Betting Odds Explained

Newcomers to the sports betting world can, at times, become overwhelmed with all the numbers and symbols that come with wagering on professional matches. Plus and minus symbols, decimals or even fractions can be enough to send a bettor’s head spinning, essentially dissuading them away from putting their money down at all. We’re here to help by explaining what all these numbers and symbols mean and how bettors can use them to put a little (or a lot) extra cash in their pockets. 

How Do Betting Odds Work

There are three main betting types to choose from— British odds, continental odds and American odds, which is the most common of the group.

They don’t have anything to do with the game itself, but tell you how much you’ll earn if you win your bets.

European odds are very recognizable as they’re the only ones that are displayed as fractions. For example, if the Toronto Maple Leafs were 5/2 favorites, a $2 wager would net a $5 return in addition to your original bet on a winning ticket.

British, or decimals odds, as they’re also known are simple to understand. They tell bettors what they get back for every dollar wagered. Using the Maple Leafs as the example once again, if the team is 2.20 favorites a $100 bet would net a $220 return, amounting to a $120 profit.

Finally, American odds come with plus and minus symbols attached to the numbers. A favorite is a minus, which means if the Chicago Cubs were -150 to win a game, a bettor would have to put down $150 to win $100. On the flip side, if the Los Angeles Dodgers were +210 underdogs in the same game, a bettor would have to put down $100 to win $210 — a much appealing wager in some circumstances.

How The Different Betting Systems Affect You 

Depending on which sportsbook you choose and what sport you are betting on, odd types can differ.

For example, Betway.com — an online sportsbook, which holds licences in various European cities — uses primarily British odds. BetOnline.ag on the other hand, caters to North American bettors and essentially offers American odd types.

The key is to pick a reputable online sportsbook you can trust, one that offers odds you are comfortable using.

Once you get in the swing of wagering on games using your odds type of choice, you’ll be ready to embark on other betting ventures such as over/under and point spread.

National Football League bettors know a lot about point spread wagering, which allows you to select a specific team to cover the line associated with the bet. For example, if the Pittsburgh Steelers were -6.5 favorites to defeat the Cleveland Browns, they’d have to win the game by at least seven points. 

Ready to put your money on a game? Here are some of the leading online sportsbooks to choose from before placing your bets.