# How to Read Odds: Payouts, Types, Examples

Reading odds is an essential skill for anyone who wants to gamble or make informed decisions based on statistical probabilities. Odds are used to represent the likelihood of an event occurring, and they can be expressed in different formats, such as fractional, decimal, or moneyline. Understanding how to read odds can help you determine the potential payout of a bet, the expected value of a game, and the degree of risk involved in a particular wager.

## What are betting odds?

Betting odds are numerical representations of the likelihood of an event occurring. They are used to calculate the potential payout of a bet and to indicate the degree of risk involved in a particular wager.

Betting odds can be expressed in different formats, such as fractional odds, decimal odds, or moneyline odds, depending on the region or the sportsbook that is offering them.

### What do - and + Mean in Odds?

The minus (-) and plus (+) signs are used in moneyline odds to indicate the favorite and underdog in a particular betting market. The minus sign represents the favorite, while the plus sign represents the underdog.

In a moneyline bet with a favorite, the odds will have a minus sign (-) in front of the number, such as -150. This means that you would need to bet \$150 to win \$100, or any other equivalent amount. The minus sign indicates that the team or player is expected to win, and the odds reflect the amount that you would need to bet to win a certain amount.

On the other hand, in a moneyline bet with an underdog, the odds will have a plus sign (+) in front of the number, such as +200. This means that if you bet \$100 on the underdog, you would win \$200, or any other equivalent amount. The plus sign indicates that the team or player is not expected to win, and the odds reflect the amount that you would win if you bet a certain amount.

### Implied Probability and Odds

Implied probability and odds are two ways of expressing the same thing, but they are calculated differently.

Odds are a way of expressing the likelihood of an event happening. They are usually expressed as a ratio of the number of favorable outcomes to the number of unfavorable outcomes. For example, if a coin is flipped, the odds of it landing heads up are 1:1 or "even" odds, since there is an equal chance of it landing either heads or tails.

Implied probability, on the other hand, is the likelihood of an event happening expressed as a percentage. It is calculated by dividing 1 by the decimal odds and multiplying by 100. For example, if the odds of a coin landing heads up are 1.5, the implied probability is 1 / 1.5 * 100 = 66.67%.

In summary, odds are a way of expressing the ratio of favorable to unfavorable outcomes, while implied probability is a way of expressing the likelihood of an event happening as a percentage.

### What is Vig (or Juice)?

Vig, short for vigorish or juice, refers to the commission that a bookmaker or sportsbook takes on a bet. The vig is the amount that a bettor must pay in addition to their initial stake in order to place a bet.

For example, if a bettor places a \$100 bet on a team to win, and the odds offered by the bookmaker are -110, the bettor would have to pay a vig of \$10, in addition to their initial \$100 stake. If the bettor wins, they would receive a payout of \$190 (\$100 stake + \$90 profit), but if they lose, they would lose their entire \$100 stake.

The vig is essentially the bookmaker's way of ensuring that they make a profit, regardless of the outcome of the bet. Bookmakers typically offer odds that are slightly in their favor, which means that over time, they will make a profit on the bets they take, even if they have an equal number of winning and losing bets.

### What is Hold?

"Hold" refers to the percentage of the total amount of money wagered that the sportsbook or bookmaker keeps as profit. It's the difference between the total amount of money bet by all customers and the total amount of money paid out as winnings.

For example, if a sportsbook takes in \$100,000 in bets on a particular game and pays out \$90,000 in winnings, the hold would be \$10,000, or 10%. This means that the sportsbook kept 10% of the total amount wagered as profit.

The hold is an important metric for sportsbooks and bookmakers because it represents their overall profitability. A higher hold means that the sportsbook is keeping more of the money wagered, while a lower hold means that they are paying out more in winnings.

Sportsbooks and bookmakers use various strategies to try to maximize their hold, including adjusting their odds and point spreads, offering promotions and bonuses to attract customers, and managing their risk by limiting the amount that customers can bet on certain events.

