Online Betting Odds Explained

As the online sports betting world continues to thrive, it is best to get an understanding of what the odds you are betting on actually mean. There are different ways that odds are posted at online sportsbooks. The three most common styles of betting odds are fractional, decimal, and the most commonly used, American. There is more that goes into them though like the symbols that you would see in front of the odds, different betting types, and the profit that you would make when betting with different odds. If you are looking to find more information on the different odds types and bets that you can make on online sportsbooks, you have found the right page as all of that will be uncovered right here.

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Different Types Of Odds For Wagering On Sports

When looking to bet on sports, there are three main odds types that you need to understand. The three are made up of American betting odds, fractional betting odds, and decimal betting odds. All of which payout the same, the only difference is the way in which they are laid out to you. The most commonly used though across any online sportsbook are the American odds.

Understanding American Betting Odds

American betting odds can be easily found on any online sportsbook and are arguably the easiest to understand. If you see a (+) sign in front of the odds, you would need to bet $100 to make that number in profit. With a (-) sign you would need to bet the number in front of the symbol to make $100. An example would be +200 and -200. With +200, you can bet $100 to make $200, with -200, you are betting $200 to make $100.

Understanding Fractional Betting Odds

Fractional betting odds are exactly how they sound as you would be reading a fraction to determine how much profit you’d make. In simplest terms, you would need to bet the denominator (bottom number) in order to make the numerator (top number) in profit. If you see a fraction of 3/1, for every $100 you wager, you would profit $300. If you see 1/3 though, for every $300 you bet, you’d make $100 in profit.

Understanding Decimal Betting Odds

Decimal betting odds might come off as intimidating, but are also simple to understand. To read them, anything to the left of the decimal is the return you would make in hundreds including the $100 that you started with and anything to the right of the decimal is the “tens” of the profit you would make. Looking at the number 3.25 for example, a $100 wager on these odds would give you back $225 in profit in addition to the original $100 that you wagered for a total of $325.

What Does Implied Probability Mean In Sports Betting?

The easiest way to understand implied probability in online sports betting is that the closer to even odds (+/- 100) the odds are, the closer to a 50% chance the bet has of cashing. The most common odds that are bet on are -110 odds as they are most commonly found when betting on the spread or total points which have a 52.38% implied probability

Odds: Implied Probability:
-500 83.33%
-250 71.43%
-150 60%
-110 52.38%
-100 50%
+110 47.62%
+200 33.33%
+300 25%
+500 16.67%

General Prop Betting

These types of odds tend to fall into a more general category. In this category, you have a lot of yes or no questions that you can place wagers on. This category encompasses bets like “Will Lizzo Wear A Thong To The Super Bowl?” and “Which Car Manufacturer Will Win This NASCAR Race?” The odds on questions like this are handicapped by the sportsbooks and then given form on their websites. These odds are generally fun - a lot of them crop up around Super Bowl time to draw in new players - and interesting betting opportunities. There are usually several of these on any major sporting event.

Player Propositions:

These are excellent types of bets - the kind of bets a lot of people think about when they think about sports betting. It's pretty likely that you know what these kinds of bets are - you bet on James Harden to score more or less than 30 points in a game, or Alexander Ovechkin to score a goal, or Patrick Mahomes to throw for more than two touchdowns. Prop bets also include yes/no bets, which can be on anything from the gameplay to the pageantry surrounding the game. For example, during the Super Bowl, you could bet on whether or not J-Lo would have butt cleavage, just the same way you could bet the over or under on Tyreek Hill's third-quarter yardage. Some sportsbooks will let you adjust the total you're betting on and receive different odds for it, within reason. All told, player prop bets are some of the most fun you can have in sports betting and are also a good tool to convert your knowledge into winnings.

Team Propositions:

Team propositions are just like player props, except that they deal with team-based single-game performances. The most common team props you’ll come across will be on things like how many yards the offense will rack up, how many turnovers the defense will force, how many hits a club will get, how many fast-break points a team will score, and more. Like player props, most team props are of the over/under or yes/no variety, and they come with moneylines around -110. And, of course, the bigger the matchup, the more team props there are. The Super Bowl is the single sporting event with the most prop wagers posted year in and year out, with the game typically yielding about 400 different prop bets.

Live Betting Odds:

Live betting is a unique way to wager that’s quickly becoming the most popular betting phenomenon at both land-based and online US sportsbooks. Live betting, aka in-game betting, allows bettors to place wagers live, during the actual action of a given game. These real-time odds are posted every few seconds, changing to reflect the pace and trends of the game as its played in real-time.

Most live betting opportunities focus on the main line wager types above, though prop bets can also sometimes be adjusted as a game goes on. As such, there are many good reasons to enjoy live betting, not the least of which is the simple fact that being able to wager on a play-by-play basis is just an immersive, fun experience. From a financial perspective, though, it can also present several opportunities to bettors looking after their bottom lines. For example, if you make a traditional pre-game bet that goes sideways in a hurry, you can use live betting to mitigate or even cancel out your losses. The other side of that coin, of course, is that live betting gives you a chance to double down on a good bet, padding your bankroll more than a simple pre-game wager would.

