Table of Contents

How to Read Sportsbooks Odds

Level: Beginner
Updated: Aug 25, 2023
2 min read

Key Takeaways

What Are Odds?

The most important part about odds (aka ‘lines’) is that they tell you the amount of money you will receive if your bet wins. In the image below, all of the numbers in blue are the odds for each bet.

American odds are always tied back to $100. A positive number indicates how much money you will win on a $100 bet. A negative number indicates how much you need to bet to win $100. The team with the positive odds is often referred to as the underdog, and the team with the negative odds is called the favorite.

A $100 bet on the 49ers who are the underdog at +124 profits $124. The total payout would be $224, this includes the original $100 bet. The original bet amount is called the stake. A $146 bet on the Eagles who are the favorite at -146 profits $100. The total payout would be $246, but that includes the $146 stake. It is easy to determine winnings when betting $100 on an underdog or betting an amount that matches the negative odds on a favorite. What if you want to bet other amounts? Let’s find out how to calculate our winnings.

Payout Calculation for Negative Odds

    Winnings = (Wager Amount * 100) / Odds

If you bet $45 on the 49ers at -146, you can solve for our winnings by using the formula above.

    Winnings = (45 * 100) / 146

    Winnings = 4,500 / 146

    Winnings = $30.82

Therefore, if you wagered $45 at -146, the winnings would be $30.82 on top of the $45 stake being returned, which would put the total payout at $75.82.

Payout Calculation for Positive Odds

    Winnings = (Wager Amount * Odds) / 100

If you bet $65 on an underdog that is +124, you would solve it like this.

    Winnings = (65 * 124) / 100

    Winnings = 8,060 / 100

    Winnings = $80.60

Therefore, if you wagered $65 on an underdog at +124, the winnings would be $80.60 on top of the $65 stake being returned which would put the total payout at $145.6.

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