As known from:
  • Our Story
  • Our Crew
Best sports betting sites / Betting Odds Explained

Betting Odds Explained: How do Betting Odds Work? (Use Our Free Calculator)

Publish Date: 03/08/2020

Odds will become an indispensable part of your sports betting voyage across the stars. With each sport and subsequent event, comes a string of odds. In the world of modern online betting, less and less is being left to chance. With an understanding of how odds work, you can weigh up comparative odds and place informed bets. These bets are all the more in your favour when you’re utilizing data and maximizing the inherent value of odds.

Before you find yourself out on the pitch, it’s always important to make sure you’re doing all you can in the gym. The legwork behind the scenes is what ensures success on game day. I attempt to fulfill this mantra and hope you join me for the ride as we delve into the fascinating world of betting odds.

Evolution of odds

The first records of sports betting date back a couple of thousand years. Fast forward to the 21st century, and sports betting and online gambling are flourishing. With the rise of online betting, has come a plethora of bet types. In addition to standard bet types, comes a range of exotic and complex types. Over the centuries, the concept of odds has changed too. Thus, it is important to know how to interpret odds.

Odds represent the likelihood of an outcome occurring and dictate how much you can possibly make off of a bet. Take the first part of the previous sentence. Understanding odds will allow you to identify which team/player is favoured to win. In identifying this key takeaway, you are immediately in a better position to place a successful bet. Added to which, you now know just how much you’ll make if your bet wins. This allows you to place a stake that will maximize your return and level out any associated risk. There are three different ways in which odds are represented – decimal, fractional, and American (also known as the moneyline). Below, I will outline the different ways odds are represented. Keep in mind that, in terms of actual payout, there is no difference.

Decimal Odds

Once less popular, decimal odds are being adopted all over the globe. The standard form for mainland Europe and Canada, decimal odds are rather easy to understand. I prefer using decimal odds is it provides us with a quick understanding of our potential payouts. You will also be able to identify the favourite and underdog with a cautionary glance. The number represented by the decimal odds tell you how much you’ll win for every $1 wagered. If the odds for a particular event is set at 3.00, it means the overall payout for a $1 stake will be $3. Decimal odds portray the total payout and not only the profit (initial stake + profit).

If you bet $50 on an event that has decimal odds of 4.00; you will receive a $200 return (50 x 4). This includes my initial stake of $50 and $150 profit.

Fractional Odds

Fractional odds are still the most preferred format of odds. Many of the top online bookies use fractional odds. Fractional odds are written with a slash (/) or a hyphen (-). I’m going to use an example that should make it easier to understand. A listing of 4/1 is one such example. This means you will win $4 for every $1 you stake. The total payout will be equal to $5 ($4 + $1). I hope you find it easy to follow, as I think you’ll be just fine once you grasp these concepts. Below, is one more example:

  • Team Curl: 7/8
  • Team Sprint: 9/5

Team Curl is the favourite to win because the odds are shorter. For every $8 staked, you will win $7. Team Sprint the odds are longer and you’ll receive more for every $1 staked. However, the chances of this happening is less likely.

American (moneyline) Odds 

Depending on whether you bet on American markets, you might already be familiar with American or moneyline odds. Favourites in an event will have odds accompanied by a (-) sign. The amount indicates how much you need to stake to win $100. Underdogs will have a (+) sign attached to their respective odds. This shows you how much you will win if you bet $100. With American odds, you can quickly tell who the favourites are in an event. Below, is a quick example:

  • Team Treadmill: -620
  • Team Pull up: +480

Above, you can quickly determine that Team Treadmill are favourites. You’ll need to stake $620 in order to win back $100. Team Pull Up might be the underdog and have a higher associated risk, but you’ll win $480 for every $100 staked.

Most important reasons to join our gym

Move from luck to skill  

As I hope you have seen from the above examples, knowing odds gives you a better perspective. You will be able to identify favourites, calculate just how much you are able to gain out of any single bet, and outline your profit margin. This also gives you a wider perspective of the associated risk of placing a bet on a respective team or player.

Understand teams, players, and games 

By keeping updated and informed on PlayersBest, you will be able to break free from the academy and shoot for the stars. Knowing odds is one of the fundamental steps in formulating your next betting move. It also allows you to understand the playing field better. Identify the favourites, underdogs, and capitalize on both. Knowing the nature of sport and competing teams or players will also help you. Combined with a thorough understanding of odds, you’ll be able to utilize under-valued teams and take advantage of some fantastic odds.

