Understanding The Odds

Depending on where in the world you are, betting lines differ from Nation to Nation. Europeans love decimal odds, punters in the United Kingdom dig fractional odds and North Americans bet on money line and decimal prices. Boiling down to the same returns - understanding the odds is the first rule of thumb prior to wagering on entertainment and sporting events. Here we breakdown the various line formats.

Moneyline, Fractional, Decimal Odds

Fractional, Decimal and Moneyline odds. Depending on which sportsbook you use and what sport you’re betting on, you’re likely to see these three types of odds. Now you'll know what they mean.

Following a proper research path is very important when it comes to selecting winning sides. There are however two additional, and equally important, steps that should be taken prior to placing any wagers. First, handicappers need to find the best prices on the team, player or event that they are wagering on in order to get the biggest bang for their buck. Second, bettors need to know that the bookmakers they are dealing with work for reputable online sportsbooks. After all, winning will not add up to jack-squat if bettors don’t get paid in full and in short order once the action ends.

British aka Fractional Odds

Few societies have been betting on sports, horses, politics and entertainment events longer than the fine folks in the United Kingdom. That is plainly clear when one realizes that some UK sportsbooks have been in business for over a century. Though not quite 100 years old yet, William Hill falls into the well-established category as they first arrived on the betting scene way back in 1934. Bettors who like wagering with British style fractional odds will feel at home at William Hill as that is one of the three options they offer. With fractions, a winning bet on the Maple Leafs at (3/4) returns three dollars for every four bets meaning a bet of 133 units is required to earn a 100 unit return. A side with (3/4) odds is considered a favorite and that price converts to a (-133) ML in North America.

Continental aka Decimal Odds

Betting has also been commonplace in Europe for many decades. In fact, European influences are very prominent in Canada as decimal odds are featured exclusively with all of the Provincial Sports Lottery wagering options. Dreaded by some, and loved by others, the larger the Continental odds the bigger the underdog at a sportsbook like SportsInteraction that normally defaults to decimal odds when Canadiens visit the site. A side with 2.00 odds is always EVEN and that number converts to 1/1 fraction odds and a +100 money line. To figure out the return on decimal odds, the line is multiplied by 100 and the original bet is then subtracted to determine a net profit. A -250 money line translates to 1.40 in decimal odds and a 100 unit wager, that wins, would return 40 units.

American aka Moneyline Odds

Ah, good old American money line odds. A personal preference of yours truly, money line prices are very easy to convert when trying to determine the possible payout of a wager. This is especially true of underdog odds as a 100 unit bet on a +225 straight up pup will return 225 units. A plus money line is an underdog and negative prices indicates the favorite. For instance, bettors who backed the New England Patriots (-145) money line price on Super Bowl LI at Bodog, were required to pay 145 units to earn a 100 unit return. As is the case with fractional and decimal odds, bettors don't need to lay points with money lines. Simply place a wager and, if your side wins, you will cash a winning ticket. Top bookmakers always offer all three odds formats in a drop down menu at their sites.

Fractional To American Odds: Converting Fractional to American odds requires bettors to possess some fairly slick math skills. For instance a (39/50) Major League Baseball fractional line converts to a (-128.2) money line which we arrived at by using trusted odds conversion app. To simplify the conversion process, and calculate the exact potential return, just double both fractions which will make the line (78/100) meaning a successful 100 unit MLB wager will net a tidy 78 unit profit.

Decimal To American Odds: Bettors will also need a handy calculator when attempting to convert Decimal to American odds. In a nutshell, the formula for converting positive decimal prices, say on National Hockey League action is (Decimal -1) X 100 while the formula for converting negative decimal odds is (-100)/(decimal -1). In the end though, we suggest bettors use an odds converter app or simply select American prices at their online sportsbook of choice prior to placing their bets.

No matter your personal odds preference, our Free Picks always feature American lines, top ranked online sportsbooks will always provide a choice of all three formats. That is true with bookmakers we recommend here at Canada Sports Betting as they all offer drop down menus that allow bettors to choose from Decimal, Fractional and American wagering lines. Canuck Cappers are well advised to save their brain power for researching and selecting successful sides. Let the linemakers do the conversions for you by betting with any of the sportsbooks we feature in our CSB top five table.