In our other blogs we go into detail about subjects such as sports betting as an investment, secrets the sportsbooks don’t want you to know and the various bankroll management strategies you can employ.

All of these are absolutely essential if you want to be one of the 8% of sports bettors that makes long term profit. However, if you are new to sports betting you need to master the basics before considering these more advanced subjects.  

With that in mind we have put this series of blogs together that cover the basics of sports betting, sports betting 101 if you like.  

Today we are looking at reading the odds:

The first time you glance at the odds it can be both baffling and off putting. There are a lot of numbers on the board from line bets, unders / overs and H2H markets and there are seemingly more and more betting options being added every week.  

The – and + on a sports betting line indicates both your prospective payout and whether you’re betting on the favorite or the underdog.  

Typically in sports betting when the odds are under $2.00 it will denote the favorite, with the number itself indicating the amount you win for every dollar you wager.  Odds of $2 or more indicate the underdog with the number indicating how much you would win for every dollar you wager.  

Let’s look at a couple of examples:


Golden State $1.75

New York Knicks $2.25

In this example you would need to wager roughly $115 on the Warriors to win $100 on top of your original wager.  

Conversely if you bet $115 on the Knicks and they won you would win $158 on top of your original wager.

This doesn’t mean of course that this is the actual likelihood of course.  

The sports books employ ‘odds makers’ who make their assessment based on their own set of criteria and sadly sometimes they manipulate these odds to increase the juice or to encourage more people to take that option for all manner of reasons, all of which come back to maximizing their profit.

It also doesn’t mean you need to bet $100, as we discuss at length in our bankroll management blog, your unit or bet size should be based on the size of your bank roll and the system you are using.