## Types of betting odds

### American Odds

American odds, also known as moneyline odds, are a way of representing the odds or probability of an event in sports betting, primarily used in the United States. American odds can be expressed as either a positive or negative number.

When odds are expressed as a negative number, it indicates the amount of money that must be wagered in order to win \$100. For example, if the odds are -120, it means that a bettor must wager \$120 to win \$100.

When odds are expressed as a positive number, it indicates the amount of money that can be won by wagering \$100. For example, if the odds are +150, it means that a bettor can win \$150 by wagering \$100.

### Fractional odds

Fractional odds are a way of expressing the odds or probability of an event in sports betting, commonly used in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and other parts of Europe. Fractional odds are expressed as a fraction, such as 2/1 or 7/2.

The first number in the fraction represents the potential profit from a winning bet, while the second number represents the amount of the stake or wager. For example, if the odds are 2/1, a winning bet of \$1 would result in a profit of \$2, for a total payout of \$3.

Fractional odds can be expressed in a few different ways. For example, odds of 2/1 can also be expressed as "two to one" or "2-1". Odds of 7/2 can be expressed as "seven to two" or "7-2".

Fractional odds also indicate the probability of an event occurring. The larger the second number in the fraction, the less likely the event is to occur, and the higher the potential payout. For example, odds of 2/1 indicate that there is a 33.33% chance of the event occurring, while odds of 7/2 indicate a 22.22% chance.

### Decimal odds

Decimal odds are a way of expressing the odds or probability of an event in sports betting, commonly used in Europe, Australia, and Canada. Decimal odds are expressed as a decimal number, such as 1.50 or 2.25.

The decimal odds represent the potential payout from a winning bet, including the initial stake or wager. For example, if the odds are 2.50, a winning bet of \$1 would result in a total payout of \$2.50, including the initial \$1 stake.

Decimal odds also indicate the probability of an event occurring. The higher the decimal odds, the less likely the event is to occur, and the higher the potential payout. For example, odds of 2.50 indicate that there is a 40% chance of the event occurring, while odds of 1.50 indicate a 66.67% chance.

Decimal odds are sometimes referred to as "European odds" because they are commonly used in Europe. They are also sometimes used in conjunction with fractional odds or American odds to give bettors a variety of options for understanding the odds and potential payouts for a given event.

Decimal odds can be easier for some bettors to understand and compare across different sportsbooks or bookmakers, as they provide a clear indication of the potential payout from a winning bet, including the initial stake or wager.

### Calculating Payouts

To calculate the potential payout of a bet based on the betting odds, you can use the following formulas:

For fractional odds: Potential Payout = (Stake x numerator) / denominator Profit = Potential Payout - Stake

For decimal odds: Potential Payout = Stake x decimal odds Profit = Potential Payout - Stake

For American odds: If the odds are negative (-): Potential Payout = (Stake / absolute value of the odds) x 100 Profit = Potential Payout - Stake; if the odds are positive (+): Potential Payout = (Stake x odds) / 100 Profit = Potential Payout - Stake

Here's an example to illustrate how to calculate the potential payout and profit for each type of odds:

Suppose you want to bet \$100 on a football game between Team A and Team B. The betting odds for Team A to win are:

• Fractional odds: 3/1
• Decimal odds: 4.00
• American odds: +300

To calculate the potential payout and profit for each type of odds, you can use the following formulas:

For fractional odds: Potential Payout = (Stake x numerator) / denominator = (100 x 3) / 1 = \$300 Profit = Potential Payout - Stake = \$300 - \$100 = \$200

For decimal odds: Potential Payout = Stake x decimal odds = 100 x 4.00 = \$400 Profit = Potential Payout - Stake = \$400 - \$100 = \$300

For American odds: If the odds are positive (+): Potential Payout = (Stake x odds) / 100 = (100 x 300) / 100 = \$300 Profit = Potential Payout - Stake = \$300 - \$100 = \$200

In this example, regardless of the type of odds, if you bet \$100 on Team A to win, your potential payout would be \$300, and your profit would be \$200.

