Reading and correctly interpreting sports odds is what makes the difference between leaving with full or empty pockets. Sports odds can guide the player to make crucial decisions about how much to bet and on what outcomes. The odds represent three crucial things for the player: the amount of money he can earn in a particular result, the probability of that outcome to happen, and the percentage of cash or the juice the online sports betting sites will charge.

External factors

Players must be clear that the odds depend on many external factors such as injuries or if a team plays at home, to name a few. Some of these factors can influence an odd so much that they can make it move up or down. In addition to this, Sportsbook can move odds at their discretion to get more bets on one side.

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The different types of odds

In the betting world, we find different odds formats, which may confuse some players, but we must not fear since all forms are quite easy to understand, and there is no significant difference between them.

The most popular formats are:

american odds betting lines

American odds

These odds are positive or negative three-digit numbers.
Positive numbers indicate the amount of money a player can win by betting $ 100; positive numbers also represent the underdog of the game.
Negative numbers indicate the amount of money the player must bet to win $ 100; these numbers also represent the favorite team of the game.
To better understand the concept, let’s look at an example of the NHL:
Matchup: Dallas Stars +120 vs. Toronto Maple Leafs -140

If a player bets $100 on the Dallas Stars (+120), he can win $120, while a player who wants to win $ 100 with the Maple Leafs (-140) must bet $140.
Seeing it in terms of $100 is pretty straightforward, but what happens when you bet less than or greater than $ 100. In that case, players must use a simple equation to calculate their possible win.

Let’s continue with the example of the Maple Leafs (-140) and a $30 bet. In this case, the calculation of the gain will look as follows:

140/100 = 30 / Profit

Doing a cross-multiplication, we will obtain: 30×100 = 3000 and 140 x Profit.

Then we can solve it: Profit = 3000/140
Profit = 21.42

A $30 bet on the Maple Leafs (-140) will give the player a total income of $ 51.42, that is, the $30 of the bet plus the $21.42 of the profit.

betting odds decimal lines


Decimal Odds

As the name implies, Sportsbooks present these odds in a two decimal format. These odds are the easiest to work for players since the calculations are super simple to do.

To calculate the profit with decimal odds, you multiply the amount you are going to bet on by the odd related to the team you are going to bet.

Following the example of our NHL teams, suppose we want to calculate the profit of an $85 bet.
Dallas Stars 1.20
Profit = 85 x 1.20 = $102
Toronto Maple Leafs 2.40
Profit = 85 x 2.40 = $204

fractional odds

Fractional Odds

This type of odds is widely used in horse racing and may seem more complicated than the previous ones since each side receives a value expressed in fractions, for example, McGregor 5/14 vs. Donald Cerrone 12/4. These odds are quite simple to interpret the first number, or the numerator represents the number of times the book believes the possible result will fail.

At the same time, the number to the left or the denominator indicates the number of times the paper concludes that the result will successfully happen. By adding both figures, we get the number of times the event should happen to produce each outcome. To better understand, let’s look at the McGregor 5/14 example. This odd suggests that in 19 fights, McGregor would lose five and win 14.

If you want to calculate the profit with fractional odds, you must multiply the amount of the wager by the result by dividing the numerator and denominator of the odd.

Suppose we are going to place a $ 30 bet in favor of McGregor 5/14
Profit = 30 x (5/14) = 30 x 0.357 = $ 10.71

The player will receive a total of $ 40.71 if he bets in favor of McGregor, the $ 30 of the bet plus the $ 10.71 win.


One element that online sports bettors should consider is the Push, as this can affect the winnings. A Push is a draw; we must remember that some sports allow games to end in a draw, and this is also a result in which you can bet. In any case, players should only worry about Push when they are betting against the spread or in total bets.

If the Push happens, the player will receive a money refund, since this does not count as a victory or defeat. This helps bettors read and interpret the odds, and by applying it, they can improve their game and their profits by betting wisely.