Different Types of Sports Betting Odds Explained

sports betting odds types image
Sports Betting Odds. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Every sports wagering site features betting odds, although a rookie bettor might find it challenging to understand how these work.

If you are a sports betting newbie, the odds can appear confusing.  Each sports betting site has odds displayed, although their format might vary from country to country.  However, with some basic explanation, you can master the odds and learn how they help you calculate the payout and the risk you take on a particular bet.

What Are the Odds?

In the simplest terms, odds predict the likelihood of an event taking place. In sport, there are multiple possibilities that a specific outcome will occur. For example, if you were a Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan during the last Super Bowl, there were only a few outcomes to the final: either the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would beat the Kansas City Chiefs to win the game, or they would lose to the Chiefs.

The simplest odds for that game would be that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had a 50 per cent chance of winning the Super Bowl. Depending on where you are based, the sports odds are represented as a fraction, a decimal, or a system called American odds. You can choose to comprehend the odds in a system the way these are presented to you, or you could convert the odds into a more familiar format that is easier for you to understand.

Fractional Odds

Fractional odds are exclusively used in the UK and Ireland. In the early days of sports betting, punters were wagering on horse races, and fractional odds were simple to calculate at the racetracks. Fractional odds represent the simplest form of gaming odds, as it’s easy to see numbers characterised by the bet and the risk you take if you bet those numbers.

The first number before the line drawn, or the numerator, represents the sum that your bet will return to you.  Alternatively, the number to the right of the line drawn, or the denominator, symbolises the amount of money that you bet, in simplified fraction form.

Decimal Odds

While we discussed that fractional odds are used in the United Kingdom and Ireland to calculate the odds of sporting events, other countries use different methods to demonstrate odds. For example, countries in the rest of Europe, Canada, and Australia use decimal odds to calculate the probabilities of a particular event. In decimal odds, the decimal digit represents the potential return on a wager, including the amount staked to place the bet.

American Odds

American odds differ from the odds used in other countries. Firstly, know that American odds begin with a + (positive) or a – (negative). A positive symbol indicates that should you bet US$100, whatever the positive sign shows is the amount you would win on that bet. A negative sign displays the amount you must bet to make a profit of US$100.

Decimal Odds and Fractional Odds Conversions

To convert decimal odds to fractional odds, you need to change the fraction into a decimal. For example, if you use the 10/15 odds, the conversion will look like this: 10/15 = 10 + 15 = 25. If you had 5/1 odds: 5/1 = 5 + 1 or 6.  While this may appear a bit complicated, it’s important to remember that almost all online and in-house sports betting venues have conversion tables to assist you with the odds conversions, depending on the sport or the country from where you are betting.

If you can’t locate a conversion table, you can always use a phone app.  Remember, the odds are there to measure your probability of winning a specific game on a particular day.  The odds repeatedly change depending on the conditions of a game, injuries to players, and other factors. If you can comprehend the odds conversion, you will understand the likelihood of winning on your wagers.