Despite the great boom in the world of sports betting, many beginners still wonder: how do betting odds work? Well, before delving into the subject, it is essential to know that odds are a figure established by the sports bookmakers.

This value determines the odds that a certain outcome will materialize and the dividends from it. As the odds increase, the chances of hitting the bet related to it decrease, but the winnings offered are higher. On the other hand, low odds represent a higher chance of success but with lower rewards.

In short, odds function as the main indicator of a bet in relation to its probabilities and possible winnings. Therefore, it is vital for bettors to have full knowledge of this value before placing any kind of bet.

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How to Read Betting Odds?

Before placing a bet, it is possible to visualize the value of the odds for each result, respectively. In sports bookmakers, these figures can be represented through different systems. In the case of Canada, the decimal format is common. Likewise, these values can be shown in a positive or negative way. Read How Betting Odds Are Set?


In a match between Barcelona F.C. and Real Valladolid, the odds offered by the betting site are 1.16 and 17.65, respectively. The lower odds indicate who is the favorite of the match. In this case, it would be Barcelona F.C.

What Do Negative Odds Mean in Betting?

As mentioned above, as the odds decrease, the odds that such an outcome will be solidified increase. Therefore, negative odds indicate a very high possibility of a winning bet. Likewise, in this type of case, the bettor must invest a larger amount of money in order to make a profit.


In a sportsbook between Real Madrid and Mallorca, the odds determined for the Merengue team is – 2.21. This points to a practically certain score in favor of the Madrid team, as well as profits of $ 1 for every $ 2.21 bet. Learn more on the odds format

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How to Convert Betting Odds to Probability?

While the bookmaker’s algorithm sets odds based on statistics, bettors can also be aware of their chances of winning. By applying a simple formula, it is possible to determine the exact odds percentage that corresponds to an odds. In the case of the decimal system, the operation to be performed is as follows:

Implied Probability (1 / Quota) X 100


For the upcoming game between the Golden State Warriors and L. A Lakers, the following odds are offered:

  • Golden State Warriors: 1.39

  • L.A. Lakers: 3.05

Based on these data and applying the above formula, the corresponding probabilities for each team are as follows:

  • Golden State Warriors

(1/ 1.39) X 100 (0,72) X 100 72%

  • L.A. Lakers

(1/ 3,05) X 100 (0,32) X 100 32%

In this case, the odds favor the San Francisco team with 72%, being the clear favorite of the event.

betting odds

Why Are Odd Numbers Better Than Ever?

It is often favorable to choose high odds when betting on odd/even events. This is especially true for games in which the scores are not expected to be so wide. Taking into account this factor and the possible results, the chances of winning an odd bet will be higher.


In a match between Real Madrid and Barcelona F.C., a final score with a maximum average of 3.4 goals is estimated. Knowing this, the possible outcomes of the match would be: 0 – 0, 0 – 1, 1 – 1, 1 – 1, 1 – 0, 2 – 0, 0 – 2, 2 – 1, 1 – 2, 3 – 0 and 0 – 3. As can be seen, of the 10 eventual final slates, 6 correspond to odd scores and 4 to even scores. Therefore, the probability of hitting an odd bet is 60%, 20% more likely than an even final.

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How to Read Odds in Betting?

Learning to interpret the odds in the decimal system is quite simple. To do so, it is only necessary to multiply the amount wagered by the value of the odds and then subtract the investment made. Check the best odds at Betway

Profit = (Betting value * odds) – Betting value


In a Valencia CF vs. Atletico Madrid match, the sportsbook offers odds of 1.38 and 3.08, respectively. If the player wants to bet $100 on Valencia and determine how much his winnings would be if he is right, he will only have to apply the formula as follows:

Profit= ($100 * 1.38) – $100 = $138 – $100 = $38

How Do UFC Betting Odds Work?

In UFC fights, the odds are handled the same as in other sports competitions and are interpreted according to the system used. In the case of the decimal format, it can be determined that the favorite fighter is the one with the lowest odds.


In the UFC fight scheduled for October 15, 2022, between Jonathan Martinez and Cub Swanson, the former has an odds of 1.69 and the latter of 2.11. Consequently, so far, the favorite to win the fight is Martinez.

What Is Fixed Odds Betting?

As its name indicates, a fixed odds is one established on a particular sporting event, which will not change over time. Therefore, if a player wants to bet on such an event, he can be sure that the value of the fixed odds will always be the same.


Suppose a betting site offers fixed odds for the NBA game between Detroit Pistons (1.63) vs. Orlando Magic (2.21), scheduled for October. When a bettor places the bet in advance, these values will remain the same until the competition takes place.

What Happens if the Odds Change After Betting?

When a bet is placed in advance, it is possible that the odds will be different when the sporting event starts. This change may be due to different reasons, both related to the competition and to the betting demand. However, such variation does not affect the play made beforehand since the value of the odds is maintained.

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On some occasions, this may favor the bettor when the odds decrease as time goes by. However, it could also affect the winnings if the dividends increase in the end.


A player bets pre-match on the Jets (1.75) vs. Giants (2.35), giving the winner to the Jets. But, on the day of the event, there was a variation in the Jets odds (2.25) because the player Denzel Mims was injured before the game. At the end of the game, if the Jets win, the winnings will be paid based on the initial odds, i.e., 1.75.

Are Your Odds Better to Play the Same Numbers?

There are some beliefs that repeat that betting on the same numbers repeatedly increases the chances of winning the lottery. However, it can be said that this argument is totally false. Why? Simply, each drawing is done independently. That is, it has no correlation with previous events.

A clear example can be observed when flipping a coin. In this case, the probabilities of heads or tails are the same, 50% for each one. This percentage will always be maintained in each toss, regardless of the results of previous tosses.

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