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What are Decimal Odds in Sports Betting? How to Read Decimal Odds

<p>AP Photos</p>

AP Photos

What are Decimal Odds?

Decimal odds are not commonly used in American betting, but are the most common odds around the world. As opposed to American odds which are based on a $100 bet, decimal odds just give you the total return (risk included) for every $1 wagered. It’s a simpler system than American odds because the same formula is used to calculate the implied probability, payouts, etc. of the bet winning. As explained in the American odds article, a different formula is needed to calculate everything. 

Examples of Decimal Odds:

Here is how BetMGM lists the odds for Wild Card Weekend using decimal odds. Most sportsbooks allow you to use the odds type of your preference, so to see this just change your odds preference under your account tab.

How to Read Decimal Odds: 

The standard American odds point spread price is -110 where risking $110 wins $100. With decimal odds, it’s based on every $1 wagered. For the NFL listings above that say 1.91, every $1 risked wins $0.91 which returns $1.91. 

Clearly, it returns the exact same amount as a -110 listing in American odds – $1*(100/-110*-1) = $0.91 +$1 stake returns the same $1.91. 

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Decimal Odds in Spreads vs Moneylines:

Let’s take another look at the examples from Wild Card Weekend:

We touched on the 1.91 found in most of the point spreads and totals (as -110 is for American odds), but now let’s take a look at some moneyline examples. The heaviest favorite is the Chiefs, who are at 1.13 in decimal odds. This means for every $1 bet, the bettor would win 13 cents. Meanwhile, for the underdog Steelers who are 6.50 on the moneyline, every $1 returns $6.50, meaning $5.50 of profit.

How to Calculate Payouts in Decimal Odds:

The best part of using decimal odds is how simple the calculations are with your bets. 

The formula (if you can even call it that) is just multiplying the decimal odds by the amount you wagered. 

Decimal OddsWageredPayout
1.75$10$17.50 ($7.50 in winnings + $10 stake)
1.06$25$26.50 ($1.50 in winnings + $25 stake)
1.91$50$95.50 ($45.50 in winnings + $50 stake)
4.00$5$20 ($15 in winnings + $5 stake)

How to Convert Decimal Odds to American Odds:

If you can only find decimal odds and want to make sure they’re right for you with the more familiar American odds, here is how to make the conversion. 

It’s a little complicated because American odds have a plus and minus to indicate favorite and underdog. 

When you see decimal odds of 2.0 or higher (meaning it will be positive in American odds), use this formula: 

(decimal odds – 1) * 100

For example, 2.5 decimal odds would become +150 – (2.5 – 1) * 100.

To convert back from American to decimal odds for positive odds, use this formula:

1 + (American odds / 100)

As you can see, 1 + (150/100) = 2.5 and we are back at 2.5.

Now for negative American odds, or decimal odds under 2.0:

To convert from decimal odds under 2.0 to American odds, use this formula:

(-100) / (decimal odds -1)

For decimal odds of 1.5, it would be (-100) / (1.5-1) which equals -200, so the American odds are -200.

To convert it back, we would use this formula:

1 – (100 / American odds)

For American odds of -200 it would be: 1 – (100/-200) which simplifies to 1 + 0.5 and we are back to 1.5.

How to Convert Decimal Odds to Fractional Odds:

Fractional odds are mainly used in the UK, as well as Ireland. This odds format shows the potential profit should the bet win, quoted as a fraction of the stake. These odds are most commonly seen in horse racing. 

Converting decimal odds to fractional odds is simple. Just subtract 1.00 and reduce that number to its simplest fraction. 

For example, for decimal odds of 1.2 subtract 1.0, and now you’re left with 0.2.

0.2 is ⅕, which is the fractional odds. 

To convert back to decimal odds, just divide the fractions (⅕ = 0.2) and add 1.0.

The 1.0 subtracted and added in the conversion represents your stake in the decimal odds.

OddsJam has a very convenient odds converter calculator you can use to easily convert any type of odds to any other, as well as showing implied win probability.


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