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Understanding Sports Betting Odds And How To Read Them

The odds for the favorite will be under 2.00, as you can’t win back more than you staked. American odds are displayed with either a positive (+) or negative (-) amount. A point spread bet is also referred to as betting the spread or handicap betting. Point spread betting is a sports bettingmarket in which a team either has to win by a specific number of points or goals, or not lose by a specific number of points or goals.

If the model thinks the odds are significantly better than what the bet is offering, and you trust the model, this can be a useful tool in whether to decide to place a bet or not. You know you know have a one-in-two chance of heads coming up. If you are given odds better than one-in-two, it’s a good bet. Typically you won’t know the exact odds because sporting events aren’t that predictable, but this is a key principle to keep in mind when evaluating a bet, especially on a moneyline.

The plus sign on a spread bet is the margin of loss that the listed team must not exceed. So, for the New York Yankees example above, the team would be listed with 3/1 fractional odds, but with decimal odds of 4. Conversely, if the Dodgers were listed at 4.5, that would mean that they are 7/2 or 3.5/1 in fractional format. The problem is that any sports bet payout has to include the original stake in its return. So, conversions from fractional to decimal odds require you to add 1, while decimals to fractions require you to subtract one.

Movement on the odds is due to the business model associated with sportsbooks themselves. One misnomer about sports betting is that you’re betting against the house – in truth, you’re mostly betting against people on the other side of the bet. In order to make a set of American odds fractional, you will first need to look at whether the number is positive or negative.

Jonathan has over 25 years’ experience in the sports betting industry, as a senior odds compiler at a number of high profile fixed odds and spread betting firms in the UK. Unlike decimal odds, fractional odds do NOT include your stake. Betting on underdogs on the money line has a definite appeal. You can come out ahead without even winning 50% of your wagers.

Some sportsbooks, sportsbook apps and online sportsbooks have minimum amounts to bet or win. You should consult the rules of the sportsbook of your choice. You may want to research mutliple sportsbook to find the one the best fits you. The negative or positive sign before the number in the American style odds determines whether a wager on either team will win more or less money than the amount of the placed wager.