Football Odds | How to Interpret Them?⚽

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Calculators for Betting Odds

First and foremost, it is critical to double-check your betting odds before placing your bets. So, even if you know how to calculate your odds, you might not want to rely exclusively on your own intellect. You can use our betting odds calculator to double-check the odds.

So, if you learn to read football betting odds, you should be able to read basketball odds as well. This is due to the fact that odds are more concerned with determining bets than they are with the sport itself. And chances are attempting to inform you the likelihood of a specific result.

Football Betting Odds

When looking at football odds, the date and time of the game are usually on the left. Then, to the right, there will be two numbers. These numbers will appear next to each participating team’s name. These are known as the rotation numbers.

Rotation numbers are usually the same from one sportsbook to the next. That manner, it can make a reference to the team and the game without directly referring to them. Furthermore, it enables bookmakers to publish their football bets in the same order.

The odds are normally displayed to the right of the team’s name. The point spread is usually given first. Following that, you may see the moneyline. Finally, you’ll almost certainly notice the over/under.

Keep in mind that the sequence in which the odds are given may fluctuate from one sportsbook to the next. It is critical to research what your preferred sportsbook has decided to accomplish with their sports listings. Then you’ll be able to make the most of your bets.

Explained: How to Read Football Odds

You may be wondering, “What precisely are betting odds?” And how do I place my bets with them? This betting odds reference will help you understand the precise definitions you require.

Betting odds are numerical representations of the probability of a specific result. Furthermore, they indicate the return, or profit, that the bettor will earn if the wager is successful. This likelihood of outcome is also known as implied probability.

Understanding the implied probability is critical when betting on sports. It allows you to put bets only when you have determined that the possibility of an outcome occurring is greater than the specified implied probability.

The Different Types of Football Odds Formats

So you’re probably even more perplexed now. If you’ve glanced at retail or online sportsbooks, you’ve probably noticed a plethora of odds. And not all of the odds might have appeared the same. This is due to the fact that there are three fundamental types of odds that are commonly employed. They are as follows: Moneyline (American Odds) • Fractional Odds

  • Odds in Decimal

To completely comprehend how to read odds, you must first comprehend all three categories of odds. You may not be aware of the types of odds that will be chosen for various sports and sporting events. Understanding the three major categories is so critical.

Recognizing Moneyline Odds

Moneyline odds are frequently referred to as American odds. American Odds/Moneyline Odds are the most common sort of odds found on sportsbooks. They are displayed as either positive or negative chances.

Example of a Moneyline

Assume the Dallas Cowboys are scheduled to play the Kansas City Chiefs. Assume the Dallas Cowboys are favored by +120 points and the Kansas City Chiefs are favored by -130 points.

Positive odds indicate the potential benefit if you bet $100. So, if you wager $100 on the Dallas Cowboys to win, your profit will be $120 if they do.

Negative odds represent the amount of money that would have to be wagered in order to win a $100 profit. Using this example, you would need to bet $130 on the game and the Chiefs to win in order to profit $100.

It’s as simple as that to understand American Odds/Moneyline Odds. Furthermore, most bookmakers will display American Odds. However, you should be aware of the different odds that may be found on sportsbooks both in-store and online.

Implied Probability Calculation

So, now that you’ve learned about the various sorts of odds, you’ll need to learn more before putting your bets. It is extremely crucial to understand how to calculate implied probability. This manner, you’ll be able to predict the possibility of certain outcomes in sports betting.

It should be rather simple to calculate the implied probability using positive American Odds. So, using the odds from the American Odds example above, here’s how that would work.

Implied Probability = 100/(Positive Odds + 100) = 100/220 =.454545

This implies that the indicated chance of the Dallas Cowboys winning is 0.454545, or 45.45 percent. As a result, bookmakers give the Dallas Cowboys a 45.45 percent chance of defeating the Kansas City Chiefs.

The steps for calculating the implied probability for negative American odds are now different. They are, however, still quite straightforward. Using the previous scenario, let’s say the Kansas City Chiefs have -130 American odds to beat the Dallas Cowboys.

That is, Implied Probability is Negative Odds/(Negative Odds – 100).

Implied Probability = (-130 – 100)/(-130 – 100) = -130/-230 =.5652

So, in this example, the inferred probability is 0.5652 or 56.52 percent. In this case, the Kansas City Chiefs have a 56.52 percent chance of winning the game.

When Should You Bet Against the Odds?

You can bet on the underdog or the team most likely to lose if you like. This is referred to as betting against the odds. So, if the Dallas Cowboys are +200 to win their next game, it means they are twice as likely to lose as they are to win.

So, if you put $100 on the Cowboys to win, you’ll get $200 back. This is the original amount wagered plus the profit. And it’s a sizable profit.

As you can see, betting against the odds can result in a sizable reward. However, the chances of this type of wager coming off are substantially smaller than if you bet on the team that is expected to win. As a result, you should only bet against the odds if you are pretty certain of winning.

Comprehending Fractional Odds

Fractional Odds are more common in Europe than in the United States. They are commonly employed in horse race betting in the United Kingdom. You will collect your gains in proportion to your bet if you use fractional odds.

We’ll utilize the same sports game example from earlier to demonstrate Fractional Odds. Assume the Dallas Cowboys have Fractional Odds of 4/3. This means that for every three dollars wagered, you will receive a four-dollar profit.

