Comprehending betting odds is essential for becoming a profitable sports bettor.

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Although some people think this is a challenging task, reading odds can be mastered with some time and practice.

Knowing odds is useful for a variety of things, including figuring out payouts, bet sizes, and finding (and taking advantage of) value in a betting line.

New bettors can learn how to interpret betting odds and possibly make money by reading the following breakdown.

## How Payouts Correspond with Odds

Understanding what betting odds represent is the first thing to know about them.

A tool used to express an oddsmaker’s position on a specific game, event, or proposition is the betting odds. They also show the amount of money bettors have to risk in order to win a particular sum.

## Define the Vigorish.

The amount the sportsbook charges you for placing your bet is called vigorish, sometimes referred to as “vig” or “juice.” Consider it to be the casino’s tip for the services rendered.

The amount of vig varies from sport to sport and wager to wager, and figuring out the vig from the odds isn’t always simple.

A coin toss with an equal chance of landing heads or tails would make a good example. For a coin-toss wager, you would anticipate receiving even money due to the hypothetical 50/50 result.

Put differently, if you wager $10 on heads and the coin falls on heads, you should anticipate receiving $20 in total ($10 from your initial wager plus $10 from the profit).

But that’s not how sportsbooks work. Rather, they typically provide -110 odds on both sides of a point-spread bet (we’ll discuss moneyline odds in a later section). Generally, you have to wager $11 for every $10 you hope to win on a spread bet.

In American sports betting, a $11 wager would pay out $11 if the odds were even (+100), for a total return of $22. However, a $11 wager pays out $10 at -110 odds, for a $21 total return.

Assume you wager $100 at odds of -110. In this case, your possible winnings are $90.91. This is the calculation:

The fractional representation of -110 odds is 10/11.

After rounding, 10 divided by 11 equals 0.91.

$90.91 is the result of multiplying 0.91 by $100, the wager amount.

So what accounts for the $9.09 that is missing? It’s the vib.

## Traditional Probability

The implied probability, represented by odds, is the expected chance of an outcome as calculated by bookmakers.

Converting odds into implied probabilities is essential for serious bettors who wish to evaluate a bet’s possible value. In theory, you have an advantage over the sportsbook if you give a team a 60% chance of winning but the team’s implied probability of winning is 40%.

It’s worth your time to learn the somewhat complex math equation required to convert odds to implied probability, especially if you intend to be a serious sports bettor.

## What Does a Negative Odds Signify?

A negative (-) symbol on the odds indicates the betting favorite. The amount to bet for each $100 you hope to win is shown by the number that comes after the negative symbol, or the odds.

For instance, you must stake $110 in order to win $100 if the team you are betting on has -110 odds. You have to stake $150 to win $100 if your team’s odds are -150.

How much money must you bet on a favorite with -150 odds in order to win $300? Multiplying $150 by 3 yields $450.

## What Does Sports Betting Chalk Mean?

In sports betting, a team that is favored on the oddsboard is referred to as “chalk.” The New England Patriots are a strong favorite when someone says, “The New England Patriots are a big chalk this week.” On the other hand, a little chalk is a marginal favorite.

There’s no magic number that tells you if a chalk is “big chalk” or “small chalk.” You’ll start to define “big chalk” and “small chalk” according to your own standards the more sports betting you engage in.

## What Does a Positive Odds Signify?

The underdog is indicated by a plus (+) sign in front of the odds. Positive (+) odds indicate how much you will win for every $100 you bet on the underdog, whereas negative (-) odds indicate how much you must bet on the favorite to win $100.

Therefore, on a $100 wager, a team with odds of +120 would pay out $120 in profits. For a $100 wager, a team with +250 odds would pay out $250 in profits; for a $200 wager, $500; and so on.

## What’s the Meaning of a Pick’em?

In sports betting, a game or match without a favorite or underdog is referred to as a pick’em. In this instance, there is no point spread specified and both sides are regarded as equal. There are two ways to identify pick’em games on the oddsboard.

First, both teams’ moneyline odds (typically -110 to account for the vig) will be the same. The second is that rather than showing a point total for each team, the spread will state “PK” or “Even” for both.

## Frequently Seen Odds for Sports Betting

After you wager on sports long enough, you will run into some standard moneylines, odds, and point spreads. Here are a few illustrations of what to expect (along with an explanation of each):

A team that is +7 is a 7-point underdog. This is what a +7 spread indicates. A team must either defeat its opponent by 6 points or fewer in order to be a 7-point underdog. The game is deemed a push (tie) if the team loses by exactly seven points, in which case your money is returned.

A team that is +4.5 is a 4.5-point underdog. This is what a +4.5 spread indicates. That half-point, what about it? It guarantees there won’t be any pushing. A 4.5-point underdog “covers the spread” if it wins or loses by four points or less. The same underdog does not cover the spread if it loses by five points or more. A winner is assured when a half-point is added to a point spread. A tie is not possible.

What +350 odds signify: A wager with these odds has a 22% implied probability of winning, making it a significant long shot. However, you would receive $350 in profit (plus your initial $100 bet) if the underdog pulled off an upset and you had wagered $100 on them.

What +125 indicates: A team at +125 is considered a minor (or brief) underdog. At these odds, a $100 wager would profit $125.

What 20-to-1 odds signify: 20-to-1 odds indicate a long shot with little chance of success. When a team is 20 to 1, the implied win probability is 4.76%. If it wins, though, it will pay out $20 in profits for every $1 wagered. It is rare, but a $100 wager on a 20-to-1 underdog would yield a tidy profit of $2,000.