Betting Odds Explained

Betting Odds ExplainedIn almost all basketball games there will be a favourite and an underdog.   Spreads are one way to even the playing field and make betting more fair, but if you want to make a straight wager on which team will win a game then the spreads go out the window and odds are used to make the best fair.

If you are betting on an underdog, you will win more from a $10 bet than if you bet on the favourite.  Sports betting odds are usually quoted in three different forms.  These include American odds, decimal odds and fractional odds.

American Odds (aka Moneyline Odds)

Moneyline odds are primarily used by American sportsbooks and for this reason they are often called American odds.  In this format the odds are stated using either a positive or negative number higher than +100 or lower than -100.  A positive number indicates the underdog and states how much money you will win from a $100 wager.  For example, if the odds state Toronto Raptors +125, this means that you would win $125 from a $100 wager on the Raptors.  A negative number indicates the favourite and states how much you must wager in order to receive a $100 payout.  For example, if the odds state Cleveland Cavaliers -150, this means that you must wager $150 in order to win $100.

Decimal Odds

Decimal odds represent your total payout for any wager (your winnings and wager are combined).  Decimal odds are very easy to understand, the higher the number the less likely the outcome will occur and the more money you would receive if it does.  Continuing with the above example, the decimal odds equivalent of +125 would be 2.25.  So for every $1 that you bet on the Raptors you would receive $2.25 back if they won.  Similarly, the Cavs odds would be 1.67 using the decimal odds system.

Fractional Odds

Fractional odds are very similar to decimal odds except that they are shown as a fraction (eg 3/2) instead of a decimal and they represent the amount you will win instead of your total payout.  Continuing with the example, the Raptors odds would be 5/4 and the Cavaliers fractional odds would be 2/3.