A Detailed Guide on How to Read Sports Betting Odds

Anyone who places bets should make an effort to learn how to calculate odds. Odds indicate how likely your selection is to win. They also tell you how much money you can win if your bet is successful.

It’s critical to understand your chances of winning before you decide to begin betting. Whether it’s sports betting, CSGO betting, or any other form of betting, knowledge on how to calculate odds is essential. Placing sensible bets necessitates understanding the various forms of odds and the ability to interpret their various formats. The good news is that there are great sites that let you in on how to go about betting odds.

The three main types of betting odds include; fractional, decimal, and money line odds. Essentially, they are just different ways of presenting the same thing. You will also find that the payouts are identical. This means that any of these odds can be used to analyze and predict the possibility of a win.

Betting odds may appear perplexing at first. This comprehensive explanation seeks to ensure that you understand how betting odds are determined. By the end of this article, you will be able to make better decisions when gambling online.

American odds

Many people are unfamiliar with how to calculate betting odds. We’ve done our best to explain how they operate below, starting with the American odds. They are the most common betting odds and are mostly used in North America.

However, you will find that most online sportsbooks list their odds in American Odds. Since beginners may find it difficult to read and understand sports betting odds, we’ve included an example below using 2 football teams:

Matchup Odds

ManChester United+130


The positive or negative sign is the first component of the American Odds. The number following the sign is the second component of the odds.

The sign tells you whether betting on that outcome will pay out more or less than your bet money. If the odds have a negative sign, the outcome is likely to occur. And just as betting works, a bet on it would pay less than your bet amount. A positive sign means the outcome is less likely to occur. A bet on it would pay out more than your bet amount if successful.

The next stage of the American Odds is to determine how much the bet will payout. For this part, the odds figures now come into play.

A listed odd with a negative sign in such as the -150 in our example, represents the amount of money you require to win $100. Using -150 means that you’d have to gamble using $150 to gain $100 in profit. If you slide the decimal place with one point, you convert the $100 bet to a $10 bet. This will now mean that you need to wager $15 to win a profit of $10.

Negative Odds Example

A listed odd with a positive sign, such as +130 in our example, indicates the money you win if you bet $100. Using the +130 odds example, a $100 wager leads to a profit of $130 if successful. It can also be transformed into smaller or larger bets. A $10 wager on +130 results in a profit of $13.

British Odds

The British and Irish favor British odds. They are also called fractional odds, U.K. odds, or simply traditional odds. Some of the world’s largest gambling sites use British odds. These odds are written with a slash (/) or hyphen (-).

A British odd of 7/1 means you’ll win $7 for every $1 you gamble. In this case, you will also get your money back. In other words, it is the ratio of the profit you gain to your initial bet. This implies you’ll get back your stake of $1 plus your profit of $7, and your total payout will be $8.


Let’s say the odds on the three teams that are likely to win the NBA Championship this year are as follows:

The Brooklyn Nets are – 14/6.

Warriors of Golden State – 10/3

The Milwaukee Bucks – 8/2.

From our example above, the Brooklyn Nets are the favorites. Golden State and Milwaukee, on the other hand, have longer shots at winning. You’d get $14 for every $6 you bet on Brooklyn if they win the championship. If Golden State wins, you’ll win $10 for every $3 you bet on. Remember, this is less likely. For each $2 you bet on Milwaukee, you win $8.

Decimal Odds

Decimal odds are the easiest to work with of the three types of odds.

With decimal odds, calculating your payment is simple. You simply multiply your bet amount with the odds connected to the team you’re betting on. You should then subtract the original bet amount from the payout to determine your winnings.

Decimal odds have slowly taken over as the standard format for odds used by betting sites. While some sites still use American and British odds, decimal odds are the most common and the ‘industry standard’ at the moment. This is because decimal odds are straightforward and the easiest to work with.

You need to understand two types of calculations with decimal odds; potential profits and total payout of a bet.

Potential total payout= stake × odds

Potential profit= stake × (odds-1)


Let’s say you stake $25 with a decimal odd of 3.0

Potential total payout;

$25 × 3.0 = $75

Potential profit

$25 × (3.0-1) = $50

Final Words

The advantage of betting online is that the online sportsbooks will calculate your odds for you before you put your wager. You can bet on an outcome or a team by clicking on it, then entering the amount you want to stake, and it will display your potential pay out before you confirm your bet. You do not even have to do calculations for yourself.

However, having a basic understanding of how these odds are calculated gives you an upper hand. Because you know what is going on, you are in a position to pick a bet with the most likely outcome.

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