NFL Betting Odds

NFL Betting and the Odds

Everyone, especially the sports bettors should know the general concept of what the betting odds are when placing a wager on a NFL matchup. Essentially, the betting odds are determined by the sportsbook or the oddsmakers regarding which team has better chances of beating the other team. They can also be used to measure whether or not the NFL matchup is a close one or it will be a blowout. This is why it is important that every sports bettor wanting to bet on the NFL, know and understand the different betting odds.

There are three main ways the odds are represented, American, Decimal, and Fractional. Most online sportsbooks have a payout calculator embedded, or they automatically tell the bettor what their potential payout is depending on their initial investment, but it is always prudent to know how the calculations are done.

American Odds

American odds are more common among U.S. friendly online sportsbooks, as these sports bettors are most accustomed to this type of odds. The odds are shown as numbers or values, usually showing 100 (even) or above; the symbol in front of the odds simply determines which the Favorite is and which is the Underdog of the matchup. The Favorite team’s, showing the “” symbol, chances of winning improve as the number gets larger or further from 100. Inversely, the Underdog team’s chances of winning improve as the value gets closer to 100

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If both values are extremely separated from each other, it can be said that the matchup will likely end with the Favorite teams victory. However, if the values are close to each other, this means that the matchup is much more balanced and the outcome is not as certain.

   

Calculating the Payout

In order to calculate the potential payout the bettor has to take into account three factors, their initial investment, whether the bet on the Favorite or the Underdog, and the odds value given on the sportsbook. Let’s use the above matchup, along with their money line wager and odds as an example.

 

Odds

Initial Investment

Calculation

Potential Payout

+275 $100 ($100/100%)*275 $275
(Investment/100%)*Odds
-350 $100 ($100/350)*100% $28.57
(Investment/Odds)*100%
 

Favorite – When wanting to calculate the payout for the Favorite, the bettor simply has to take their initial investment and divide it by the odds, and then multiply by 100% in order to get the payout amount.

Underdog – As for calculating the Underdog odds, it is much easier. Simply take the initial investment and divide it by 100%, and then multiply that number by the odds; that will give you the potential payout of betting on the Underdog.

Decimal Odds

Decimal odds are one of the easiest to read and understand, but they are one of the more difficult odds in order to calculate the potential payout. The decimal odds are represented as, you guessed it, decimal numbers. They do not include any symbols in front of them, since the method of determining which team is the Favorite and which team is the Underdog is quite simple. The lowest value, closest to 1.00 or below is considered the Favorite, while the higher value is considered the Underdog.

   

Calculating the Payout

Calculating the potential payout using the decimal odds can be a little tricky at first, but once it becomes habit it is extremely easy to do.

 

Odds

Initial Investment

Calculation

Potential Payout

3.75 $100 (3.75*$100)-$100 $275
(Odds*Investment)-Investment
1.29 $100 (1.29*$100)-$100 $28.57
(Odds*Investment)-Investment
 

When wanting to calculate the payout, the first step the sports bettor has to do is simply multiply the odds by the initial investment. What this does is that it calculates the Payout plus the Initial Investment. So, to only determine the potential payout, the bettor would have to subtract the initial investment from the resulting value.  Obviously, the bettor will be getting their initial investment back, along with whatever winnings they receive from their wager, so excluding the initial investment isn’t necessary.

Fractional Odds

Fractional odds are represented by fractions. This type of odds is the easiest ones to understand, as well as calculate. When looking at the fraction, the bettor can easily determine which team is the Favorite and which is the Underdog by simply dividing the fraction; whichever fraction is the largest (closest to or above 1) is the Favorite, while the Underdog is the lower number.

 

Calculating the Payout

As mentioned before, calculating the potential payout using the fractional odds is one of the easiest processes; it even includes two different ways of calculating them.

First Option – The bettor can simply take the initial investment amount and simply multiply it by the odds.

 

Odds

Initial Investment

Calculation

Potential Payout

11/4 $100 $100*(11/4) $275
Investment*(Odds)
2/7 $100 $100*(2/7) $28.57
Investment*(Odds)
 

Second Option – The second option is to simply use the fraction to determine a possible pay out. In other words, if the fraction is 11/4 it essentially means that for every $4 wagered, the bettor could win $11.

Use the Odds

We have gone over what the odds mean and how to read them, as well as calculating the potential pay out, but what does that mean to you, as a sports bettor? Sportsbooks are in the gambling business to make money, so they do not take any of this lightly. For this reason, the bettor can be assured that if a sportsbook shows certain odds, it is because they are confident in those numbers. This does not mean that the sportsbook will always be correct, but it is a good starting point for those who want to bet on the NFL. Use the odds to your advantage, and become a great sports bettor.

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