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Betting Odds Explained

Online sportsbooks typically use three types of moneyline odds to handicap their events. To familiarize yourself with how these will look, browse various sports on one of our recommended online sports betting sites below.

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With a true money line wager, the bettor simply needs to select either the winner or loser and bet accordingly.  In some cases, the moneyline and the spread are posted as a combination.  For the serious and recreational bettor, it is imperative to be familiar with the differing moneylines and understand how your online site treats the spread and the moneyline.

There are three standard types of moneyline.

1. American odds are primarily used in the States on U.S. sporting events. American lines designate the favorite with a (-) sign and the underdog with a (+) sign. American moneylines reflect lines based on a $100.00 wager.

If the line is New York Giants -110, that means the bettor who picks the Giants must wager $110.00 to profit $100.00. If the Giants win, the bettor recoups his $110.00 wager and collects his $100.00 profit.

If the Dallas Cowboys are +190, that tells the bettor that he must wager $100.00 to profit $190.00. If Dallas wins, the bettor recoups his $100.00 and collects his $190.00 profit.

2. The Decimal or European odds are used primarily in Canada, Europe and Australia.  Decimal odds are easy to understand.  Rather than a (+) or (-) sign, the bettor is furnished a decimal line.  To know what the bettor will collect in total, he simply needs to multiply that payment by the amount wagered.

So, if the NY Giants are 2.10 and the Giants win, the bettor would collect $210.00 (2.1 x 100.00) for a $100.00 bet.  If the bettor the bettor wagers 1$10.00, and he wins, the bettor collect $21.00 (2.1 x $10.00) total.

3. Fractional odds or UK odds are primarily used in the UK. Other than the fractional form, they are the same as decimal odds (if you learned how to convert fractions to decimals at school, you already know this).

Horse odds are fractional odds but the slash or “fraction sign” has been replaced by a “to”.

So a 5/1 fractional line is declared as 5 to 1 and means that for every $1.00, the successful bettor profits $5.00. If the bettor bets $20.00 on a horse at 5/1 the bettor recoups the $20.00 wager and collects $100.00.

If the horse is 1/5, the bet is declared as 1 to 5.  This means that for every $5.00 wagered, the bettor will win $1.00 if the horse wins.  At 1/5, the bettor who wagers $10.00 will collect a $2.00 profit and the $10.00 wager.

Now that you have a better handle on the types of odds, feel free to have a more informed glance around our recommended sports betting sites. Pay closer attention to combined odds, which we touch upon at the end of this article.

Sometimes moneylines are combined with point spreads:

  Let’s say the New York Giants are +3 -120 and their opponent the Dallas Cowboys are -3.0 +112. 

If the bettor selected the New York Giants and the Giants won by more than 3 points, the bettor who wagered $120.00 would collect a $100.00 profit and recoup his $120.00 wager.

If the bettor selected the Dallas Cowboys and the Cowboys won or lost by less than 3 points, the bettor who wagered $100.00 would profit $$120.00 and recoup his $100.00 wager. 

Know your odds, get your spreads and make your wagers!

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