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Odds Explained

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Sports betting has become a popular pastime for sports enthusiasts. Why? It offers punters opportunities to benefit from their expansive knowledge of sports. However, that does not mean that sports betting is limited only to those with extensive sports knowledge. Anyone can enjoy all sports betting benefits, provided they understand how the odds work and can read through the lines. Below is a general guide on betting odds to help new punters get a general understanding of how they work.

What are Sports Betting Odds?

Sports betting odds are terms or numbers used to express the likelihood of a specific outcome in a sports match or tournament. In most instances, they are expressed as a ratio of the number of events that can produce an outcome to the number that cannot. Odds are also used to calculate the payouts for every correct prediction based on their wagers. That means that higher odds result in higher payouts relative to the stakes.

Betting Odds Formats

The fundamentals behind betting odd are similar, regardless of the formats used. The main formats used by most sportsbooks for expressing betting odds are fractional, decimal, and money line formats.

Fraction Format

The fractional format is relatively uncommon nowadays, as it is more challenging to understand. For example, odds of 3/1 mean that punters can potentially win three times the stake if the wager goes their way. The complications arise when the fractions require more calculations, such as 4/7, 11/10, and so on.

Decimal Format

Most punters outside the United States prefer decimal odds, as they are easy to understand. Decimal odds are expressed as a single positive number with decimal places. The decimal number represents the total payout per unit of stake. Multiplying the number with the amount wagered gives the potential payout.

Money Line Format

Money line odds are popular among American bettors. They are expressed as numbers, which can be positive or negative. A positive odd (preceded by a “+” sign) indicates the potential win amount for a correct wager, and a negative number (preceded by a “-” sign) expresses the amount a punter needs to stake to win 100 units.

How Are Sports Betting Odds Determined?

Sportsbooks usually calculate their odds using their preferred criteria. That means different bookies might offer varying odds for the same match, though the variations are typically slight. Some criteria used to determine sports betting odds are performance history, player absences, match location, and team roster, among many others.