Live betting is available via mobile sportsbooks and at your site’s standard desktop book, so you can access this type of betting no matter where you are. On average, in-game wagering gives you several hundreds of individual, distinct betting opportunities for every featured game, boosting your daily chances to win by thousands of wagers across the board. Most sportsbooks will even give you a risk-free wager bonus when you make your very first live wager, so you can see if this type of sports betting is for you with zero risk attached!

Understanding Payouts For Different Odds

While most online sportsbooks will tell you the payouts that you are going to get on a specific set of odds, it is always good to familiarize yourself with it that way you can confirm the payout. Something to take note of also are the symbols in front of the odds such as the (+).

What Does The (+) Symbol Mean When Betting?

Whenever you see a plus sign (+) in front of a set of odds, it usually implies that the team you are looking to bet on is an underdog in the game. The payouts for a plus sign are also extremely simple to understand as whatever number is in front of the (+) is the amount you would win on a $100 bet. For example, +150 odds would profit you $150 on a $100 wager.

What Does The (-) Symbol Mean When Betting?

The minus symbol means that the team you are looking to bet on in a game is the favorite. The larger the number is in front of the (-), the heavier the favorite it is and the less profit you would make on a $100 bet. As for how to gauge the payouts, you would need to bet whatever number is in front of the minus symbol in order to win $100. If a team has -220 odds to win, you’d need to risk $220 to win $100.

Best Online Sportsbooks For Best Explained Betting Odds

Bovada Sportsbook

Switch Between Different Odds Types

Bovada Sports Betting

When switching the ways that you read your odds, Bovada is the top option as they allow you to read their odds in America, Decimal, and Fractional forms all from the click of a button. When on the odds page for any sport that they offer, in the right-hand corner of that page, all you have to do is click on the drop-down bar and select what form of odds you would like to read throughout the page.

BetOnline Sportsbook

Tells You Your Payouts With Different Odds

BetOnline Sports Betting

The great thing about the odds layout on BetOnline are the features that come along with their interactive betting slip. You can find out what your payout would be on different bets depending on both the odds for your selected bet and the amount of money that you are planning on wagering. This is also the case when you are betting on a parlay. They will calculate what the combined odds are and what your payout would be for betting on multiple things.

MyBookie Sportsbook

Any Odds Type On Any Sports

MyBookie Sports Betting

The great thing about betting with MyBookie is that not only can you bet on any sport that comes to mind, but you can switch the way you read the odds for that sport as well. You can set it up to where you’ll read American odds for American sports, decimal odds for sports in Canada, and fractional odds for European sports. It is also worth noting that aside from being able to use different odds to bet on different sports in many countries, you can also use MyBookie across all of those countries as well.

What Are Moneyline Odds?

Moneyline odds are considered some of the easiest odds to understand in sports betting as you are simply betting on the winner of a game between two teams. You will also be able to find moneyline odds on any sport that is offered on an online sportsbook. An example would be if the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox are playing a game and the Yankees have -220 odds while the Red Sox have +180 odds. In this example, the Yankees odds would payout $45 in profit if they win while the Red Sox would profit $180 if they win.

What Is A Point Spread?

Betting on a point spread is where you are betting on the winning or losing margin between two teams in a game. While the (+) and (-) symbols are used to differentiate the favorite and underdog in the spread, they do have different meanings than the moneyline. If a team in a game has a -9.5-point spread, that team would need to win the game by more than 9.5 points. If they win the game by less than 9.5, the bet loses. On the underdog side, if a team has a +9.5-point spread, they need to either lose the game by less than 9.5 points or they can win outright.

As for the odds on a point spread, they are typically set at -110 for both the favorite and underdog to cover. However, depending on the action that one side of the spread may be taking, some online sportsbooks could set it at -115 and -105, -120 and +100, or even go as far as -120 and +105.

Parlay Betting Odds Explained

When placing a parlay bet, you are betting on more than one thing to occur with combined betting odds for your selections. These can be combinations of moneylines, spreads, and point totals where you would get increased odds for betting on the multiple topics. Looking at an example in the NFL, let's say you take the Cleveland Browns moneyline at -165 odds, the Texans to cover a +8-point spread with -110 odds, and the total points to go over 44.5 points between the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins with -110 odds as well. The combined odds for this parlay would come out to +485 which means a $100 bet could profit you $485.

Do You Lose Money On A Winning Bet?

In short, no, any bet that you place that wins makes a profit. Some get confused when the amount that they win is less than the amount that they bet. It just all depends on what the odds are set at. For example, if you are going to bet $100 on the Atlanta Braves -240 moneyline, the payout would be $41 in profit and not a $59 loss. The $100 can almost be treated as a deposit as you would get it back if you win your bet.