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Betting Odds 101 | Welcome to BMR

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Welcome to Bookmakers Review's (BMR) free Odds Product.
Be it NFL odds, NCAAF Odds, NBA odds, MLB odds, NHL odds, UFC odds, and so on — BMR has your betting needs covered. Each sport has its own designated page on our site, replete with all the up-to-date offerings available from across the industry, including live betting odds that update in real time.
Each sportsbook is arranged in columns for easy comparison when shopping for the best lines, and bettors can move from different types of wagers easily on the same page by clicking point spreads, moneyline, and totals as required.
In a nutshell, Bookmakers Review gets you the inside track on the market. You're welcome!

How To Read Betting Odds
Knowing how to read odds is paramount if you want to get the most out of your wagers. Plus, gaining an understanding of odds is only going to improve the betting experience in general. Knowledge is power, so they say.
Now, this doesn't mean a Masters's in Mathematics is required to succeed in sports betting. However, if time isn't invested to gain some insight into what betting odds entail and reflect, any betting attempt might be doomed to fail.
Betting odds represent the probability of an outcome occurring and, by that same token, the return on investment (risk) a bettor can expect to receive if the bet proves to be a winner. This probability is often referred to in the industry as "implied probability" and it's often reflected as a percentage.

Betting Tip: As a rule of thumb, bettors should bet when they believe the probability of an outcome is greater than the implied probability of the betting odds. In order to calculate the implied probability of the betting odds, try using an odds converter.
For example, if Team A'smoney line odds (ML odds) are +150, they're said to have a 40% implied probability to win. You've done your research but you feel said Team A has a much greater chance of winning than the implied probability. In such an instance, you've stumbled upon what is known as a "value bet."
Conversely, using the same rule of thumb, if following your research you've determined Team A's chance of winning is less than 40% then the opposite is true and you should probably avoid placing a bet.
Sports betting odds provide bettors with a clear idea of what the winnings will be if the bet wins. A favorite's ML odds are based on the amount that a bettor would have to bet to win $100. An underdog's ML odds are based on the amount they'd win when betting $100.
So, going to the above example, betting $100 on Team A at +150 would yield $150 in winnings if the bet wins. When in doubt, try using a betting calculator to find out how much your bets can win.
Why do odds matter in sports betting?
No sports odds, no sports betting. It's as simple as that. Without odds, sports bettors wouldn't be able to bet on anything at all. And that would defeat the purpose of the very principle of betting. Moreover, their importance to betting underpins why knowing how to effectively read odds is crucial to long-term success in sports betting.
There are three common types of wagers with most sports; point spreads, moneyline odds and totals (OVER/UNDER). Most sports will offer all three types of wagers, but some sports will predominantly feature money lines.
For instance, UFC betting odds will be mainly portrayed as moneyline wagers where a bettor bets on which fighter will win a fight
American football and basketball are arguably the most bet-on sports in North America. And while betting on the NFL, NCAAF, NBA and NCAAB encompasses all aforementioned types of wagers, the point spread is king.
Types of Wagers
Point Spread - Often referred to as the great equalizer, it's arguably THE most popular form of betting especially in North America thanks to the NFL and the NBA too. Point spread NFL lines focus on the outcome of the game rather than which team will win. This way, it levels the playing field enough to give each team the appearance of an equal shot. And that attracts betting on both sides of the coin.
In football, it's not uncommon to see an underdog come through with the cover according to the point spread set out in the NFL betting lines but still lose the game outright.
For example, in week 9 of the 2020-21 NFL season the Carolina Panthers vs. Kansas City Chiefs.
Carolina Panthers +10 (-110)
Kansas City Chiefs -10 (-110)
According to the sports betting odds at the time, the Chiefs were the massive 10-point favorites. Although the Chiefs went on to win the game 33-31, the Panthers covered as the +10 road underdogs because they lost the game by less than 1o points.
It's worth pointing out that while point spread betting is extremely popular in football and basketball betting, at the corresponding college level, the point spreads can be quite hefty, verging in the double digits. It's quite common to see college basketball lines or college football lines in the double-digit range.
Moneyline - The moneyline wager is simply a bet on which team will win. A bettor either bets on the favorite or the underdog to win the game. Typically, betting the favorite will yield a lower return on investment and betting the underdog will yield a higher return on investment.
ML odds can be extremely profitable when underdogs pull off the upset. One of the biggest upsets in the 2020-21 NFL season came when the Jets won their first game of the season in week 15, beating the Los Angeles Rams while carrying a money line of +950. A $100 bet on the Jets would have paid out a cool $950.
Totals (OVER/UNDER) - Betting totals is straightforward, not unlike a straight-up bet to win outright. However, with this bet, bettors look toward the game score and bet whether the total will go OVER or UNDER projected totals on the odds board. Totals are quite popular amongst NHL bettors, especially when money line odds are skewed significantly toward the favorite. NHL lines for totals are a great alternative as a result.
For example, in a lopsided matchup between the Boston Bruins vs. Buffalo Sabres where the former carries inflated odds at -325 to win outright, a bettor might be better served turning to the totals where a bet on either the Over or Under offers a better return on investment.
Over 5.5 (-105)
Under 5.5 (-115)
American, Fractional and Decimal Odds
There are three formats of betting odds used in the industry: to display various sports betting lines: American, fractional and decimal. While the format may differ from sportsbook to sportsbook, the implied probability remains the same.
Neither format is better than the other, but deciding on the preferred format is largely an individual one.
In order to make that decision, learning how to read each format is key. It's that old adage again, knowledge is power.
Location dictates what format a sportsbook will default to naturally. Most US-facing sportsbooks use American odds, but, at the same time, settings that allow users to convert the odds to their desired format are typically available be it — American, fractional or decimal. For the purpose of uniformity and consistency, we're using American odds here.
For those sportsbooks that don't provide odds in more than one format, using an odds converter to convert betting odds is an option available with BMR.
How To Read American Odds
American odds, as alluded to above, are depicted as either negative or positive odds —  the former being a favorite represented with a "minus" sign and the latter being an underdog represented with a "plus" sign. They observe how much a bettor needs to bet in order to win $100 (favorite) and the amount they'd win if a bettor bets $100 (underdog) respectively.
For example, NBA odds for a match between the Brooklyn Nets vs. Boston Celtics might look like this in moneyline betting markets.
Boston Celtics + 165
Brooklyn Nets -230

