Betting odds are what underpins every sports bet placed and you must know how to read betting odds if you are to fully enjoy the betting experience. Having completed this page, you will be reading betting odds online in no time and we will show you where to find betting odds, in addition to more specialist betting markets, such as how to read under/over betting odds.
1. What Are Sports Betting Odds?
The first thing to note about sports betting is odds is they are usually listed in one of three different formats, examples of which you can find below.
Types of Betting Odds
- Fractional: 4/1
- Decimal: 5.00
- American/moneyline: +400
All three of the above odds are the same value, but they are displayed in a unique way. For UK based gamblers, fractional odds are popular, for European based gamblers, decimal odds are mostly used and for gamblers in the United States, American odds are used. The odds are designed to show the probability of an event happening.
1.1 Where to Find Odds
If you are wondering where to find betting odds, you will find them at online bookmakers and odds comparison websites. You will also find odds at websites that preview sporting events and during live televised sporting events. However, the best place to find odds is online, using sportsbooks.
Bet365, Unibet, and William Hill are three good examples of online bookmakers where you will find odds. They often have the most competitive odds and you can take advantage of bonuses when you bet. Alternatively, you can get familiar with how to use our Zenbetting promo code from the related article and make good use of that brand's betting offer.
2. How to Read Sports Betting Odds
You now have a basic idea of betting odds and know how they look but you must know how to read sports betting odds if you are to succeed at sports betting. Look at the examples below to gain an immediate understanding of how basic sports betting odds work:
8/1 = For every £1 you bet; you will win £8
3.50 = For every £10 you bet; you will make £25 profit (3.50 x £10 = £35 – £10)
American odds are a little bit different as a positive number shows how much you would win for a £100 bet and a negative number shows what you must bet to make a £100 profit.We will investigate this in more detail, beginning with how to read football odds and we will be using fractional odds in the examples.
3. How to Read Odds in Football
We begin this section with the question, what are football odds? Football odds are odds created by online bookmakers to decide who is the favourite to win a football match. For example, if Liverpool are playing Arsenal at home in a Premier League, Arsenal could be priced at 4/1 with the bookmaker to win. That means, based on the odds, the bookmaker believes Arsenal will win this game one out of five times. Liverpool are the favourites to win at 2/1 and the draw is on offer at 3/1. This is known as 1x2 odds and if you can understand them, you already know how to read 1x2 odds.
How to read under/over betting odds is a little different and instead of being based on the outcome of the football match, the odds could be based on the number of goals scored in the game or the number of corners. The 2.5 goals market is the most popular under/over odds in sports betting and you have two options, either to bet on under 2.5 goals to be scored in the game or over 2.5 goals scored in the game. As an example, the odds in the Liverpool vs Arsenal example above could be 15/8 for under 2.5 goals and 2/5 for over 2.5 goals.
How to read correct score odds is simple enough and you can bet on the odds listed next to the final score of the game you believe is correct. It could be anything from 1-0 to 4-4. Some online bookmakers give you the opportunity to select your own correct score and the odds will appear automatically. For example, 1-1 for the Liverpool vs Arsenal game could be 5/1, meaning for every £1 you bet, you will win £5.
Both teams to score odds are exactly as they sound and you can bet yes or no for both teams to score in a match. What are football handicap odds? These odds are a little more complex and they provide one team with an advantage. This is a good market for games where there is a clear favourite as the handicap odds make the game level for betting purposes. A team must score more one more goal than their handicap to be successful. Following this explanation, you know how to read handicap odds and can apply them to other sports.
4. Reading Basketball Odds
How to read basketball odds involves understanding the points spread. You must check the points spread to see the margin of victory required for both teams to win the bet. The odds for the favourite to win a basketball game will always be listed with a minus (-) sign and the outsider will be listed with a plus (+) sign. So, the favourite could be listed at -4 with odds of 10/11. This means they must win by more than 4 points for the bet to be successful. The outsider in the game could have -3.5 points spread and that means they must win, tie, or lose under the points spread for the bet to be successful.
Reading basketball betting odds takes a little practice but you will soon get used to how they work. What are basketball 1x2 odds? These are the odds for the teams to win the game, such as 1.5 for the favourite and 3.5 for the underdog. Usually listed as decimal odds, basketball 1x2 odds simply involve picking the team you think is going to win the game.
5. How to Read Tennis Betting Odds
What are tennis betting odds? The most popular form of tennis betting is handicap betting but instead of using goals, bookmakers use games. How to read tennis odds involves understanding what each player must achieve in terms of the bet.
For example, Rafael Nadal is -3.5 at 10/11, meaning he must win by 4 or more games in total, across the match, for the bet to be successful at those odds. His opponent, Matteo Berrettini is +3.5 at 4/5 and he can lose within 3 games in total for the bet to be a success
You already know how to read correct score odds from the football odds section above and the same principles apply to tennis but in terms of set betting. In a 3-set match, your options are 3-0, 3-1, and 3-2 for each player. You can also bet on the score of each set.
6. How to Calculate Betting Odds
How to calculate betting odds is something you do not have to worry about doing manually. You can use a free odds calculator online and the odds calculator at JohnnyBet is a good example. The betting calculator mobile application developed by us and available in the related article allows you to choose from the fractional, decimal, and American odds and input your stake, along with the odds, to work out the potential winnings. You can also add multiple events to the bet calculator and it will work out the total profit.
7. Best Betting Odds Online
The best betting odds online can be found at the leading bookmakers. We recommend beginning with Bet365, Unibet, and William Hill. We have some great promotions for all three and you can rely on them to offer competitive odds, in addition to a wide range of markets and payment options. Live betting is a key feature at all three bookmakers, with football, tennis, and basketball having in-play odds daily.
Bookmakers with Best Odds for 1x2 Bets:
7.1 Best Odds in Africa
For those looking for the best odds in Africa, we recommend joining Bet365, Betway, and 1XBET. Bet365 and 1XBET are two of the most popular online betting brands in the world and you can trust them to deliver great odds for every sporting event. Betway has been establishing itself across the African continent and they have dedicated sports betting websites in several countries. They are a great place to place your bets using our Kenya Premier League betting tips provided in the related article. Because Betway is committed to providing the best sports betting experience in Africa and you know how to read betting odds, you can create an account and bet with confidence.