NBA Betting is popular in North America

Everything You Need to Know About How Odds Work in Online Betting


Sports betting is a popular pastime for many people, providing an outlet for their passion for sports and an excellent opportunity to earn some money on the side. If you’re new to betting online, this guide will help you get started. One of the most important factors you should consider is how the odds work. These are used to determine if a bet is worth making.

You’d be surprised at how much money people can end up losing because they’re unable to decipher and analyze odds. The potential payout of a bet is calculated using the combination of the odds and your investment. Understanding how these factors work will allow you to make an informed decision when you’re placing a bet.

Here’s everything you need to know to start making smart bets online and understanding UFC, NHL, and NBA odds.

In this post, we talk about the various types of odds that are available and their roles and responsibilities. We also explain how they can be expressed in different ways.

Understanding Betting Odds

Aside from being able to calculate the return on your investment, odds also play an important role in determining the profitability of a sports bet. You may not have realized that there are various ways of expressing odds. For instance, odds can be expressed in terms of the likelihood of a bet winning.

The value of a bet is also considered when it comes to determining the odds. They play a vital role in how bookmakers make money. If you want to get a visual overview of everything covered in this section, then be sure to check out our infographic.

The Basics

FIFA World Cup betting is popular globally

The price of a bet is taken into account when it comes to determining the amount that will be paid out on a winning bet. Usually, a wager has a price that’s either odds on or against. The likelihood that you can win depends on the odds, while the amount you can win depends on the number of people who bet on it.

Although you can still profit from betting on the favorite, it’s important to note that the lower the risk, the lower the return. Big favorites are more likely to win, while those that are less likely to do so are typically odds against.

Even money bets can also be profitable. A winning bet will return exactly the amount you put in, plus the original stake.

Even Money Odds

Even money odds are the most common odds formats typically used when it comes to expressing the odds of a bet. Most of the time, when you’re playing online, you’ll come across various formats. Having the proper knowledge about these will allow you to make an informed decision.


The most common format used by online betting sites is the odds displayed in the form of a decimal. This is because it’s the simplest of the three formats. Most online betting sites stick with the decimal format because it’s as simple as it gets. For instance, if you’re looking at odds of 2.00, then odds of 2.00 are considered even money.


depiction of a person betting online

Moneyline odds are also commonly used when it comes to gambling sites in the US. Although they’re a little more complex to understand, they’ll catch on quickly.

The Moneyline odds displayed by online betting sites are either positive or negative and are characterized by a sign preceding them. Positive Moneyline odds show how much profit a bet of $100 can make. For instance, if you see odds of +160, then a bet of $100 could earn you $160.

Negative Moneyline odds show how much money you need to bet to make a profit. For instance, if you see NHL betting odds of -140, then a bet of $140 could earn you $100. The easiest way to determine if Moneyline odds are positive or negative is to use the following formula.

Profit = Investment x Odds/100

If you want to know the total return, simply add the amount that you’re willing to bet to the result. Even money bets are considered even money if the odds are against. When the bet is on, negative numbers are used.


For UK betting sites, fractional odds are commonly used by bookmaking shops and on-course betting establishments. Even money is typically referred to as evens. For instance, if the odds are against, the bet is considered even money.

Getting started with calculating returns can be a bit overwhelming, but it’s important to master this process so that you can make a profit. Some people prefer to convert their fractional odds into decimals so that they can easily calculate the payouts. For instance, if you have a 5/2 chance of winning NFL betting odds, the payout would be 7.

How Implied Probability and Odds Come into Play

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Although odds are generally linked to the likelihood of a certain event happening, they aren’t the only factors affecting a bet’s success. This is because sports betting is subjective, and both the gamblers and the bookmakers have their own biases when it comes to predicting the outcome of a game.

The probability of an outcome varies depending on the conditions of the game. Having an accurate assessment of this is key to successful sports betting.

What is Implied Probability?

Implied probability is a statistical measure used in sports betting to determine the likelihood of a certain outcome happening. It can help determine the market’s advantage for the bookmaking firm.

One of the most important rules of thumb for sports betting is to only bet on games that have value. For instance, let’s say that there’s an MMA bout between two players with the same standard. The bookmaker gives each player the same chance of winning, and the UFC MVP odds are priced at 2.00.

Although the odds are the same, the bookmaking firm would never set them at that level.

The concept of implied probability is that the two players have a 50% chance of winning the match. This is the implied probability, and it’s commonly referred to as the same as the odds. However, it’s not always as simple as it sounds.

