While nobody can keep winning their wagers all the time, the savviest punters will win most of the time. Their secret lies not in Lady Luck but in their abilities to place their wagers at the highest available odds and to use odds comparison websites for this purpose.

Both of these abilities can be developed and it starts with the knowledge about the presentation and terminology behind the odds in sports betting.

Odds Presentation

Bettors have three types of odds to choose from on the online sports betting sites, namely, fractional, decimal, and American, which describe how the odds are presented (i.e., written). Keep in mind that all of these odds presentation can be available on an online bookmaker’s site but each sport usually has a specific odds format. Punters must then be able to comfortably shift between odds format and, thus, place the most winnable bets regardless of the sport.

First, the decimal format is the most popular because of its ease of use. The decimal odds clearly describe the amount of money that can be gained from placing a bet of 1 unit but bettor should be aware that 1 unit can mean anything, such as 1, 10 or 100. Bettors must then check the bookmaker’s preference for its unit stake.

Decimal odds are usually shown with 3 decimal places and incorporate the return of the unit stake. For example, if the decimal odds are 3.00, then the returns is £30 of which £10 is the return stake and £20 is the profit.

Second, the fractional odds have the same base as the decimal odds (i.e., computed from 1 unite stake) but with a difference – these express a different meaning. Basically, fractional odds tell the amount of profits that can be returned from a 1 unit stake instead of the total amount that will be returned from the same stake.

For example, a 5/1 odds mean that a bettor will be paid out at five times per unit stake. So, if the unit stake was at £10, then it can result in a profit of £50 for the bettor.

Third, the American odds are also known as money lines. The odds are based on a 100 stake with either a positive or a negative outcome. In positive odds, the number tells the amount of profit that can be made on a 100 stake. In negative odds, the number tells how much stake is necessary to make 100 on the wager.

Tip: As much as possible, be sure to master the basics of these three odds formats. Then, you can adopt the decimal odds format as your baseline for most of your wagers, thus, making odds comparison easier and quicker. You are then more likely to choose the winning wagers at the end of the day.

Odds Terminology

Now that you know the odds format, you should also learn the odds terminology. Your knowledge can be the difference between sustaining losses and enjoying profits across several races or matches.

• Odds against. The returns are more than double the money wagered.

• Evens. The take home amount is double the amount of the wager.

• Odds on. The winnings are less than double than the wager.

• Money line wager. The bet has no other variables including point spreads. The favorite always has a negative symbol (-) while the underdog has a plus symbol (+).

• Point spread. The punter places a bet on the difference in scores between the competing teams.

See more betting terminology here.

Of course, the best way to put your knowledge about odds comparison is to put it to the test. Place your bets now and see where it can take you in the sports betting industry.


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