Odds are forever changing 

With the online coverage of betting, odds are constantly changing. I have found this to be especially true for live betting. Odds will continue to change throughout the course of a game. Understand the current situation and assess possibilities, and you can take advantage of this ever-changing scenario.

Offline vs Online Odds

You might think to yourself that you can get the same offer at the local betting shop. Or maybe, you don’t trust online odds all that much. Well, in the first instance, betting at your nearest shop means you’ll have to take what you get. Unless you decide to ‘shop around’ for the best odds, you won’t have much bargaining power. With online betting, you can visit a multitude of different sites right from your couch. You can compare odds and find the best possible value for you.

Once you know how odds work, you can utilize online comparisons and reviews in order to identify the very best. Never miss out on another great opportunity. Online betting will give way to efficient and effective betting, with the best possible combination of odds. That’s not to rule out attending betting shops entirely – they offer an important social component that is difficult to replicate online – but, from an odds perspective, mixing in some online betting to your usual patterns is likely to be a good choice.

Odds FAQ

Is it really that important to understand odds? 

Yes, it certainly is. As I’ve said; knowing and understanding the underlying odds allows you to place more informed bets. The more informed your bet is, the more likely it is to be successful. Although nothing is a given, you can certainly improve your chances tremendously.

Which odds format should I use? 

Many of the major online bookmakers allow you to choose how your odds are displayed. This means you don’t necessarily have to understand each of the three main formats. Use the one that makes the most sense to you. If you prefer knowing what the total payout will be without too much effort, try decimal odds. American odds will quickly show you which team/player is favoured to win. It really is a subjective viewpoint.

Should I use an ‘odds boost’? 

If the odds boost can be used on your favourite event, then yes! Odds boosts allow you to swing the odds in favour of you. Keep in mind that no bookie is going to just throw you a bone. However, an odds boost can give way to the fairest wagering opportunity.

Aren’t odds all the same? 

It might be that odds don’t differ by much when looking at different bookies. However, knowing the intricacies of odds will allow you to spot offers that provide you with better value. It might be a very small difference, but over time, these differences accumulate.

From the gym to the field 

A congratulatory pat on the back is in order. You have managed to graduate from the academy and have another feather in your cap. Understanding odds is a massive step toward an infinitely better betting experience. Getting to grips with odds and the probability of different outcomes occurring, makes betting that much more exciting! You’re now the master of your own fate and can make better judgment calls. You can put yourself in the driving seat and blast off whenever it suits you.

Visit for all the latest on betting tips and strategies. With your newfound wisdom, you’ll also be able to choose from some of the best bookies right from, and cast those odds forever in your favour!

Read Also
Our Intergalactic Online Betting Guide
Our mission today, ladies and gentlemen, is to explore the gambling universe ...
Our Nuclear NFL Draft Betting Strategy Guide
The betting universe is really big. It’s absolutely massive. There’s so much ...
Our Wrestlemania Betting Strategy for Canada
It’s fitting that the head honcho of WWE, Chairman Vince Mcmahon, refers ...
Our Heavenly Guide to Hedging Bets
Good morning, afternoon or evening, depending on where in the universe you ...
Arbitrage Sports Betting Explained (+ Arbitrage Betting Calculator)
Greetings, fellow traveller. It’s important to know that before we set off ...
Latest News
How to Bet on World Cup Matches With Crypto
The quarter-finals of the FIFA 2022 World Cup ...
Andrew Brunette takes the helm at the Florida Panthers
There has been a change at the top ...
Evolution Gaming to release live casino games in Ontario
A wave of online gambling excitement has swept ...
Blitzboks take the Edmonton 7’s title
Canada has played host to not 1 but ...
NHL players excited to welcome back the fans
It has felt like the longest season for ...

Players must be 21 years of age or older or reach the minimum age for gambling in their respective state and located in jurisdictions where online gambling is legal. Please play responsibly. Bet with your head, not over it. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, and wants help, call or visit: (a) the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey at 1-800-Gambler or; or (b) Gamblers Anonymous at 855-2-CALL-GA or

Trading financial products carries a high risk to your capital, especially trading leverage products such as CFDs. CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

This site is using Cloudflare and adheres to the Google Safe Browsing Program. We adapted Google's Privacy Guidelines to keep your data safe at all times.

21+NCPGGamblers AnonymousCloudflareSSLco² neutral
Your Promo Code:
The bonus offer of was already opened in an additional window. If not, you can open it also by clicking the following link:
Visit Site