How do odds work in football?

Football is one of the oldest and most popular games that a majority of punters wager on. Understanding how odds work is essential if you want to increase your winning stake. So, what exactly are the odds? In simpler terms, odds are a representation of the winning chances of a particular game, normally shown in decimals or fractions. This article looks at how football odds work and how you can use that to your advantage.

Football odds

Football odds essentially represent the probability or likelihood of an outcome at the end of the game. In other words, the price is a representation of the outcome percentage. Bookmakers and some of the best online casinos offer punters the best payouts, regardless of whichever bet is placed. There are three basic odds formats, namely: decimal, fractional, and money line odds.

Decimal Odds

Decimal odds are also known as European odds and are popular in Europe and also including Australia online casinos. The odds’ system represents the total winning amount for every wager placed. In simpler terms, it represents the total payout rather than the profit after a win. Calculating this particularly odd is quite simple, you take the stake, and multiply it with the odd to get the total payout. In most cases, the higher the decimal odd, the less probable a team is likely to win and vice versa.

Fractional Odds

Fractional odds are also known as the traditional or British odds. They normally have a hyphen (-) or slash (/). The odds format is equivalent to the ratio of the profit against a wager. For instance, if you stake $10 at 5/1, then your total payout will be $60 ($50 profit and a $10 stake).

Money Line Odds

The Money Line Odds format is also known as the American odds, and is quite popular in the U.S. Wagers for favorites usually have a negative or minus sign (-), while underdogs have a plus or positive sign (+). What this actually means is that, for a positive sign, the odds are quoting the total amount to be won on a $100 bet. However, odds that start with a negative sign, quote the total amount wagered on an outcome to win $100.

Why do football odds change?

Quite often, you’ll notice that football odds tend to fluctuate. This can be due to a key player being injured, a red card being issued or a goal being scored. In addition, cash projections are also another reason bookmaker’s change their odds to have an edge on returns.

How do you find value in football odds?

It’s always critical to place a wager on football markets you’re familiar with and not just odds displayed. It’s also worth pointing out that besides favorable odds, match knowledge is also key.


Learning the different odd conversions in relation to probability is one of the best winning strategies. Although odds are set by experts who gather data and cash flow projections, they can make mistakes. Finally, always keep in mind that there are no guarantees with football odds and betting in general.

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