While one may be knowledgeable about the rules and various ways to make a sports bet, the part of the betting experience that may still be confusing is the math behind payouts. What do odds of -115 or +150 mean? Why do some sites have odds listed with decimals?
It’s no coincidence that American odds are most commonly used by sportsbooks in this country. When reading American odds, those that are listed with a minus sign (i.e. -110, -130) are considered the favorite. This represents the amount one would need to wager to win $100. The higher the number, the more of a favorite that side is.
When odds have a plus sign attached to them (i.e. +140, +200), that means this side is the underdog. The number next to the plus sign represents the amount a bettor would win for every $100 they wagered. The higher the number, the less likely the outcome is considered to happen. As a result, the payout for a bettor would also be higher.
Decimal odds are more commonly used in Europe and other overseas sportsbooks. When reading decimal odds, the number represents the amount a bettor wins for each $1 they wager.
One major difference between decimal odds and American odds is how to interpret the payout. With American odds, you would interpret your payout in terms of what you would simply profit excluding your original wager. For example, betting $140 on odds of -140 would win you $100 in terms of a profit. Yes, you would be getting $240 back to your betting account because you get back your original wager, but you profited just $100.
With decimal odds, the number you see represents your total return. Thus, it’s easy to calculate because your original wager and your profit are already incorporated into the number.
Those that are familiar with horse racing odds are likely most comfortable with the fractional odds setting. Fractional odds represent the ratio that one would profit relative to the amount wagered.
In terms of payouts, these odds represent how much a bettor would profit on their wager. For example, one would read 3/1 as them profiting three times the amount of their original wager. Thus, bettors who wager $100 on Wirfs are still getting paid out $400, but just $300 of that is their profit.
Whenever a fraction is less than one, those odds are less than 1:1. This means a bettor is profiting less than what their original wager was.
No matter the settings or the type of odds you use, the payout will not change.
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