What is Odds in Betting – Guide To Sports Betting Odds


Betting odds can be confusing if you are a novice bettor. However, once you understand the purpose of these odds and how they work, you will be able to make the right choice when wagering. So, read on to find out more about betting odds and how they work.


If you are new the world of online betting, you will hear betting odds very often. You need to know this term inside out to be able to get the most out of your sports wagers. If you understand the purpose and function of odds, you will be in a better position to decide how and when to place your bets.

What is the Purpose of Odds?

The main purpose of odds in sports betting is to show the person how likely the sports book expects the outcome of the game to occur. If the outcome is highly likely, the odds are low. On the other hand, if the outcome is unlikely to happen, the odds are high.

In simple terms, if you wager on a team that is likely to win, your profits will be small as the odds are low. In contrast, if you bet on a team that is not likely to win, but ends up winning, your profits will be high as the odds are high.

Odds also let you know how much you will win if you place a wager. Each sports book has its own odds for a game, and knowing what the odds are, you will be able to calculate how much you will on your bet. If the odds are even, your chances of winning are 50/50.

Different Formats of Betting Odds

There are three formats of betting odds. They are as follows:

  • Fractional Odds
  • Decimal Odds
  • American or Moneyline Odds

You need to know about these odds formats as you will be dealing with them as some time or the other. Thankfully, it is not too difficult to understand these formats as they are more or less the same; just expressed in different manner.

Fractional Odds: This odds format used to be very popular in the UK, but since it is slightly complicated, British bettors are switching over to decimal odds. If you are a newbie, you may find the calculation of profits a bit tricky.  

This format is always expressed as a fraction. For instance, 5/1. This means that for each unit you wager the potential to win is five. This is a simple example. However, if the odds are 6/4, it means that for every four units you bet, you can get six units. If you break it up, it means that for each unit that you wager, you will get 1.5 units.

Decimal Odds: This the most common odds format that popular online betting sites offers. It is always expressed as a single number, which reveals how much money you will win if you guess the right outcome. If the odds are 1.5, it means that for every ₹1 you wager, you will get back ₹1.5.

Moneyline Odds: These odds are often used in the US and hence called American odds. A moneyline odds can be positive or negative. If the odds are displayed as a negative number, it means the amount of money you have to give to win ₹100. On the other hand, if the odds are positive, it reveals how a ₹100 wager would win if you make the right guess.

The odds that bookmakers offer are based on their perception and analysis. This is the reason each bookmaker may give you different odds for the same game. As a bettor, you need to study the odds and the players and their performance before selecting the odds. Make sure you select the odds that make you a profit.