Sports Betting Odds: How To Understand And Use Them To Your Advantage

Today, sports betting has become so popular that it is a multi-billion dollar industry. With the rise of online sportsbooks and mobile apps, anyone can now place bets from anywhere in the world with just a few clicks. But how do you ensure that your bets are successful? One way to do this is by understanding and using sports betting odds to your advantage. This article will explain what sports betting odds are, how to read them, and provide tips on how to use them for maximum profitability. Don’t forget to redeem our new Mybookie Bonus Code for extra value!

What are sports betting odds?

The most basic definition of sports betting odds is the likelihood or probability of an event occurring. When it comes to sports betting, bookmakers set odds based on their assessment of what they think is likely to happen in a particular event. If they think that Team A is more likely to win than Team B, they will set the odds accordingly and you can use this information when placing your bet.

How do you read sports odds?

Sports betting odds come in three different formats – American (or Moneyline), Decimal (or European) and Fractional (or UK). The most commonly used format in North America is American, but other countries prefer different formats, so be sure to check which one applies before placing a bet.

The American format consists of two numbers separated by a slash, e.g. +100/-120, meaning that if you bet $100 on Team A you would win $100 plus your stake back, but if you bet on Team B you would have to bet $120 to get a return of $100 plus your stake back if Team B wins. It is important to note that negative signs indicate favourites and positive signs indicate underdogs.

The decimal format expresses the payout ratio per unit of stake, e.g. 2.00 means that if you bet 1 Euro, you would get back 2 Euros including the stake; whereas 0.50 means that if you bet 1 Euro, you would get back half of it as a profit along with the original stake amount.
Fractional format uses fractions such as 4/1 or 5/2 to show the potential returns compared to the stakes placed, for example if someone places £5 at 4/1 then they could potentially get back £20 plus their original stake amount (£25).

How can you use sports betting odds to your advantage?

Once you understand how sports betting odds work, there are several strategies you can employ to optimise your winnings over time:

Shop around for the best lines

Different bookmakers offer different lines on certain events due to differing opinions, which presents an opportunity for savvy bettors who know where the best prices can be found, thus maximising returns for each bet placed no matter what the final outcome.

Research & Trends

Before placing a bet, ensure that sufficient research has been done on teams/players, form & trends so that decisions are based on factual evidence rather than emotion or gut feeling alone.

Take advantage of free bet offers

Most of the major bookmakers have some sort of free bet promotional offer available, ranging from first deposit matched bonuses to special event specific incentives – these should not be overlooked as they really help to boost bankrolls & give punters an edge when it comes to making selections.

Knowing when to fold

Often we can be tempted to think we’re onto something when we’re not – learning discipline & knowing when it’s best to walk away from tables, even after last minute changes occur, are key factors here.

Check past results regularly

Seeing how past results stack up against current form often helps to inform decisions & gives an insight into where the smart money might lie – studying head-to-head records, home/away performances etc are all part of this too.

The bottom line

Sports betting odds represent valuable information about events that can be used by those willing to apply themselves knowledgeably to benefit greatly, especially long term overall profits given the right approach applied wisely! Don’t forget our new Mybookie bonus code for extra value!


Jimmy Clark is a writer and a casino player. He also owns a casino site named He is also a traveler and a photographer at heart.