Making Sense of the Numbers

One of the most confusing things when you look at different sportsbooks is the different formats the odds are shown in. There is Decimal odds, Fraction odds and American odds. I’ll explain each of them to you and you can then decide which one you like and want to use. Below, the odds for the same game are shown in each of the different formats.

Decimal Odds (European)

Decimal odds are the most widely used and the easiest to understand. To figure out what the payout is just multiply your wager by the number given. Therefore, if you bet $100 on Detroit you would $100×2.7, which is $270 ($170 profit). If you bet $100 on Pittsburgh, you would get $150 if you won ($50 profit).

example –         Detroit 2.7

Pittsburgh 1.5

Fraction Odds (British)

Fraction odds are also quite simple and easy to use. The odds for a team winning are expressed as a fraction. The first number is the amount you win and the second is the amount you wager. In this case, if you bet on Detroit you would win $1 for every $2 bid. Once again you would get $50 in profit on a $100 bet.

example –         Detroit 17/10

Pittsburgh 1/2


American Odds

American odds can be a little confusing but they aren’t as bad as they might look. With American odds, one team will be given a positive number and the other a negative number. The positive number is the amount you’ll will on a $100 wager. This means you’ll receive $170 in profit if you bet a hundred on Detroit. The minus number is different. It is the amount you have to bet to win $100. So here you need to bet $200 to win $100. If you get the two confused just remember that positive is good (better odds) and negative is worse.


example –         Detroit +170

Pittsburgh        -200


Making Sense of the NumbersIf you’re still confused and would like to see more examples, a good place to go is bet365 because they give you a choice of which format to display the odds in. Just pick a sport and choose game lines. You can then view the page in any of the three formats. Basically, they all say the same thing in a slightly different way. The best thing to do is to pick the one you like and use it all the time. Not every sportsbook will offer all three formats but make sure your next sportsbook has the one you like.

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