So, if Profit = (Stake/Denominator) x Numerator, we’ll need an example for the stake. Now, if the stake is $100, profit equals (100/3) x 4.

Profit = (33.333333) multiplied by 4 = $133.33

Fractional odds are not as simple to understand as American/Moneyline Odds. As a result, it is fortunate that they are not utilized as frequently as the other odds in the United States. However, it is still critical to comprehend them.

Recognizing Decimal Odds

Finally, we have arrived at the third category of probability that we shall investigate. Decimal Odds are a fairly popular sort of odds. Decimal Odds are utilized in countries all around the world. Many of the online sportsbooks will employ Decimal Odds.

Decimal Odds essentially state that you would receive the sum of the amounts you would receive for a $1 bet. This appears to be more complicated than it is. As a result, we’ll use the identical athletic event example from earlier to demonstrate decimal odds.

Assume the Dallas Cowboys have a 3.0 chance of winning. This means that for every dollar wagered on them, you will receive $3 back. As a result, you will receive your $1 stake back as well as a profit of $2.

This means that in this particular circumstance, (Stake x Odds) – Stake = Profit

Profit = (100 x 3) – 100 in this case with an investment of $100.

Profit = 300 minus 100 equals 200.

As shown above, decimal odds are rather simple to grasp. They are also simple to calculate. As a result, decimal odds are a simple yet important odds type to grasp.

How to Comprehend Value Bets

You should only put your money down when there is value in order to place profitable bets. So, using our previous example, we can demonstrate this. That means we should only gamble if we can determine a team has a higher chance of winning than the odds indicate.

So, if you believe the Chiefs have a higher probability of winning than 56.52 percent, you should back them. Alternatively, if you believe the Cowboys have a better probability of winning than 45.45 percent, you should bet on them.

Winnings Can Be Calculated Using Betting Odds

Betting odds assess how much money you will win if you place a bet. Let’s utilize the same examples as previously, but this time we’ll change numbers with letters, thus 4/1 becomes A/B. Simply said, for every value of B you bet, you will win A plus your stake back.

  • You will win £9 for every £1 you stake.
  • You will win £4 for every £1 you stake.
  • You will win £1 for every £1 you bet.
  • You will win £1 for every £4 wagered.

What about decimal numbers?

Decimals are significantly more frequent on exchanges like Betfair, however all major betting sites allow you to examine betting odds in this format. They offer an alternative to seeing betting odds in fraction format, and they are easier to calculate in our opinion. Here’s how it works: (odds * stake) – stake = wins Let us use some examples to demonstrate this.

  • 9.0 is equal to (9.0 * £10 stake) – £10 stake = £80 winnings.
  • 4.0 is equal to (4.0 * £10 stake) – £10 stake = £30 winnings.
  • 2.5 equals (2.5 * £10 stake) – £10 stake = £15 winnings.
  • 1.25 is equal to (1.25 * £10 stake) – £10 stake Equals £2.50 winnings.

Example of Betting

To make all of this information a little clearer, here’s a simple example of a wager on a football game.

If you were to bet on Arsenal defeating Liverpool 2-0, the odds would be 4.0 (decimal) or 3/1. (fractional)

You can immediately calculate how much you could win if your stake was £10:

  • 4.0 is equal to 4.0 * £10 stake – £10 = £30 winnings.
  • You can win £3 – £30 for every £1 you wager.
  • Keep in mind that you will also receive your original stake back.

Decimal vs. Fractional Odds

One method is not superior to the other, but there is a growing trend toward utilizing decimal odds. Fractional odds have traditionally been utilized in the United Kingdom, particularly at racetracks and on the main street. There are two significant differences.

In general, decimal odds are easier to comprehend. Based on this, there is a push to increase the number of people who participate in horse racing by making it more accessible to the typical punter. If you went to Cheltenham ten years ago, all of the odds would be shown as fractional odds. They’re mostly in decimals now.

The second distinction between the formats is that fractional odds only show winnings and do not include the returned stake, whereas decimals do. The increased popularity of betting exchanges such as Betfair and Ladbrokes accelerated the switch from fractional odds to decimals.

It’s quite tough to marginally increase or reduce the chance without introducing big fractions when the odds vary slightly. These are difficult to calculate for the punter and are not an effective technique of explaining betting odds.


Betting odds describe the likelihood of an event occurring and hence allow you to calculate how much money you will gain if your bet is successful. For example, if the odds are 4/1, you will win £4 for every £1 wagered. This has a 20% chance of happening, as computed by 1 / (4 + 1) = 0.20.


Which is preferable, decimal or fractional odds?

When it comes to odds format, there is no right or wrong. You should only use what is more familiar to you and easier to understand.

What should I do if the odds are given in decimal and I normally use fractions?

An odds converter is always available. However, most online betting companies will provide you with the option.

Why is decimal odds becoming more popular these days?

Bookmakers in the United Kingdom have traditionally employed fractional odds, but decimal odds are becoming more popular. This could be due to the fact that they are easier to calculate possible winnings. Or because they are more widely utilized in Europe.

Karina Peterson
More than 15 years in the gambling industry, working for the big players in the affiliation market. I won't name them, you know them. Also I enjoy seeing a new project taking life and expanding like this one.