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How to read betting odds

Learn how to read betting odds (How to read betting odds)

In order to place your bets so that you have maximum chance of winning, you need to understand the odds. You have to be proficient at reading the odds so that you can estimate your chances without making any errors in judgment. Speed in assessing the odds is also important so that you are able to place your wagers before the dynamic odds change. One of the reasons that betting odds follow primarily a numerical representation is that the bookmakers have to present a lot of information in a limited amount of space and they expect the bettors to understand the manner in which the odds are represented.

Odds are represented according to the different types, the broad classification; however, is fractional/ decimal/ moneyline. The odds vary with the type of sport and as you learn about the probabilities of an event occurring in a game and study historical success rates, you will be able to make better use of the information displayed on the betting boards. With time, you should be able to place bets after reading the odds and assessing not only the chances of your win but also the kind of edge the house holds on a bet of that kind.

The following examples will help you understand better the manner in which betting odds are read.

Bet Number Team Point Line Total Money Line

101 ABC +200

102 DEF -5 10 -150



The Betting Board above gives the odds for the different types of wagers that you can lay for the given team ABC.

Point Line refers to the Point Spread bets. In the above example, DEF is favored to win over ABC by 5 points. The usual way of representing is to mention the point line next to the favorite team with the points preceded by a (-) sign. So, in this case there are two bets that can be placed. DEF wins by 6 or more points or ABC win/lose by 4 or less points.

Total bets are wagers against the total number of points scored in a game. The bettor can bet over or under the total number of points set by the bookmaker.

Money Line bets involve selecting a winner. In the above example, a $100 wager on ABC will give you $200. If you wish to earn $100 on team DEF, you need to wager $150. This is because team DEF has been marked favorite by the odd setters and since the odds are low on this team, the bookmakers will try and make the bettors pay more for a given bet. With money line betting you can develop your own ideas over time whether it is better to place a wager on the underdog or bet on the topdog.

Author's information:
Florian Koerner runs a popular Football Bookmakers website.
Visit Football-Bookmakers.com every week or subscribe to his free soccer betting tips by email.


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