Those that are beginners to sports betting are likely to need time familiarizing themselves with terms like moneylines, totals, and betting against the spread. Knowledge of these terms provides a great foundation for your overall sports betting experience.
While one may be knowledgeable about the rules and various ways to make a sports bet, the part of the betting experience that may still be confusing is the math behind payouts. What do odds of -115 or +150 mean? Why do some sites have odds listed with decimals?
In this article, we explain all the different types of odds and what they mean for your bets. In addition, we explain how to set your sportsbook settings to display the odds type you are most comfortable with. All graphics are taken from DraftKings Sportsbook.
What are the Different Types of Odds?
It’s no coincidence that American odds are most commonly used by sportsbooks in this country. When reading American odds, those that are listed with a minus sign (i.e. -110, -130) are considered the favorite. This represents the amount one would need to wager to win $100. The higher the number, the more of a favorite that side is.
When odds have a plus sign attached to them (i.e. +140, +200), that means this side is the underdog. The number next to the plus sign represents the amount a bettor would win for every $100 they wagered. The higher the number, the less likely the outcome is considered to happen. As a result, the payout for a bettor would also be higher.
Here is an example of how American odds are integrated into an NFL Draft prop bet.
In this example, the “over 4.5” cornerbacks being drafted in the first round is considered the favorite because of the -143 odds attached to it. This means for every $143 a bettor wagered, they would profit $100. That same ratio would be applied to any betting amount. If a bettor wagered on “under 4.5” cornerbacks, the +118 odds mean that for every $100 wagered, they would net $118.
Decimal odds are more commonly used in Europe and other overseas sportsbooks. When reading decimal odds, the number represents the amount a bettor wins for each $1 they wager.
One major difference between decimal odds and American odds is how to interpret the payout. With American odds, you would interpret your payout in terms of what you would simply profit excluding your original wager. For example, betting $140 on odds of -140 would win you $100 in terms of a profit. Yes, you would be getting $240 back to your betting account because you get back your original wager, but you profited just $100.
With decimal odds, the number you see represents your total return. Thus, it’s easy to calculate because your original wager and your profit are already incorporated into the number.
Here is an example of how decimal odds are integrated in another NFL Draft prop bet.
For this prop, bettors are wagering on the player whom the Giants will select with their first pick. Let’s say a bettor wants to wager $100 that New York will select Jedric Wills. To calculate the payout, simply multiply the $100 by the 1.83. Thus, that bettor would be paid $183 (meaning they profited $83). A $100 bet on Tristan Wirfs would result in a $400 payout, and so on.
Those that are familiar with horse racing odds are likely most comfortable with the fractional odds setting. Fractional odds represent the ratio that one would profit relative to the amount wagered.
For convenience sake, here is the same Giants “first player selected” prop with fractional odds.
Again, in terms of payouts, these odds represent how much a bettor would profit on their wager. For example, one would read “Tristan Wirfs 3/1” as them profiting three times the amount of their original wager. Thus, bettors who wager $100 on Wirfs are still getting paid out $400, but just $300 of that is their profit.
Whenever a fraction is less than one like in Jedrick Wills’ case, those odds are less than 1:1. This means a bettor is profiting less than what their original wager was.
No matter the settings or the type of odds you use, the payout will not change. Sportsbooks like DraftKings offer a wide range of odds types because not all bettors have the same preferences as far as how they view or calculate their odds.
How Do I Switch Odds Types in my Account?
In your mobile account, there should be an option to toggle between the various odds types. At DraftKings, you can see this option in the top right of their sportsbook’s home screen where it says Odds: American. Hitting the down arrow button next to it will allow you to choose either decimal or fractional odds if desired.
If you are wagering in person at a sportsbook, you are likely to find the sportsbook consistently using just one type of odds. It is important to familiarize yourself with all odds types in case the default odds type at the sportsbook is not one you are familiar with. Either way, before placing a bet at the cashier you will be able to see your potential payout based on your wagering amount. Therefore, even if you are not familiar with the odds setting they use, you will not be in the dark about how much money you stand to win.