To be successful as a sports bettor, you must learn how to read betting odds.

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Reading odds may seem like a tough task to some, but with some time and practice, it can become second nature.

Understanding odds facilitates a variety of decisions, including bet sizes, payouts, and the identification and exploitation of value in a betting line.

The breakdown that follows teaches novice bettors how to comprehend betting odds and possibly make money using that understanding.

## How Payouts Relate to Odds

What betting odds represent is the first thing to understand about them.

An oddsmaker’s position (or opinion) on a specific game, event, or proposition is made clear by their betting odds. They also show how much wagerers have to risk in order to win a particular sum of money.

## What Is the Vigorish?

The fee the sportsbook charges to process your bet is called vigorish, sometimes referred to as “vig” or “juice”. Consider it the house bonus for the services rendered.

It’s not always simple to calculate the vig from reading the odds because vig amounts differ from sport to sport and wager to wager.

An excellent illustration would be a coin toss where there is an equal chance of landing heads or tails. You would anticipate receiving even money in return for a coin-toss wager due to the hypothetical 50-50 result.

In other words, you would anticipate receiving $20 total ($10 from your initial wager plus $10 from the profit) if you wagered $10 on heads and the coin landed on heads.

Sportsbooks, however, don’t work like this. Rather, for each side of a point-spread wager (we’ll get into moneyline odds later), they typically offer -110 odds. In a spread bet, you usually have to wager $11 for every $10 you hope to win.

In American sports betting, a $11 wager would yield a $11 payout (a total return of $22) if the odds were even (+100). However a $11 wager pays out $10 (a total return of $21) at -110 odds.

Assume you wager $100 with -110 odds. $90.91 is the possible profit you could make in this case. The calculation is as follows:

In fractional form, -110 odds equal 10/11.

10 / 11 = 0.91 (rounded to the nearest whole number)

The wager’s amount, $100, multiplied by 0.91 results in $90.91.

So how can we account for the $9.09 that was missing? The vig is it.

## Inferred Probability

The expected chance of a result as established by bookmakers is known as implied probability, and it is represented by odds.

It is crucial to translate odds into implied probabilities for serious bettors who wish to evaluate a bet’s possible value. You might be ahead of the sportsbook if you give a team a 60% chance of winning but their implied probability of winning is only 40%.

Although there is a mathematical formula involved in converting odds to implied probability, it is worthwhile to learn, particularly if you intend to be a serious sports bettor.

## What Does It Signify When the Odds Are Against You?

The betting favorite is indicated by odds that have a negative (-) symbol. The odds, or the number that comes after the negative symbol, tell you how much to wager for every $100 you hope to win.

For instance, if the team you’re betting on has odds of -110, you must stake $110 in order to win $100. In order to win $100, you have to risk $150 if your team’s odds are -150.

What is the wager required to win $300 on a favorite with -150 odds? $150 x 3 = $450 is a simple multiplication.

## In sports betting, what is chalk?

A team that is favored on the oddsboard is referred to as “chalk” in sports betting. When someone says, “This week, the New England Patriots are a big chalk,” they are indicating that they are a significant favorite. On the other hand, a tiny chalk is marginally preferred.

A “big chalk” and a “small chalk” cannot be distinguished by any magic number. Your own definition of “big chalk” and “small chalk” will emerge more quickly the more sports betting you do.

## What Does Having Positive Odds Mean?

The underdog is indicated by the odds having a plus (+) sign in front of them. Positive (+) odds show you how much you’ll win for every $100 you bet on the underdog, whereas negative (-) odds tell you how much you have to wager on the favorite to win $100.

Consequently, a team with +120 odds would pay out $120 in profits for a $100 bet. A team with +250 odds would pay out $250 in winnings for a bet of $100, $500 for a bet of $200, and so on.

## What Does The Terms Pick’em Mean?

A game or match without a favorite or underdog is referred to as a pick’em in sports betting. Since there is no point spread specified in this instance, both sides are regarded as equal. Pick’em games can be identified on the oddsboard in one of two ways.

First, both teams will have the same moneyline odds, which are typically -110 to account for thevig. The spread for both teams will read “PK” or “Even” rather than a point total. This is the second change.

## Popular Sports Betting Odds

You will come across some standard point spreads, moneylines, and odds when you have wagered on sports long enough. The following are multiple instances of what you might expect to see, along with an explanation of each:

An underdog team by 7 points is represented by a team with a +7 spread. If a team is a 7-point underdog, it must either defeat its opponent by 6 points or less or win by an absolute majority. It’s referred to as a push (tie) and you get your money back if the team loses by exactly seven points.

An underdog team by 4.5 points is represented by a team with a +4.5 spread. And that half-point—what about it? It guarantees that there won’t be a shove. An underdog favored by 4.5 points “covers the spread” if it wins or loses by four points or less. The spread is not covered if the same underdog loses by five points or more. There is always a winner when a half-point is added to a point spread. No tie is possible.

What +350 odds mean: With a 22% implied probability of winning, these odds suggest a bet is a significant long shot. However, if you had wagered $100 on the underdog and they pulled off an upset, you would have made $350 in profit (plus your initial $100 bet).

The meaning of +125 is that a team with these odds is a slight (or short) underdog. At these odds, $100 invested would result in a $125 profit.

The meaning of 20-to-1 odds is that they indicate a long shot with little chance of success. A team that is 20 to 1 has an implied win probability of 4.76%. It will, however, pay $20 in profits for each $1 wagered in the event that it wins. Though it doesn’t happen frequently, a $100 wager on a 20-to-1 underdog would result in a tidy $2,000 profit.