The implied probability is expressed as a number between zero and one, which is how it should be explained. It can also be calculated using a formula that’s equal to 100.

If the odds of a UFC betting game are 2.00, the implied probability is 50%. If both players have a 50% chance of winning the match, then there’s no point in placing a bet on either one of them.

You might think that one of the players is more likely to win. However, if you’re following their form closely, you might believe that one of them has a 60% chance of defeating their opponent.

If you’re right about your opinion, then the value of your bet will increase significantly. You’ll also have a 60% chance of winning. The best way to stay ahead of implied probability is by doing your research and using historical data to better understand what outcome has the highest likelihood.

For now, let’s just assume that the odds tell us that the outcome is likely to happen. However, if the actual probability is higher, the bet is worth looking at.

Balanced Books & the Overround

An NBA game between Michigan and North Carolina

It’s generally believed that bookmaking firms make money by taking in more money in losing bets than they make in winning ones. If the odds offered by a bookmaking firm are not fair, then the firm would not be able to make a profit. Instead, they aim to make a profit on every bet they take.

In practice, this means that the odds offered by a bookmaking firm are not always fair. For instance, if the odds are 2.00, then you wouldn’t see two equally likely outcomes. A bookmaking firm will always try to build in an overround when it comes to certain events. They also try to ensure that their books are balanced.

What is a Balanced Book?

A balanced book is ideal for a particular event, as it ensures that the firm will get paid the same amount regardless of the outcome. For instance, if the odds are 2.00 for a tennis match, then the firm would get paid out $20,000 regardless of which player wins.

For instance, if the total amount wagered is $20,000, the bookmaking firm would get paid the same amount regardless of which player wins.

Even though a bookmaker would not make money if the total amount of wagers was zero, they still take in less than they take in. This is because they’re trying to be in a situation where they’ll be paid less than they take in.

What is the Overround?

A credit card, chips, and dice on a laptop

The overround is also known as the margin or vig, and it’s a type of commission that bookmaking firms charge their customers for every bet they make. They don’t directly charge a fee, though.

If the firm took $10,000 on each bet, they’ll be guaranteed a profit of $10,000 regardless of which player wins. Their total earnings would be around $19,000. The overround is the difference between the firm’s total earnings and the amount they took in.

The volume of bets that a bookmaking firm takes in is very important to them, as it allows them to make money. Having a balanced book is also beneficial for the firm as it allows them to build in an overround.

The importance of a balanced book and the overround in sports betting is also why you’ll often see the odds for certain events changing.

Sometimes, a bookmaking firm will increase the odds on a particular outcome to encourage people to bet against it. Unfortunately, bookmaking firms are not always successful at creating a balanced book and can sometimes even lose money on an event. However, they’re still able to get close to being balanced.

Even though they want to make money in the long run, bookmaking firms shouldn’t be afraid to lose money on their bets. They just need to focus on making more money from their winning bets.

Although this might seem like a complicated process, it’s very simple. Having a basic understanding of how sports betting works and how to use balanced books can help bookmaking firms become successful.

Looking to Bet Online? Betting Sites Ranking Has Got You Covered!

When comparing different betting websites in the United States, one thing can be said for sure; all of them provide more benefits to the customer than a traditional casino or a betting shop. The convenience of betting online is simply unmatched, and the diversity in payments is what keeps people coming back.

When people are apprehensive about online betting, the two most common doubts are regarding payment security and payout times. Often they worry whether the website will pay the money out at all!

Modern betting websites have tried to address these issues directly by providing payout times under a week, with many even promising settlements in less than three days. Similarly, all transactions are SSL Secured, an industry standard for payment security.

If you’re looking for a betting website that adheres to all the legal procedures and provides you with high-quality service, Betting Sites Ranking provides an aggregated list of all the best gambling sites worldwide. We’re an online platform with a team of experts who represent over 100 countries and use their industry expertise and due diligence to provide their readers with a betting site that meets their requirements.

All of the websites we publish are carefully picked by reviewing their accreditations and the value addition they provide their customers in the shape of rewards, discounts, and crypto acceptance.

While the list above was only for the United States, we review, compare, and rank the best online betting sites from 100 countries and list the top sites worldwide for every country.

You can find the best basketball, football, cricket, and hockey betting sites in the world through Betting Sites Ranking.

Check out our services today to learn more about how we guide bettors to a safer gambling ecosystem.

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