Understanding the Odds in Football Betting: A Beginner’s Guide

Understanding the Odds in Football Betting: A Beginner’s Guide

Football betting is an exciting way to enjoy the sport while making money. However, it can be a daunting task for beginners to understand the odds involved in football betting. In this article, we will explain the basics of football betting odds and how to calculate them.

Understanding Odds:

Odds in football betting represent the probability of a certain event happening. The odds are usually displayed in three formats, decimal, fractional and American odds.

Decimal odds: Decimal odds represent the total payout that a bettor may receive on a winning bet. For instance, if a team has decimal odds of 1.50, it means that for every $1 that is bet, the bettor will win $1.50. The total payout will be $2.50, which includes the original stake plus the winnings.

Fractional odds: This format is commonly used in the UK. It is represented in fractions such as 2/1, which means that for every $1 bet, the bettor will receive $2 in winnings. The numerator represents the winnings, while the denominator represents the stake.

American odds: It is also known as moneyline odds. These odds are represented with a positive (+) or negative (-) sign. A positive sign (+) indicates that it is the underdog in a game, while a negative sign (-) indicates the favorite. For instance, if a team has American odds of -150, then a bettor needs to wager $150 to win $100. On the other hand, if a team has odds of +200, then the bettor will win $200 for every $100 wagered.

Calculating Odds:

To calculate the probability of an event happening, we use the following formula:

Probability = 1 / (decimal odds + 1)

For example, if a team has decimal odds of 1.50, then the probability of that team winning is:

1 / (1.50 + 1) = 0.40 or 40%

To calculate the winnings, we multiply the stake by the odds. For instance, if a bettor wagers $10 on a team with decimal odds of 2.50, then the total payout for a winning bet will be:

$10 x 2.50 = $25


Understanding the odds in football betting is crucial for any bettor. By understanding how odds work, bettors can make informed decisions and increase their chances of winning. It is also important to shop around for the best odds before placing a bet. By taking the time to understand the odds, beginners can enjoy the thrill of football betting while minimizing the risk involved.