Sports Betting Odds

Sports Betting Odds are one of the most important aspects of Sports Betting. If you do not know how to read, interpret, or Compare Sports Betting Odds you should not be placing bets until this article is read and understood.
Sports Betting Odds are also known as betting lines and are the numbers used to decide the payout of a wager. When placing a wager if the team is a favorite the sports betting odds will pay a lower wager, and when the team is an underdog it will pay a higher wager.

Sports bettors will take their time conducting research to find the “value” in sports betting odds they wish to use. Value is found in the betting lines where the bettor feels the outcome is more probable then the lines suggest. As a sports bettor, it is crucial to understand how to read sports betting odds to understand how to find good value betting lines.
When examining sports betting odds the majority of online sportsbooks use three different styles. Sports are bet worldwide and depending on where you live in the world depends on which style is dominant; American Odds are most dominant in North America, Decimal Odds conquer Europe, and Fractional Odds have slowly disappeared in everyday betting, however are still popular with Future Bets. Below you will find out how to read the format used for all three sports betting odds.

American Odds

In North America, the most common format of sports betting odds used by sportsbooks are the American Odds. Many people find the American Odds the hardest to understand, which makes it hard to believe that they are the most common. Listed below is an example of how the American Odds would look for an NHL game and how one would go about reading them.
The example below has the Calgary Flames (+160) at the New York Rangers (-180). The first noticeable sign when examining American Odds are the (+), and (-) located in front of both numbers.
American Odds
The (+), and (-) determines whether a sports bet will win more or less money than the original placed wager. The (-) sign indicates that the bettor will win less money, and the (+) indicates that the bettor will win more money than the original placed bet. For the majority of games, the (-) will be attached to the favorite and the (+) will be with the underdog, however, some games will have a (-) sign with both teams resulting in the higher number being the favorite.
The next step in reading American Odds can become a little complicated. In the example above the New York Rangers are (-180), the (-) sign determines how much money the bettor must wager to win $100. In this case, a $180 wager on the Rangers will profit $100 for a total payout of $280 if the outcome is successful. On the other hand, if the bettor wants to pick the Calgary Flames (+160) we must operate with the (+) sign. This sign indicated how much a bettor will win if a $100 wager is placed on the Flames. Using the example above a $100 wager will profit $160, for a total payout of $260.
When using this example it does not mean a bettor must wager $100, this is the base amount to determine the American Odds. If a different wager amount is used the same process happens but is just adjusted according to the wager. The most important detail to remember is that the (-) sign indicates how much a bettor must wager to profit $100 while the (+) sign indicates how much a bettor will win from a $100 bet.

Decimal Odds

Now traveling to the other side of the world where the most common format of sports betting odds used by European sportsbooks are Decimal Odds. Out of the three different types of formats, decimal odds are by far the easiest to understand and calculate for bettors of all levels. One quick note to mention before an example is that American and Fractional Odds are calculating the profit which then the bettor must add to his wager to determine the total payout. With Decimal Odds the total payout is calculated, which then a bettor must subtract their wager to see their profit.
The same NHL game will be used in the Decimal Odds example below, the Calgary Flames (2.60) at the New York Rangers (1.555). The first noticeable difference is that Decimal Odds contain no (+) or (-) signs before the number.
Sports Betting Odds
As we have mentioned before, Decimal Odds are extremely easy to understand and calculate. The bettor will take their wager amount and simply multiply it with the decimal number attached with their choice to win the game. If the bettor wishes to wager $50 or $200 on either team above they would just multiply it with the Decimal as indicated below:
New York Rangers (1.555) to win x $50 = Total Payout of $77.75, with a profit of $27.75 ($77.75 – $50).
New York Rangers (1.555) to win x $200 = Total Payout of $311, with a profit of $111 ($311 – $200).
Calgary Flames (2.60) to win x $50 = Total Payout of $130, with a profit of $80 ($130 – $50).
Calgary Flames (2.60) to win x $200 = Total Payout of $520, with a profit of $320 ($500 – $200).
With Decimal Odds a bettor can determine their total payout very quickly, but how do they determine which team was the favorite? After an individual has calculated the profit that can be made, compare it to the wager amount. If the profit is greater than the wager the bet was on an underdog, if it’s smaller then the wager it was placed on the favorite.

Fractional Odds

Fractional Odds have basically lost the battle with American and Decimal Odds but are most often used when verbalizing about sports betting odds. The majority of online sportsbooks will still offer the option, but at Coach’s Bet, we strongly recommend learning one of the options above.
We are not going as in-depth with providing an example for fractional odds, but we will explain how to verbalize fractional odds to another sports bettor. When reading fractional odds aloud the bettor wants to replace the fraction sign with the word “to”. An example of the Calgary Flames (8/1) would read, “The Calgary Flame’s odds are eight to one.”
Now that you have mastered the different formats of Sports Betting Odds head on over to Coach’s Sport Betting Strategies to see the importance in line shopping from different Online Sportsbooks.