Most people new to sports betting and numerous existing punters have little understanding of how to decipher or calculate betting odds, especially those formats not commonly found or used in their country. In this article, we will attempt to provide you with a better understanding to help you reach a better understanding of how to read and understand betting odds.

Traditionally, bookmakers in each country have taken to presenting a specific type of odds most commonly found and used in their locale. The two most commonly used types comprise of American Odds, and Decimal Style Odds with many online sportsbooks defaulting to the American Odds most commonly found and used in countries throughout North America.

Of the two odds formats, decimal remains the simplest to understand and calculate. Fortunately, reputable online sportsbooks allow punters to freely select the style of betting odds they wish to have displayed despite defaulting to an American odds display. Numerous apps such as the Betway mobile app offers the convenience of performing all the necessary calculations for you automatically even while on the go, which adds immensely to the convenience of the online sportsbook experience.

American Sports Betting Odds

Beginners may initially find reading and deciphering sports betting odds a trifle confusing, in order to clarify the matter as much as possible we utilize two MMA fighters:

Matchup        Odds

Chael Sonnen        +120

Anderson Silva        -140

The numbers displaying a +/- represent the odds offered by the bookmaker, American Odds feature two components the first is the positive and negative indicators with the second seen as the number following the particular sign.

The positive or negative indicator in front of each number simply signifies whether a wager placed on the outcome would pay out an amount greater or less than what you invested in the wager. Negative odds (-) indicate an outcome with a greater likelihood of happening and placing a wager on such an outcome would result in a payout worth less than the amount you placed on the wager. A positive odds (+) indicator signifies an outcome less likely to occur which would result in a payout greater than the value of your initial wager.

The second component displays the amount of money it would require you to wager to win $100. For example, using odds of -140 would require you invest $140 to win back a profit of $100. In contrast, listed odds displaying +120 allows you to place a $100 bet that would result in an outcome paying you a profit of $120.

Decimal Sports Betting Odds

Punters would commonly find this type of odds format fairly easy to understand and widely used throughout Europe. Calculations using decimal style odds require you simply multiply your chosen wager amount by the Decimal odds displayed to arrive at your payout value. Utilising the same two MMA fighters:

Matchup        Odds

Chael Sonnen        2.40

Anderson Silva        1.50

If you proceeded to place a $10 bet on Chael Sonnen, you simply multiply the $10 bet by the displayed odds of 2.40 which results in a payout value of $24. However, most importantly you need to realise and remember that using decimal style odds the odds would include the value of your wager, meaning to calculate your net profit you must subtract the value of your wager which would result in the potential profit value of your wager.


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