How to Properly Read Odds for Sports Betting

Evelyn Balyton

Evelyn Balyton

For the uninitiated starting out online betting in the Philippines, odds meaning in betting can be confusing, intimidating and muddling.

Calculating odds, the value it represents, and applying that knowledge when placing your bets is tantamount to becoming a successful bettor.

It holds the key. If you place wagers without understanding or calculating odds, you are just gambling in the dark in the hope of winning.

That’s like putting chips down on the roulette table and spinning the wheel, hoping the ball lands in your favour. It’s fun, but you aren’t using any prior knowledge to your advantage.

Below, we go into greater detail on odds meaning in betting and how it pays to be calculating.

Remember to always consider the variety of betting welcome bonuses on offer at any new sportsbook. It gives you greater bang for you buck.

What is odds

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Sports betting odds can be defined as the likelihood of an event occurring - in betting, the odds are attributed to an outcome. For example, if you thought Manchester United could beat Arsenal in the big game this weekend, you would be adding their odds to your betslip.

The likelier an event is to happen, the shorter the odds are going to be.

For example, if a Premier League team plays a non-league side in the FA Cup, they will be heavy favourites to win - in wagers parlance they would be odds-on, or in other words, available at a really short price that means you won’t win much at all on any stake you place.

Now, if you are calculating an upset to occur, you can wager a moneyline bet on the non-league side to win. Because that outcome is extremely unlikely, the returns will be much greater.

Here’s an example:

  • Premier League giants Liverpool take on National League outfit Torquay in the FA Cup.
  • Liverpool are odds of 1/20 (fractional) or 1.02 (decimal) to win - that means, if you were to place a bet of ₱1000 on Liverpool to win, you would win ₱1050 if the Reds come out on top.
  • Torquay are odds of 22/1 to win. That means, if you were to bet ₱1000, you would win ₱23000.

It all comes down to what you think will win.

What is a Moneyline Bet? Essentially, it’s predicting a winner in a match-up. There are other betting market types too - betting over under, betting on the first goalscorer, betting on prop bets, and much more. The modern day sports betting site has thousands of opportunities.

Types of odds

As you might have noticed in the example above, we used fractional odds to to articulate the likelihood of an event happening.

But there are other types of odds to reflect your wagers. too.

Learn the odds meaning in betting below when calculating your odds:

  • Fractional Odds: Commonly used in the UK, fractional sports odds represents the ratio of potential profit to the initial stake. For example, if the odds are 2/1, it means that for every ₱1000 bet, you could potentially win ₱2000 and get ₱3000 back in total.
  • Decimal Odds: These are mostly used in Europe and parts of Asia. They show the total payout instead of just the potential profit. For instance, if the odds are 2.0, a ₱1000 bet would give you a total payout of ₱2000.
  • American Odds: As the name suggests, these odds are primarily used in the United States and show how much money you need to bet in order to win ₱1000. If the odds are +200, it means that for every ₱1000 bet, you could potentially win ₱2000 and get ₱3000 back in total. On the other hand, if the odds are -200, it means that you need to bet ₱2000 in order to win ₱1000.

Remember, before betting, make sure you have the best payment options set up. There are several options. You could try new methods. GCash is a mobile wallet and online payment method, for example, that is proving very popular among new-age bettors. Alternatively, you could go down the traditional bank transfer or debit card route.

Don’t forget to check out our recommended list of Basketball betting sites, either, to put your new-found understanding of odds into practice.

What Do the + and – Mean in Sports Betting odds

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As we touch on above, the “+” sign and the “-” sign in relation to American Odds help players distinguish between the underdog and the favourite.

With these types of odds, if there is a “+” sign before the odds, it means that you are backing the underdog, while if there is “i” sign before the odds, it means you are backing the favourite. Essentially, you are calculating the amount of profit that can be made from $100 in wagers.



What are odds in betting?

Calculating odds in betting represent the probability of an event happening and determine the potential payout for a bet.


How do odds work?

Odds are typically displayed as fractions, decimals or moneyline. They indicate the ratio between the amount staked and potential winnings.


What is the difference between decimal and fractional odds?

Decimal odds show the total return of a bet, including the original stake. Fractional odds only show the potential winnings.


How are odds determined?

Odds are determined by bookmakers using statistical analysis, team rankings and other factors to predict the likelihood of an event.


Can I change my odds after placing a bet?

Once a bet is placed, the odds cannot be changed. However, you can cash out or use in-play betting to adjust your position during a live event.