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# How to Read Betting Odds

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Understanding how to read betting odds is key to successful betting. If you do not understand betting odds and the problems that they imply, you will struggle to succeed in betting on sports long term.

You don’t need to be a math genius to succeed in betting on sports, but if you do not understand what betting odds reflect, you are setting yourself up for failure. Harsh but true. So allow us to provide that bridge to a better understanding of how to read betting odds.

## Types Of Betting Odds

In the world of sports betting, there are three types of odds that you need to be familiar with – American, decimal, and fractional odds. This should be your starting point as from here on and onwards, you will be able to understand more advanced parts of spirits betting.

But since we are starting with the basics, let’s go one after the other and explain how to read sports odds.

### American Odds

American odds, also known as moneyline odds, are the type of odds presented with positive or negative odds. The odds with a negative actually represent the favorite, while those with a positive refer to the underdogs. So if the LA Lakers are playing the Chicago Bulls with the Lakers given -140 odds to win, they are the team that is more likely to win the contest.

How to read moneyline odds? Negative odds actually reflect the amount of money you need to bet in order to win \$100. So if you place \$140 on the Lakers to win, you can receive a profit of \$100. On the other hand, the Chicago Bulls come as +130 underdogs. In this case, paying \$100 on the line can win you back a profit of \$130.

Moneyline odds best serve when betting on the winner of the contest. They are not really suitable for point spread betting, parlays, or teasers.

### Decimal Odds

Decimal Odds are a type of odds that are very popular. You can find Decimal Odds used in countries around the globe. Many sportsbooks that you will find online will use Decimal Odds. Decimal Odds basically say that you will get the sum of the amount you would receive in return for a \$1 bet.

In other words, the stake is already a part of the decimal number. This makes the calculations much easier and allows you to better understand how to read football odds. Let’s take the example of the San Francisco 49ers playing the Dallas Cowboys.

The 49ers are favorites to win at 1.30 odds, while the Cowboys come in as underdogs at 4.00 odds. So if you bet \$100 on Dallas to win, your payout would be a sum of \$400 (\$100 x 4.00). The winning amount already includes your stake, so your net profit is actually \$300.

On the other hand, if you decide to go with the favorite and bet \$100 on San Francisco, your return would be \$130 (\$100 x 1.30). However, deduct the \$100 invested, and your net winnings are \$30 in this case.

### Fractional Odds

Fractional Odds tend to be found more often in Europe than in the United States. Typically, they are popularly used in United Kingdom horse race betting. Fractional odds show that you will receive your profits in proportion to your stake.

So to answer your question about how to read soccer odds, we will take the example of Arsenal playing Chelsea. Arsenal come in at 13/5 odds, while Chelsea come at 9/2 odds to win. According to this, the Gunners are the favorites. Allowing you to win \$13 against every \$5 you decide to spend on Arsenal.

But if you decide to bet on Chelsea, that would mean that you would win \$9 on each \$2 you wager on them. Generally spelling, if you place a \$100 bet on Arsenal to win, your profit would be \$260  (\$100 x (13/5)). You actually get back your initial stake and end up earning \$360 as your total payout.

On the other hand, a \$100 bet on Chelsea would get you a return of \$450 (\$100 x (9/2)). Also, add your initial stake of \$100, and you end up with \$550 lining your pockets.

The advantage of these types of odds is that you can spot your favorite immediately. They represent the amount a bettor could take home with every \$1 wager. Resulting in a total payout rather than just the profit.

## How to Read Odds: The Final Chapter

As a beginner, you will definitely find it hard to learn how to read odds. But after being in the game for a while, things get immensely easier. The best way to go about it is to concentrate on one system. You don’t have to learn all three if you are betting only in a certain country where one system is the norm.

Nevertheless, it does not hurt to try and understand all of them. It may come in handy one day. All in all, understanding how the odds work is not only pivotal for your future betting. It is also the basic building block as it only allows you to continue on and learn more from there.

Still interested in learning more about how to read odds? Here are some FAQs to provide you with additional info.

First it depends on the type of odds. The most popular odds in the US are moneyline odds. This is when one team is favored to win and therefore given -200 odds vs the underdog team who is less likely to win and given +350 odds. Choosing to bet on the underdog may yield a larger profit, but it also carries higher risk due to the fact that they are considered the less likely team to win.

The + is assigned to the underdog and indicates a larger payout if the bet is won. So +350, means if you bet \$100, the total payout will be \$450 for a profit of \$350. On the opposite side, if the odds are -200, you bet \$100 and win, your total payout would be \$150, for a profit of \$50.

The plus sign (+) in front of the number indicates that the team given those odds is the underdog in a matchup. On the other hand, the minus sign (-) refers to the team viewed as the favorite to win.

Also called decimal odds, these appear as whole numbers with one or two decimals placed. People call them European because they are standard in most places in Europe and some other places around the world.