites, while the positive sign (+) will indicate the underdogs.
- Negative – When a negative sign is presented with a number e.g. -$140, this represents the wager that one would need to place in order to win $100. In the case mentioned here, a bet of $70 would yield a $50 win.
- Positive – When a positive sign is presented with a number e.g. +$140, this represents the amount one would stand to win if they were to place a wager of $100. In this case a bet of $50 would yield a $70 win.
As we can see in above the positive and negative are completely inverse of one another. This becomes a lot easier to remember and calculate with practice. It is important to note that the winnings here do not include the initial wager. The initial wager will be given back to you when collecting your winnings.
British odds or fractional odds are slightly more simple with having no deviation between the favourites or the underdogs. The formula is simple (potential win)/(wager amount) so odds presented at 6/1 would mean you stand to make six times your money after winning your bet. Odds presented at 1/10 would mean you stand to make $1 for every $10 you bet. It is important to remember that British odds do not take the initial wager into consideration. The initial wager will be returned to one when collecting your winnings.
The easiest of all odds to understand, decimal odds will be presented as a decimal number. The formula is simple and does not point to a base wager like the other two forms of odds. The formula is (wager)x(decimal number). If presented with odds e.g. 1.50 you would times your wager by 1.50 to receive the final payout. It is important to note that the calculation in decimal odds does include your initial wager and is the final amount you will receive.