## Odds and Types of Bets

### Moneyline Odds

Moneyline odds, also known as American odds, are a way of representing the odds or probability of an event in sports betting, primarily used in the United States. Moneyline odds can be expressed as either a positive or negative number.

Moneyline odds can be used for a variety of different types of bets, including point spread bets, totals bets, and straight-up bets, and can provide a clear indication of the odds and potential payouts for a given event.

Spread betting odds refer to the numerical values assigned by a bookmaker or spread betting company to different outcomes of an event. These odds are used to determine the potential payout for a particular bet.

In spread betting, the bookmaker sets a spread, which is the range of possible outcomes for a particular event. For example, in a soccer match, the bookmaker might set a spread of 2-3 goals, meaning that the bettor can place a bet on either team winning by a margin of 2-3 goals.

The odds for a particular outcome of the event are determined by the bookmaker based on their assessment of the likelihood of that outcome occurring. The odds are usually expressed as a decimal or fraction, and they reflect the payout that the bettor will receive if their bet is successful.

### Over Under Odds

Over/under odds, also known as totals betting, is a type of sports betting where the bookmaker sets a total number for a particular statistic in a game, such as the combined score, total number of goals, or total number of points scored. The bettor then has to predict whether the actual number will be higher or lower than the bookmaker's total.

For example, in an NFL football game, the bookmaker may set the over/under at 48.5 points. The bettor then has to decide whether the total number of points scored by both teams will be over or under 48.5.

The odds for over/under bets are typically listed as a fraction, such as 2/1 or 3/2. This means that if a bettor places a \$100 bet and wins, they will receive \$200 or \$150 in return, respectively, in addition to getting back their original \$100 bet.

### Parlay Betting Odds

Parlay betting odds refer to the potential payout that a bettor could receive if they successfully wager on multiple events in a single bet. Parlay bets combine two or more individual bets into one larger bet, with the potential winnings increasing with each added event.

The odds for a parlay bet are determined by multiplying the individual odds for each event together. For example, if a bettor wants to place a parlay bet on three separate events, with odds of 2.0, 3.0, and 4.0, the parlay odds would be calculated as follows:

2.0 x 3.0 x 4.0 = 24.0

This means that the parlay bettor would receive a potential payout of 24 times their original stake if all three events are successfully predicted. However, it's important to note that the more events included in a parlay bet, the harder it is to win, and the lower the overall probability of success.

### Futures Betting Odds

Futures betting odds refer to the odds offered on events or outcomes that will occur in the future, such as the winner of a championship, the MVP of a league, or the outcome of a political election. Futures bets are typically placed well in advance of the event and the odds may fluctuate over time based on various factors such as injuries, team performance, or public opinion.

Futures betting odds are typically expressed in a format that represents the payout a bettor can receive if they win their bet. For example, if the odds for a particular team to win a championship are +500, this means that a bettor would receive a payout of \$500 for every \$100 they wagered if that team goes on to win the championship.

On the other hand, if the odds for a team to win a championship are -200, this means that a bettor would need to wager \$200 to win \$100 if that team goes on to win the championship. Negative odds indicate that the team is considered a favorite, while positive odds indicate that the team is considered an underdog.

### Teaser Betting Odds

Teaser betting odds are a type of sports betting where a bettor can adjust the point spread or total of a game by a certain number of points in their favor. This adjustment, or "tease," makes it easier for the bettor to win their wager, but also reduces the potential payout.

For example, in a football game, the original point spread may be -7 in favor of the favorite. A bettor can choose to tease the spread by 6 points, which would make the new spread -1 in favor of the favorite. The bettor's odds of winning the wager would increase, but the potential payout would be reduced.

