Sports Betting Odds Explained

Understanding sports betting odds can be quite tricky at times as there are many different ways sites display these odds. However, they are actually a lot easier to understand that most would think with most online betting sites offering tutorials.  Once it's been explained with examples, you will find it’s easy and actually quite simple. 

There are 3 main types of odds that sites will use to display their figures. These include money line, fractional, and decimal. The good news is that most of the uk betting sites will offer all 3 of these options, meaning bettors can adjust the way their odds are displayed.

Here we will look at all 3 of these methods to ensure you always understand what the odds are, no matter what betting sites you’re on or whether they have the option to change between these methods. 

What Are Odds? Everything you need to know

To understand how sports betting odds work, you first need to know what they are and why they are there. Probability and odds and very much the same thing regarding betting. To figure out the odds, you will need to work out what are the chances of something happening.  The best online sportsbooks will offer guidance on this.

For example, a dice has 6 sides it can land on, meaning there are 6 possible outcomes. If we take 100% and divide it by 6, we will have a probability of 16.67%, which also refers to the odds of it happening in many ways.

However, with sports we need to look at many things, so to work out that we give each team 3 sides of the dice, meaning each team owns 50% of the dice. Team A has managed to land on side number 3 a lot more than the other team, meaning the odds of it happening again are better. Team B however, knows how to roll the dice in a special way that makes it fall on side number 6, meaning the odds go up for number 6. 

Many things can be added to each side of the dice, but the important part is to understand that the odds for each team change according to history, their abilities, and many other things. 

Betting Types

Moneyline betting is the most simple form of online betting available. This form is used to bet on either team A to win or team B to win. The site will provide the odds of each team winning, which will indicate what you need to risk to win a certain amount.

One of the teams will require a higher risk to win the same amount, for example, the odds on the site are Team A £100, Team B £110. This means a bet on Team A would require £100 to win £100 but to wager on Team B you need to bet £110 to win £100. This is because the odds differ depending on the teams as mentioned with the dice. 

The best referred to above can also be seen as 100 - 110, which represents your stake – win. These numbers will always differ depending on the match and teams. To make the rest easier to understand we will break the odds down to smaller numbers such as 5-1, meaning you need to wager 1 to win 5 profit. It’s important to remember that the first number represents the stake and the second number your profit. Odds can also be shown as 1-5, meaning you need to wager 5 to make 1 profit. 

To take the fractions and change them to decimal, you will need to remember a small math solution. If the site shows odds of 4-1, we already know its 20% or 0.20 because decimal will always include the return of your bet. This is how we calculate decimal from fractions. Take 4-1 for example, you take the last number and place it before the forward-slash 1/ and place both numbers as shown on the site in brackets after the slash 1/(4+1), which adds up to 1/5. 

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