How Do Betting Odds Work?

On the favorite side, if the Dolphins are a +4 underdog, you can still win money even if they lose, as long as they lose by 3 or fewer points. Moneyline bets are found in virtually every sport and essentially tell you the ratio of your initial bet to the payout. For example, let’s say the Yankees are a a heavy favorite.

The decimal point is entirely based on total payout including the initial wager. Whatever your wager, you multiply it by the odds to figure out your total payout. When you see a plus sign in front of a number (like +150 for example) it tells you which team is the underdog. You get a higher payout betting on the underdog since they’re less likely to win. NFL odds tie at 200-to-1 chances would give a soccer event 1-in-3 chances to end in a draw.

When the odds shift based on demand, that’s called a “line move” or “line shift.” These often occur often in the lead up to an event. A team you want to bet could be +200 one day, and move down to +150 the next, making timing an important part of sports betting. Whatever the odds are when you place your wager, that’s what the book will use to calculate your payout.

If you have made a bet on a team or player at +200, then you are locked into those odds. You can always make an additional bet if the odds change in your favor. You will often hear it said as 3/1 against – well think of that as 3 chances against something happening versus 1 for it happening i.e. it is a 1 in 4 chance. And as we know 1 in 4 or 1/4, is an implied probability of 0.25. In addition to the financial information that odds provide, they also contain information about how likely the sportsbook thinks an outcome is.

In order to multiply the individual odds to create the parlay payout figure, the moneyline is first converted to decimal odds. Highlighting the extra step of math sportsbooks require bettors to do when they solely offer odds in the American format. A push is a bet that has no winning outcome from a betting standpoint. If a team is favored by 4 points and win by 4, neither side of the point spread bet would win. If the total is 50 and the final score is 30-20, it is a push as well. In a moneyline wager, bettors make bets simply on who will win the game.

In fact, on point spread betting at -110, the breakeven point comes out to 52.38%. Check out this page for more math behind the vig in sports betting. The probability represented by betting odds is often referred to as the ‘implied probability’. Because you should only bet when you believe the probability of an outcome occurring is higher than the implied probability.