## How Odds Differ Between Sports

### Football Odds

The NFL has a unique set of betting markets that you may not find in other sports. Some of these betting markets include:

1. First touchdown scorer: This market allows bettors to wager on which player will score the first touchdown of the game. It's a popular market among NFL fans and can offer some exciting opportunities to win big.
2. Special teams props: Because special teams play such an important role in NFL games, some sportsbooks offer props on special teams performance. Examples of special teams props include the number of punts inside the 20-yard line, the number of successful onside kicks, or the number of kickoff returns for a touchdown.
3. Quarterback props: Quarterbacks are often the most important players on an NFL team, and they can have a huge impact on the outcome of a game. Some sportsbooks offer props on quarterback performance, such as the number of passing yards, touchdown passes, or interceptions.
4. Margin of victory: This betting market allows bettors to wager on the margin of victory for a team. In the NFL, games are often decided by a few points, so this market can be a great way to bet on the outcome of a game without having to pick a winner.
5. Super Bowl MVP: The Super Bowl is the biggest event in the NFL, and the MVP award is one of the most coveted individual honors in sports. Bettors can wager on which player they think will win the Super Bowl MVP award, which can be a fun and exciting way to bet on the biggest game of the year.

There are several unique betting markets in basketball that you may not find in other sports. Here are some examples:

1. Over/under on team fouls: In basketball, there are rules that limit the number of fouls a team can commit in a game. Some bookmakers offer an over/under betting market on the number of team fouls committed by a team in a game.
2. Quarter/Half betting: Basketball games are divided into four quarters or two halves, depending on the league. Bettors can place bets on the outcome of each quarter or half, which can be a good way to find value in games where one team is expected to dominate.
3. First basket scorer/method: These markets ask bettors to choose which player will score the game's opening basket, and how those points will be recorded (layup, three-point shot, free throw, etc.)
4. First to X points: This is a unique betting market in basketball where you can place a bet on which team will be the first to reach a certain point total during the game. For example, you could bet on which team will be the first to reach 20 points.
5. Points + rebounds + assists: This is a unique player prop betting market where you can bet on the total number of points, rebounds and assists a player will have in a game. This can be a good way to find value in games where a player is expected to have a significant impact.

### Baseball Odds and the Runline

Runline odds are a type of betting odds used in baseball, which are similar in concept to puckline odds in hockey or point spread odds in football and basketball.

The runline is a handicap applied to the favorite team, which is typically set at 1.5 runs. This means that the favorite team must win the game by at least two runs to cover the runline, while the underdog team can lose by one run and still cover the runline.

Runline odds are expressed in the same way as the moneyline odds, with positive and negative numbers indicating the amount of money that needs to be wagered to win \$100 or the amount of money that will be won for a \$100 bet.

For example, if the runline for a game is set at -1.5 for the favored team, the odds may be set at -120, which means that a bettor would need to wager \$120 to win \$100 if the favored team wins by two or more runs.

It's important to note that runline betting is less popular than moneyline betting in baseball, and the odds and handicaps can vary widely depending on the teams involved and the sportsbook offering the odds. Some bettors prefer to use runline betting as a way to increase their potential payout if they believe that the favorite team will win by a significant margin, while others prefer to stick with moneyline betting for a simpler and more straightforward wager.

### Hockey Odds and the Puckline

The puckline is a handicap that is applied to the favored team in order to create a more even betting proposition. However, there are some differences between puckline odds and point spread odds in other sports.

The most significant difference is the magnitude of the puckline. While point spreads in other sports are typically around 3-7 points, pucklines in hockey are typically set at 1.5 goals. This means that the favored team must win by at least two goals in order to cover the puckline, while the underdog team can lose by one goal and still cover the puckline.

### Golf, Tennis and Event-based Sports

The odds for event-based sports like golf and tennis are typically expressed in the same way as for other sports, using the moneyline format. However, there are some differences in how these odds are calculated and presented.

