Sports Odds Explained – Types of Betting Odds

Sports betting has hugely grown in popularity in the past couple of years. The reason for this has to do with the popularization of online sportsbooks. These websites have made the practice itself a lot more accessible. Rather than going to a bookie or sports café, all one needs to do now is turn on their PC or smartphone.

Thanks to these online bookies, more and more people are beginning to understand and participate in sports betting. However, many still are apprehensive. The reason behind their doubt is their lack of understanding of the odds. So, in this article, we will explain what sports odds are, how they work, and the different types of odds that exist.

What Forms Can Odds Come in?

Oftentimes, people go to bookmakers and see different numbers that they don’t understand. This might discourage them from participating in the practice. So, in this article, we are going to explain the different numbers and kinds of odds. There are three different ways to present odds.

The American odds are based around $100 and are often portrayed as negative odds. So, if your bet is favored to win, you will see negative odds, such as -110. Positive odds can also be used. However, they are usually used for underdogs.

Decimal odds, as the name suggests, are presented in decimal numbers. In decimal odds, the number represents the amount of cash you can win for every $1 wagered. In reviewing the best offshore sportsbooks, we found that most will either use decimal odds or this next type of odds we are going to talk about.

Fractional odds are the type you will see the most common on the aforementioned offshore sportsbooks. They are presented in the form of fractions such as ¼, ¾, or even 4/1. In this following section, we will explain exactly how you can read sports betting odds and how they work.

How Sports Betting Odds Work?

Like in the last section, we will start out with American odds, and move down to decimal and fractional. So, without further ado, let us explain how American odds work. As we said, American odds tend to be presented as negative numbers. These numbers are meant to represent the amount of cash you need to bet in order to win $100.

So, for example, if the odds are placed at -150, this means that you will need to wager $150 in order to make a $100 profit. If the number is represented as a positive, this means that the team is not expected to win. For example, if the odds are +150, this means that the bettor would have to risk losing $150 in order to gain a $100 profit.

Decimal odds are represented as decimal numbers. And finding out the profit is actually not that hard. The decimal odds are shown as the number that the bettor can win for every wagered dollar. For example, if the odds are placed at 4.5, this means that for every $1 the bettor can win $5.5, and thus come out with a $4.5 profit.

Lastly, we look at the fractional odds, which are probably the most popular when it comes to betting on most of the popular sports around the world. The way to read these odds is simple. All you have to do is multiply the fractional odds by your wager, and you come up with the amount that you would profit.

What Affects Sports Betting Odds Throughout the Season?

There are quite a few different things that can affect the sports odds. The main thing that affects the odds is the performance of the teams. For example, if at the start of the season one of the teams in, let us say, the NFL performs poorly, the odds of them winning will be lower. However, the odds might change if the same team begins performing well midway through the season.

Another reason why odds might change is that a large amount of cash has been wagered on one side. The more people favor one team, the higher the odds for that team to grow. This is done, so bookies and odd makers do this to incentivize more diverse bets.

Who Sets the Odds for Sports Betting?

The bookies themselves usually set up the odds for sports betting. Most bookies, more often than not, have a head odd maker. It is this person’s job to analyze the games, the teams, the players, and the sport and come up with the odds for each team.

Why Do Sports Betting Odds Change?

We already talked a bit about this before, but let us delve a bit deeper into it. Odds on sportsbooks might change due to the changes made in the team. We talked about a team’s performance during the sports season. However, this is not the only factor.

Another factor might include the changes in the roster made in the team. For example, if a certain team loses their star player due to an exchange or an injury, the odds for that team might drop. Likewise, if a team gets new players known as the top tiers, their odds might rise.

Another factor we discussed is the number of people wagering on a team. So, for example, odd makers will change the odds at sportsbooks when too many people are placing too much cash on one outcome. This is because bookies make 10% of the bets placed, so they try to keep the odds as close to 50-50 as possible.

Final World

As sports betting is growing in popularity, more and more people are discovering they are interested in the practice. So, for those who were apprehensive, we hope that this article can help you to understand the odds better and how they function, and maybe try your hand at betting yourself.


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