Home » Betting 102: Intro To Reading Odds

Betting 102: Intro To Reading Odds

When a bettor wants to place a bet, their first question is always “what will I win?” A great question to ask when placing a bet.  The best way to answer that question is to read the odds on the event you want to bet.  Each bet has different odds which change the payout so knowing how to read the odds is crucial in understanding what you bet.  Odds are based on the probability of a bet winning or losing.  You can tell who is the favorite or underdog by the symbol next to the odds.  A minus sign (-) is the betting favorite.  That means the sportsbook believes the probability of the bet winning is 50.01% or higher.  A plus sign (+) is the betting underdog.  That means the sportsbook believes the probability of the bet winning is 49.9% or lower.

How To Read Favorite Odds

While it looks quite complicated, reading odds is very simple.  When you see a minus sign (-) that means the number next to it is how much you would have to bet to win $100.  Below is an example of odds on the New York Jets vs Denver Broncos game from week 3 in the 2021 NFL Season.  The Broncos are -600 on the Moneyline meaning a bettor would have to wager $600 to win $100.  If you were to bet the Broncos on the spread (-10.5 at -110), they would have to win by 11 points, but you would only have to wager $110 to win $100.


How To Read Underdog Odds

When you see a plus sign (+) that means that team is the underdog.  How you can read the odds is similar to a favorite, but more exciting.  The number next to the plus sign (+) is how much you will win if you bet $100.  Using the Jets vs Broncos game as an example, the Jets are +425 on the Moneyline.  This means a $100 wager would win $425 if the Jets win.  Because the underdog is less likely to win, the bettor is given more in return for betting the underdog.


That’s all there is to it.  Reading odds is a lot more simple than it appears. For more betting tutorials, check out our betting tips at www.bettinghero.com/betting-tips/.  There you can find breakdowns for every aspect of sports betting.

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