In golf, the most common type of bet is to pick the winner of the tournament. Each golfer in the field is assigned odds based on their perceived likelihood of winning, with the top players having lower odds and the long shots having higher odds. For example, if Tiger Woods is favored to win a tournament with odds of +200, it means that a \$100 bet on Woods would pay out \$200 if he wins.

Other types of bets in golf include betting on a golfer to finish in the top five, top ten, or top twenty of the tournament, as well as head-to-head matchups between two golfers.

In tennis, the most common type of bet is to pick the winner of a particular match. Each player is assigned odds based on their perceived likelihood of winning, with the favorite having lower odds and the underdog having higher odds. For example, if Novak Djokovic is favored to win a match with odds of -250, it means that a \$250 bet on Djokovic would pay out \$100 if he wins.

Other types of bets in tennis include betting on the total number of games played in a match, or the total number of sets played in a match. Some sportsbooks also offer prop bets on things like the number of aces served in a match, or the number of double faults committed by a particular player.

Overall, the odds for event-based sports like golf and tennis are similar to other sports in terms of the moneyline format, but may differ in terms of the types of bets offered and the odds assigned to individual players or competitors.

### Horse Racing Odds

Horse racing odds differ from other sports in a few key ways:

1. The odds are expressed differently: Unlike other sports, where odds are typically expressed in a moneyline format (e.g. -110 or +150), horse racing odds are usually expressed in a fractional format (e.g. 3/1 or 5/2). The odds represent the ratio of the payout to the original stake. So, for example, a horse with odds of 3/1 would pay out \$3 for every \$1 wagered, plus the original stake.
2. The odds are constantly changing: In horse racing, the odds are not set at the beginning of the season or even the day of the race. Instead, they are constantly changing up until the moment the race starts, based on how much money is being wagered on each horse. This is known as "parimutuel" betting.
3. There are many types of bets: In addition to betting on which horse will win the race, horse racing offers a wide variety of other bets, such as place (betting that a horse will finish first or second), show (betting that a horse will finish in the top three), exacta (betting on the first two horses to finish in the correct order), trifecta (betting on the first three horses to finish in the correct order), and more.
4. The odds can be influenced by the jockeys: In horse racing, the jockey who rides the horse can also influence the odds. If a top jockey is riding a particular horse, that horse may be seen as more likely to win, and the odds may shift accordingly.

Overall, horse racing odds are unique in that they are expressed in a fractional format, they are constantly changing, and there are many different types of bets available.

## Odds and Line Movement

Line movement refers to the changes in the betting odds or point spread for a particular sporting event that occur over time. Line movement occurs when there is a change in the perception of how likely a particular outcome is, or when there is a change in the amount of money being wagered on each side of a bet.

When there is a change in the betting odds, it can be due to a variety of factors, including changes in the injury status of key players, changes in the weather conditions, or changes in the overall betting market. When these changes occur, sportsbooks will adjust the odds in order to balance the amount of money being wagered on each side of the bet.

For example, let's say that a sportsbook sets the point spread for an NFL game at -3 in favor of the home team. If a lot of bettors are placing bets on the underdog team to cover the spread, the sportsbook may adjust the line to -2.5 or -2 in order to encourage more bettors to place bets on the home team. Conversely, if a lot of bettors are placing bets on the home team to cover the spread, the sportsbook may adjust the line to -3.5 or -4 in order to encourage more bettors to place bets on the underdog team.

Line movement can also occur over time as new information becomes available. For example, if a key player is injured during the week leading up to a game, this can cause the odds to shift in favor of the opposing team. Similarly, changes in weather conditions, venue, or other factors can also cause line movement.

It's important to note that line movement is not always a reliable indicator of which team is more likely to win. Instead, line movement should be viewed as a reflection of the betting market and the amount of money being wagered on each side of the bet.