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To understand how betting odds work in sports, first, you need to know the concept of odds. They are an essential part of any sports wager and are used to identify if a wager is worth making or not. The potential payout of a wager you place is calculated through a combination of your stake and the relevant odds.

In this blog, we explain how betting odds work in sports. We define their role in sports betting, so it is easier to understand. We will also look at the three different odds format in which they are expressed and explain why odds of the same outcome can vary with other bookmakers. If you want to try out your luck at sports betting, sign up for ASAA88 – Online Malaysia & Singapore Casino and start playing.

Sports Betting Odds Explained- How betting odds works in sports

Odds are an illustration of the probability that an event will occur.

We cannot know with complete certainty if something in sport will happen or not, but with probability, we can deliver a meaningful numerical value to things we don’t know for sure.

The odds you see on a sport betting site are the bookmaker’s answer to questions like:

  • Who will win the Soccer World Cup?
  • How likely can Golden State beat Cleveland?
  • What are the chances New Orleans has of winning the Super Bowl?

The bookmaker has his own opinion on all those events, which has turned into some odds. Know more about the Asian bookmakers on ASAA88 -Online Malaysia & Singapore Casino.

How To Calculate Implied Probability Using Odds

football betting odds today
football betting odds today

If you learn how betting odds work in sports, you can read between the lines and find out how likely a sportsbook has determined a particular outcome.

It is a crucial skill in sports betting. By placing wagers on outcomes that are more likely according to you than the sportsbook, you increase the value of your bets and your chance of winning a good return on your investment. The probability of a specific outcome occurring according to a sportsbook is called the implied probability. To find out the implied probability, you need to convert the betting odds into a percentage. You should know how to convert each format of odds to an implied probability below, where you’ll see each type of odds explained.

How Betting Odds Work In Sports? What Are The Types?

are high odds good or bad
are high odds good or bad

1. American Odds

American betting odds are represented with a minus, or plus sign followed by a number. Negative numbers mean the favorite, while positive numbers denote that the subject of the wager is the underdog. NFL games are the one sport often listed with American odds.

Reading American Odds

As per the American format, a negative number means the bookie perceives the outcome as more likely. This number gives you how much you need to bet to win $100 in profit.

A positive number shows the underdog. The number given in the betting odds tells you how much you can have a potential win if you bet $100.

To find out the implied probability with a positive number from American odds, use this formula:

Supposed probability of an outcome = 100/(positive American odds + 100)

And, how betting odds work in sports for the probability of negative American odds?

Use this equation instead:

Supposed probability of an outcome = negative American odds/(negative American odds + 100)

Calculating Payouts From American Odds

There are two equations to calculate the payout with American odds. Estimate your winnings on a positive American odds payout by solving for x with the following formula:

100/odds = wager/x

Use this equation when the odds are negative (where x represents your winnings):

Odds/100 = wager/x

2. Fractional Odds

Fractional odds, display with one number over another. A hyphen or slash then separates the numbers. The UK and Irish bookmakers prefer this format, making it common for soccer betting odds.

How To Read Fractional Odds

If you’re doubting how betting odds work in sports with the fractional format, the top number shows how often a bookie predicts outcome will fail. The bottom number shows how many times they assume it to succeed.

For instance, if the Patriots are given 1/2 odds, the bookie can predict they will win two times out of three.

Figure out the implied probability of an outcome with fractional odds by the following formula:

Implied probability = denominator/(denominator + numerator)

Calculating Payouts From Fractional Odds

To know how betting odds work in sports for payouts with the fractional format, use this equation:

Winnings = wager x (numerator/denominator)

3. How Betting Odds Work in sports with Decimal Odds

Decimal odds show up with a whole number followed by a decimal. This format is common in many sports internationally. You can see these odds on global events like tennis tournaments, PGA tours, or the Olympics.

How To Read Decimal Odds

Seeing a decimal number can seem confusing if you’re still finding out how betting odds work in sports. However, this is really the most straightforward one with reading odds.

The decimal shows the amount of profit paid for every dollar on a correct bet. Favorites show a lower number, while underdogs- a higher number.

Use this equation for calculating the probability of decimal betting odds:

Implied probability = 100/decimal odds

Calculating Payouts From Decimal Odds

So how betting odds work in sports with payouts on decimal odds? This is the formula to calculate your winnings:

Winnings = (wager x decimal odds) – wager

How Betting Odds are Calculated – How betting odds works in online Malaysia & Singapore Sports Betting

trying to beat the odds
trying to beat the odds

Using odds to calculate the probability

We can also use betting odds to work out the implied probability of an outcome.

In simple terms, longer odds mean that an outcome is less likely to happen, but it’s possible to dive a little deeper.

The calculate probability from fractional odds, we must divide the number on the right-hand side of the fraction by both numbers’ total.