Reading American betting odds is quite straightforward. As the above example indicates, To win $100 on the Nets a bettor has to risk/lay a whopping $230. Whereas a $100 risk on the Celtics would pay out a cool $165. Due to the high risk and low reward presented by betting on the Nets though, bettors might decide to fade the Nets and look at alternate NBA lines instead.

How to Calculate Winnings With American Odds
Betting typically comes down to one of two things: betting on a favorite or betting on an underdog. The bigger the favorite the lower the payout will be. While the bigger the underdog, the higher the payout will be.

Calculating winnings with American sports betting odds is straightforward. Using week 5 college football odds from the 2020-21 NCAAF season, the Clemson Tigers were pegged as the -5000 faves over Virginia at +1500.

In terms of betting, a bettor would need to bet a staggering $5000 to win $100 (plus the stake). Conversely, betting $100 on Virginia would pay out $1500 (plus the stake). Obviously, a bet on Virginia would pay out better than a bet on the Clemson Tigers, but it's a risky bet and not for the fainthearted.

It's useful to explain American betting odds in terms of $100 increments, but it's not a requirement to bet that much. If a bettor wants to bet $50 dollars, the values are halved accordingly. So, a $50 bet on Virginia would pay out $750 (plus the stake).

How To Read Fractional Odds
Fractional odds are most common in horse racing. As well, it's common to see fractional odds used with respect to NFL futures —  such as Super Bowl odds or MVP odds —  in the media.
An example of fractional odds is Kansas City Chiefs at 9/2 to win Super Bowl LVI. They're easy to read, but they can be confusing and challenging to convert for many. Fractions such as 1/1, 2/1, 3/1, 4/1, 5/1 and so are easy to read and convert.
Fractional odds represent the profit, so fraction odds of 5/1 mean a bettor will win $5 for every dollar wagered. When it comes to fractions of 9/2, 8/13, or 4/7... things get more complicated.

How to Calculate Winnings With Fractional Odds
Short of taking a maths course in order to learn how to convert fractions into implied probability, the best way to figure out what the payout on fractional odds is to use our aforementioned odds converter. Taking the above example of the Chiefs at 9/2 to win Super Bowl LVI, the corresponding American odds are +450.

How To Read Decimal Odds
Decimal odds are the preferred format of betting odds used in Europe and Australia. At first glance, decimal odds appear to be the most intimidating of the lot. However, many actually prefer decimal odds to traditional fractions. It's really an individual preference. That said, consider these two fractions: 8/13 and 4/7.
Which represents the greater price? Unless you're a whizkid, it might take some time to figure that one out. Whereas with decimal odds, it's much easier to see which value is greater than the other. For example, 1.71 is obviously greater than 1.57.

How to Calculate Winnings With Decimal Odds
The decimal odds number represents the amount a bettor wins for every $1 wagered. Thus, it's literally a monetary value. For example, decimal odds at 2.2 imply a $2.2 return for a $1.00 bet, or decimal odds of 9.5 mean a return of $9.5 for a $1.00 bet, and so on.

Betting Odds FAQ
Who sets the odds?
Bookies at various sportsbooks set odds based on their evaluation of any given sports matchup and how the public (bettors) are likely to bet.
Why is it important to understand betting odds?
Knowledge is power. Knowing how odds work will help bettors to make informed decisions before placing wagers.
What is the difference between American, fractional and decimal odds?
Scores and odds are presented differently in different sports betting markets. The difference between these types of odds is how they are presented. American odds are sometimes known as money line odds around the world.
What is a push bet?
A push bet is a bet that has neither a winning nor a losing outcome. A push is a common occurrence in point-spread betting. If a team is favored by 6 points and wins by exactly 6 points, the bet is essentially deemed null and void or a "push." A push can also occur in total betting when a bettor banks on the OVER but the final score of the game matches the final score.