Back to articles

Understanding Different Odds Formats in Sports Betting

Sports betting continues to gain popularity worldwide, providing sports enthusiasts with an opportunity to engage in their favorite competitions in a unique way. 

However, there are various formats of odds in sports betting, and it's not always easy to grasp how each one works. 

These odds formats are crucial for understanding the potential profits of a bet and are used differently in different parts of the world.

In this article, we will explain the three main odds formats in sports betting: decimal odds, fractional odds, and American odds.

odds format betting

Understanding Decimal Odds in Sports Betting

Decimal odds, also known as European odds, are one of the most common formats used in sports betting, primarily in Europe but also in many other parts of the world.

Even Pinnacle have these odds by default. Let's delve into decimal odds, what they are, and how they work.

Basics of Decimal Odds

Decimal odds represent the total potential payout for a winning bet, including your initial stake. The odds indicate how much profit you can make for each unit wagered.

The formula for calculating potential profits with decimal odds is simple:

Potential Profit = Stake x Decimal Odds

For example, suppose you want to bet €100 on a football match with decimal odds of 2.00:

Potential Profit = €100 x 2.00 = €200

In this scenario, your potential profit would be €100, and you would receive a total payout of €200 if your bet is successful. 

This includes both your initial stake of €100 and a €100 profit.

Determining Probability

Decimal odds can also be used to calculate the implied probability of an outcome.

To find the implied probability, you can use the following formula:

Implied Probability (%) = 1 / Decimal Odds x 100

For example, with decimal odds of 2.00, the implied probability would be as follows:

Implied Probability = 1 / 2.00 x 100 = 50%

This means that according to these odds, bookmakers estimate a 50% chance of the event occurring.

Different Decimal Odds Formats

Decimal odds can appear in various formats, but they convey the same information.

Here are some common decimal odds formats:

  • 2.00: Even, meaning a €100 bet would result in a €100 profit if successful.

  • 1.50: Favorite, indicating a €100 bet would result in a €50 profit if successful.

  • 3.00: Underdog, where a €100 bet would result in a €200 profit if successful.

This method of odds representation is likely the most well-known and is commonly used by many.

fractionnal odds

Understanding Fractional Odds in Sports Betting

Fractional odds (also known as "UK Odds") are primarily used in the United Kingdom and Ireland, on bookmakers like William Hill for example. Here's an explanation of how they work:

Basics of Fractional Odds

Fractional odds are presented as a fraction, such as 2/1 or 5/2. These odds are used to indicate potential profit relative to your stake. 

The numerator (top number) represents the potential profit, while the denominator (bottom number) represents the stake required. 

Here's an overview of how fractional odds work:

  • The numerator (top number) indicates how much profit you can make.

  • The denominator (bottom number) represents the amount you need to bet.

For example, if you have fractional odds of 5/2, it means that for every €2 wagered, you can potentially win €5 in profit. 

Your total payout, including your initial €2 stake, would be €7 if your bet is successful.

Different Fractional Odds Formats

Fractional odds can take various formats and provide valuable information about the probability of an event occurring.

Here are some common fractional odds formats:

  • 1/1: Even, where you can win €1 for every €1 bet, plus your initial stake.

  • 3/4: Favorite, indicating that for every €4 bet, you can potentially win €3 in profit, plus your €4 stake.

  • 7/2: Underdog, suggesting that for every €2 bet, you can potentially win €7 in profit, plus your €2 stake.

Calculating Probability

Fractional odds also allow you to calculate the implied probability of an outcome.

To find the implied probability as a percentage, you can use the following formula:

Implied Probability (%) = (Denominator) / ((Numerator) + (Denominator)) x 100

For example, with fractional odds of 5/2, the implied probability would be as follows:

Implied Probability = 2 / (5 + 2) x 100 = 28.57%

This means that according to the odds, there is approximately a 28.57% chance of the event occurring.

Now, let's take a look at the "US Odds" format across the Atlantic.

decimal odds betting

Understanding American Odds in Sports Betting

American odds are predominantly used in the United States, and to be honest, our American friends have made it a bit complicated (although that's just my opinion, of course). Let's take a closer look:

Basics of American Odds

American odds are represented by positive or negative numbers. These odds indicate potential profit or loss for a $100 bet. Here's how they work:

  • Positive Odds: They (e.g., +150) represent the potential profit on a $100 bet. If the odds are positive, it indicates how much you can win for a $100 bet. For example, +150 means you can potentially win $150 in profit for every $100 wagered.

  • Negative Odds: They (e.g., -200) represent the amount you need to bet to win $100 in profit. Negative odds indicate favorites and tell you how much you must wager to win $100. For example, -200 means you need to bet $200 to potentially win $100 in profit.

Different Types of American Odds

American odds can be presented in two formats: positive or negative. Here are some examples:

  • Positive Odds: Underdog (+150, +200, +300, etc.). The higher the positive number, the lower the chances of success but the greater the potential profit.

  • Negative Odds: Favorite (-150, -200, -300, etc.). The higher the negative number, the higher the chances of success, but the larger the bet required to win $100 in profit.

Calculating Profits

To calculate your potential profit with American odds, use the following formulas:

For Positive Odds: Potential Profit = (Bet / 100) x Positive Odds 

For Negative Odds: Potential Profit = (100 / Absolute Value of Negative Odds) x Bet

For example, if you bet $50 on a team with +150 odds:

Potential Profit = ($50 / 100) x 150 = $75

So, a successful $50 bet at +150 odds would yield a profit of $75, for a total payout of $125, including your initial $50 stake.

If you bet $50 on the opposing team with -200 odds:

Potential Profit = (100 / 200) x $50 = $25

In this case, a winning bet would net you $25 in profit, for a total payout of $75 (including your initial $50 stake).

odds in betting

In conclusion, the choice of odds format in sports betting often depends on your geographical location and personal preference.

However, it's essential to understand them all to follow the best tipsters or adapt to the odds offered in your country.

Regardless of the format you choose, always remember that sports betting is not an easy way to make money.

Long-term profitability (ROI) requires dedication, diligence, and composure.

Oh, and one last thing: always manage your bankroll responsibly to avoid unpleasant surprises and going into the red.

Good luck!

Thursday, September 14, 2023

In my same category


Martingale in sports betting: Profitable strategy or trap ?

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Martingale is a strategy that often generates a lot of interest and debate among sports bettors. In the world of betting, it is frequently seen as a miraculous and highly profitable technique when used correctly. But is this the truth? The purpo...

See the article


Opening Odds: Gaining an Edge in the Market

Monday, September 11, 2023

Opening odds deserve special attention by the bettors. They offer a way to gain an advantage over sports betting websites and profit from value bets, a crucial objective in a long-term profitability strategy.Understanding the fluctuation of odds in the re...

See the article


Cash out, good idea or scam?

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Many sports bettors get lost in their various strategies due to online betting platforms. Indeed, these platforms introduced a feature called "Cash Out" a few years ago, which is supposed to allow bettors to "secure" their gains based on the scenario...

See the article