How to interpret sports betting odds
There are three basic types of odds:
- American e.g. +120
- Fractional e.g. 6/5
- Decimal Ex. 2.20
They are different ways of presenting the same thing and do not make any difference in terms of payouts.
See the conversion chart for more details.
This is the most popular format. The odds of the favorites are accompanied by a minus sign (-), which indicates the amount you have to bet to win $100. The underdog odds are accompanied by a plus sign (+), which indicates the amount you win for every $100 wagered. In both cases, you get your initial bet back, in addition to the amount won.
The difference between the odds for the favorite and the underdog widens as the probability of the favorite winning increases.
Fractional odds are the ratio of the amount (win) won to the bet; decimal odds represent the amount that is won per dollar wagered; and American odds, depending on the negative or positive sign, indicate the amount that must be wagered to win $100 or the amount that would be won per $100 wagered.
For example, with an odds of 4/1, for every $1 wagered, $4 will be earned. There is a 20% chance of this occurring, calculated by 1 / (4 + 1) = 0.20.
Total return = [Wager x (Numerator/Denominator)] + Wager
Where the numerator/denominator is the fractional odd, e.g., 28/6.
Favorites and non-favorites can be instantly detected by looking at the numbers. The decimal odds number represents the amount won per dollar wagered. In the case of decimal odds, the number represents the total return, rather than the profit.
The total return (potential) on a bet can be calculated as.
Total return = Bet x Number of odd decimals.