Sports Betting Odds Explained

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If you are new to sports betting, you may have seen the odds at online betting sites listed in different (and confusing!) ways. We hope to clear things up and explain the different ways betting odds can be displayed. There are three separate ways the odds can appear, they are either in “American”, “Fractional” or “Decimal” format.

American Odds

When odds are displayed in the “American” format a betting line will look like this (-200) or (+200). If the odds are (-200) that means will need to bet $200 to win a profit $100. If the odds are (+200) and you place a bet for $100 to win a profit of $200. If the odds are at (+100) or “EVEN” then a $100 bet will return a profit of $100. The “American” format is the most common way for odds to be displayed in Canada and is the default for many online betting sites.

Decimal Odds

When odds are displayed in “decimal” they appear like this (1.50). The decimal represents the total gross return on a $1 bet. So this means a $1 bet at (1.50) odds will net you a total return of $1.50, or a profit of 50 cents. The decimal odds (1.5) can be displayed in the American form as (-200). Calculating parlays requires the odds to be in decimal form and you may see the betting odds for various Canadian sports lotteries like “Proline” being displayed in decimals.

Fractional Odds

Fractional odds are when the betting odds are displayed in fractions like (1/2). The number to the right of the “/” represents the bet and the number to the left represents the winnings. So, the fractional odds of (1/2) means you need to bet $2 to win $1 and the odds can be displayed in the American format as (-200). The odds (2/1) means that a $1 bets wins $2 and can be displayed in the American format as (+200). It is not common for online betting sites to display odds in fractional form because it makes slight adjustments to the odds difficult. Such as moving the odds from (+100) to (-103) for example.

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