A Guide into Sports Betting: Odds and Spread Explained

April 7, 2020
The basic idea of sports betting is simple. Pick a player or a team you think will win, bet some money on them, win, and make some profit. But if that is all you know, you will probably be pretty confused when you see all these weird numbers, odds, spreads, and other significant things on online betting apps or sites.

You may think that you will get vital betting tips from some genuine source and make some good money; still you need to understand the basics of online sports betting like odds and spread.


If a player or a team is a lot better than their opponent that chance to win is higher than 50%. For instance, if you could just bet $10 and win $20 to make $10 profit, that would be a really bad deal for the sportsbooks. So, to counter this, they assign odds to every team and player in every match. A team with a high chance to win makes you less money since it’s already a high probability. On the other side, a low chance to win gives you a big profit. Practically, there are two systems: American odds and the decimal odds.

Decimal Odds

First, we are going to tell you about the decimals since they are a lot easier to explain unlike any other tech. If a team has odds of 1.5, betting $10 will give you $15 if you win, so you make $5 profit.

Odds                                       Win                                         Profit

1.5                                           $15                                          $5

2.0                                           $20                                          $10

4.3                                           $43                                          $33

American Odds

Odds                                       Win                                         Profit

+100 (=2.0)                             $20                                          $10

+150 (=2.5)                             $25                                          $15

+431 (=5.31)                           $53.1                                       $43.1

-100 (=2.0)                              $20                                          $10

-200 (=1.5)                              $15                                          $5

-300 (=1.33)                            $13.33                                     $3.33

American odds use positive and negative numbers. Well, with the 2.0 from decimal odds wins both +100 and -100. If a team is at +100, betting $10 will give you $20 if you win so a $10 profit. +200 gives you $30 and +431 will give you $53.10. -100 also gives you $20 when you win.

Now, it gets a little more complicated when -200 is equal to a decimal odds of 1.5; it will only give you $15. -300 would give you $13.33. In short, high odds mean high payout but also a lower chance to win and low odds mean low payouts but higher chances to win.


Team/Player X: -4           = Good team/player

Team/Player Y: +4          = Bad team/player

Spreads are quite similar to odds. They exist to count the unbalanced matchups. If a team or a player has a spread of -4, they need to win by at least four points otherwise the bet is a loss even if you did guess correctly.

Remember that the good player/team will usually have a negative spread since a close game is a bad game for them. For a bad team winning is more than expected so you can win the bet even if the team didn’t win because of a positive spread. With the spread of +4, if your team goes 15-17, your bet would be a win even though your team lost.

Tips to make money in Sports Betting

Now you know sports betting 101, here some important things you need to keep in consideration when wagering on your favourite sports.

Research – If you really want to make money in sports betting then you need to study the game first. You need to check team history, statistics, any injury reports, news, and everything that could influence the game. So, always do your homework.

Line Shopping – You need to find the best odds available for games. Instead of depending on a single source, go for multiple sportsbooks so you will get odds from various sources and you can place bets correctly.

Bankroll Management – Never make the mistake of placing all of your money in a single bet. You need to make proper financial management.

Choose a reliable platform – Choosing an online betting platform is also a very important thing. Go for some trusted online betting sites like 888sport, bet365, and betway.


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