Betting Odds: How to Understand Sports Betting Odds

One of the important ingredients to successful betting is learning how to read betting odds. If you fail to understand odds and the probabilities that they imply, you will have a hard time succeeding in sports betting in the long run.

The truth is, you don’t need to be a math geek to succeed in sports betting whether that’s in basketball betting, football betting, or any other sport. However, if you fail to understand what betting odds reflect, your efforts in the betting world could just go up in smoke.

Read on, we’ll help you end up converting the odds calculations in your head like a pro.

Betting Odds Explained

Different online betting sites display odds in different manners. Based on your location, you might see odds displayed in one of the three formats. Those are Fractional, Decimal, and Moneyline odds. With that in mind, it is important to understand how odds work.

The odds represent how much you can potentially win if you place your bet on certain odds. So let us get into detail about how to calculate your potential winnings with each odds system.

Read Betting Odds

Fractional Odds

The Fractional odds are also known as the British due to their popularity in the UK. They are  simple to understand. For example, the Miami Heat are playing the Boston Celtics. The Fractional odds for Miami Heat to win stand at 4/5. This means that for every $5 you bet, you get $4, plus your stake back, which is, in this case, $5 to make it easier. If you double that and put $10 as your stake, you get $8 plus the $10 back.

For example, in the following table, you can find the odds for each team to win the NBA Championship 2022 displayed in Fractional odds.

Team:Odds to win:
Golden State Warriors7/5
Boston Celtics2/1
Miami Heat43/10
Dallas Mavericks13/2
*NBA betting odds are correct at the moment of writing but are subject to change. Written on the 17th of May, 2022.

You can see that the best odds to win the NBA 2022 Championship are on the Golden State Warriors. If you place a $10 bet on Golden State Warriors to win, you can potentially win $24.

Decimal Odds

Decimal odds, also known as European odds, are the easiest format to understand. Your potential winnings equate to your stake multiplied by the odds. In other words, every $1 you put as your stake is returned equally to the odds.

For example, the Decimal odds for the latest match between Phoenix Fuelmasters and NorthPort were 2.35 for Fuelmasters and 1.60 for NorthPort to win. Based on the PBA odds, you can see that NorthPort were the favourites. However, they were slightly off, as Fuelmasters took the win.

If you had bet on Fuelmasters and placed a $100 stake on them, you would have won $235. You can see why the Decimal odds format is the easiest to understand.

The following table offers the latest NBA Championship winner odds in the Decimal format.

Team:Odds to win:
Golden State Warriors2.40
Boston Celtics3.00
Miami Heat5.30
Dallas Mavericks7.50
*NBA betting odds are correct at the moment of writing but are subject to change. Written on the 17th of May, 2022.

Moneyline Odds

The Moneyline odds, also known as the US odds, are the most popular format in the United States. The format is a bit complicated for those unfamiliar with it. Basically, if there is a minus sign before the odds, that indicates the amount you need to bet in order to win $100. If there is a plus sign before the odds, that shows the amount you win for every $100 staked.

For example, the odds for the Golden State Warriors to beat the Dallas Mavericks stand at -200. In other words, you need to stake $200 to win $300. $100 is your winnings, and $200 is your stake returned.

On the other hand, the odds for the Dallas Mavericks to beat the Golden State Warriors are +185. Meaning for every $100 staked, you can win $185. In other words, if you bet $100 on the Dallas Mavericks, your winnings will be $285, out of which the $100 is your stake returned.

The following table shows the Moneyline odds for each team to win the NBA Championship 2022.

Team:Odds to win:
Golden State Warriors+140
Boston Celtics+200
Miami Heat+430
Dallas Mavericks+650
*NBA betting odds are correct at the moment of writing but are subject to change. Written on the 17th of May, 2022.

In other words, betting $100 on Golden State Warriors to win the NBA Championship 2022, can potentially get you $240. While staking the same amount on the Boston Celtics can get you $300 if they win.

Value Bets

If you’re new to betting, understanding the difference between a selection’s chances of happening and how they compare to the betting odds available is crucial. We’ll help you wade through the complexities in this portion.

Consider a coin toss as an example. In this game, there is a 50 percent chance that it will land on heads. Let’s say that a sportsbook offers betting odds of 2.10 for the coin to land on heads. This is a value bet.

Sports betting, however, is a little more complicated than that.

Unlike a coin toss, you know the precise probability for a given outcome in sports betting. You provide your best guess on who may win on a particular game, but it can only be your best guess.

Finding value bets, therefore, will help you estimate the likelihood of given outcomes better than a bookmaker does.

Betting Tips on How to Identify Value Bets

  1. Specialise. You can specialise in niche betting markets, where the playing field is more level between sportsbooks and betting exchange. After you dive into the complexities of these betting markets, you will be able to identify betting odds that are skewed from your own, giving you an opportunity to make value bets.
  2. Your own betting odds explained, calculated. Like market analysts, you should know how to calculate odds for a market by utilising all information available to you. This way, you can compare them to the sportsbooks or prices on the betting exchange and notice if a selection is overvalued or undervalued.
  3. Think in probabilities. Your goal in sports betting is basically to assess the likelihood of an event more accurately than bookmakers. To be successful, you must think in probability by assessing each team’s chances of winning rather than simply by who you believe will win.
  4. Assess and evaluate. Mathematics-based systems are more rational compared to a gut feeling, right? It separates your feelings from betting decisions. Once you calculate your expected value, however, it’s crucial to assess and evaluate all other information available, such as situational factors which your model hasn’t incorporated, before making an informed and balanced decision.

If you’re eager to get serious about online betting, finding value should be ever-present in your game plan.

Where to Find Live Betting Odds?

Now that you know a little bit more about odds, here are key things you need to understand about live betting odds, which are common in sports betting.

Live odds are odds which update in the build-up to a game and also while a match plays out.

If Team A were an odds-on favorite prior to kick-off and Team B takes the lead after a few minutes, the betting odds will be altered to reflect this. Team A may still be favorites to win, but they now have less chance of doing so. This will raise their odds.

Hence, betting on Team A early on would have given you better odds.

In a sporting event, every move will alter the potential outcome, changing the betting odds in the course.

The odds are decided by the sportsbook, using a computer algorithm which updates the information. Depending on what is occurring in the game as well as past outcomes of similar events, the odds are changed.

It’s this fast-paced nature of live betting that makes it appealing and exciting. In order to get live odds and keep pace in the game, signing up with an online sportsbook is the best thing to do.

When a significant move happens during a game, online betting sites would usually halt betting for a few seconds so the computer can work out the new odds. Betting will then resume. This will occur several times throughout an event, as sportsbooks give you up-to-date odds reflecting what is happening in the live event.

Betting odds NBA or PBA? No problem. Betting odds for FIFA? No problem. The sportsbooks have you covered.

Sports Betting Odds Calculator

At this point, you already know how important it is to know the value of the wager you are putting down. Knowing what is at risk and what your choices could possibly bring can really give you an advantage.

It might be one of the most basic calculations in betting, but using a sports betting calculator will help you boost your understanding of what betting odds represent and what it means for your bet. It simplifies the process of calculating how much a bet returns for any given stake.

With a betting calculator, you can check if there is value in the betting market and whether or not it is a good idea to place the bet that could change everything.

It is user-friendly and is fully automated, which avoids any human error in working out your returns.

Now you understand Sports Betting Odds terms and how it works, you are now closer to being your own betting expert! Check out our other guides to aid you further in your betting journey!