So, odds of 9/1 will give an implied probability of 10 percent.

Because 9+1=10, and 1÷10=0.1. Expressed as a percentage, 0.1 equals 10 percent.

Here are some other examples:

5/1: 5+1=6, 1÷6=0.167 (16.7 percent)

6/4: 6+4=10, 4÷10=0.4 (40 percent)

2/5: 2+5=7, 5÷7=0.71 (71 percent)

It’s a little simpler to calculate probability from decimal odds. We just divide the number one by the decimal odds.

So, odds of 10.00 would give an implied probability of 10 percent.

That is because 1÷10=0.1. Expressed as a percentage, 0.1 equals 10 percent.

Here are some other examples:

6.00: 1÷6= 1÷6=0.167 (16.7 per cent)

2.50: 1÷2.50=0.4 (40 per cent)

1.40: 1÷1.40=0.71 (71 per cent)

Odd-Even Betting Strategy – How betting odds works in sports

soccer betting odds tips
soccer betting odds tips

Odd/Even betting is based on the number of points scored by both teams in a specific match. The scores are then added together, giving out an odd or even number. Odd/Even betting can be implied to halftime and full-time in both series of matches. If the goal results end at 0-0, it will be even. Such odd/even betting is only valid regularly, including injury time, excluding extra time and penalty shootouts.

Only two options exist for this type of bet–the Odd and Even. Example: If you select an Odd, you’ll win the bet if the number of goals in a match is 1, 3, 5, etc. In case you choose Even, you’ll win the bet when the total number of goals in the match is 2, 4, 6, etc.

A lot of times, you might have played a guessing game during your grade school. Well, Odd/Even betting has a little something to do with that. It doesn’t matter which player or team won the sports competition. If you want to add twists and excitement from the boring Moneyline betting options, the Odd/Even betting is surely the one you would love to enjoy.

Odd/Even betting isn’t a popular format for many players. However, if you want to take it seriously, you need some plans and strategies to achieve success in it. Odd are the numbers that have a remainder on dividing it by 2s. For instance (1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15. etc). On the other hand, evens are numbers that get no remainders when divided by 2s like 2,4,6,8,10,12, etc. In a way, you just need to guess. However, sportsbooks today put a little twist on Odd/Even betting.

Learn more about online betting in Singapore here.


If you are planning to try the betting or the gambling world, it is critical to understand and apply many odds well. Once you have learned and mastered the three popular types of odds (American, fractional, and decimal), you can move towards a high detailed read on this topic and discover how the house always wins.


How To Read Betting Odds?

For people who are United States sports bettors, these will be the most familiar. Typically, you could notice a three-digit positive or negative number, as below:
A negative number says how much you need to stake to win $100; a positive number shows how much you will win after 100 staked.
For example, you will need to stake $250 to win $100 on Cleveland. A $100 stake would win you $190 at the prevailing odds on Tennessee.
Thus, common sense would tell you that Cleveland is more prone to win this matchup based on those two financial scenarios where one has a positive number and the other a negative number.

How Betting Odds Work in Sports With Different Odd Formats?

The fundamental principle of odds is really quite simple. Things are slightly complex as there are three different formats of odds:
Moneyline odds/American Odds
Decimal Odds
Fractional Odds
Possibly, at some point, you’ll come through each of these formats. For this reason, you should be familiar with each one. They all work in the same way- which is just a different way of expressing the real odds for any wager.

What Does Beat The Odds Mean?

Beating the odds simply means overcoming improbability. A thing is unlikely to happen, but either by skill or luck (or a little of both), it happens anyway. Winning the game and earning money is easy if you can beat the odds and succeed on the bet he placed.

How are betting odds determined?

Odds are calculated as the ratio of the number of events producing that outcome to the number that do not. These odds can be shown by a typical example of rolling a six-sided die. Here the odds of rolling a 6 is 1:5. Odds may be represented in decimal, fractional and American formats. 
Calculating odds requires experience and expertise. If you are a rookie at gambling, go to a trusted bookkeeper who will give you fair payouts. Ideally, a bettor must know how to calculate the odds to know what is the payout he will get from his wager.

How to beat sports betting?

Remember- while there is no bending luck, you can maximize your chances of winning by strategizing properly. Prepare yourself if you want to beat the odds. Here are a few pointers for you:
Follow a proven betting strategy based on mathematics.
Have a good staking strategy.
Get experience in any one sport.
Do not follow tipsters without a long history.
Stop betting if you had a big loss.
Do not place parlay bets early.
Use a database of statistics.

Cathrine Tan

Cathrine is a professional content writer and has more than 5 years of experience in this industry. Her works have been published in a few magazines in China and she has partnered with multiple businesses with content writing .

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