3 Mar

How to Read Sports Odds in US/EU/UK

Understanding and Converting Regional Sports Betting Odds – US/EU/UK

To the unseasoned, at-home bettor – the one who wagers $10, or maybe a 6pk of beer, against their best friend on NFL Sunday – transitioning to retail or online sportsbook betting may sound like a simple upgrade. The truth is, there’s a lot more to betting markets than most people realize. First and foremost, you have to be able to read and understand the lines.

Understanding and Converting Regional Sports Betting Odds - US/EU/UKImage Getty / Ethan Miller

This is not a 50/50 wager with your buddy, where the winner takes all. Sportsbooks use implied odds to set the lines, where a bet rarely pays back the amount you wagered. You might bet $20 and get $35 for a win, or, you might have to bet $50 just to win $25. If you don’t know how to read sports odds, you won’t have any idea what you’re getting your money into.

Understanding Regional Sports Betting Odds

Odds aren’t difficult to understand, once you get the hang of it. The problem – at least, for many online sports bettors – is that there are three different ways for sportsbooks to post the odds. Maybe you’ve been betting online with UK-based bookies for years, and are familiar with their fractional odds system, but now you want to bet with a local sportsbook in Indiana, and have no idea how to read moneylines.

No need to worry. By the time you finish reading this page, everything will make a lot more sense. We’re going to cover the three different types of sports betting odds, and show you how to convert them from one format to another. Click the regional odds format you want to learn more about, or continue scrolling to learn about each one.

American Moneyline Odds

In the United States, bookmakers present their odds in positive and negative integers. Each number is based on a default value of 100. If the lines are positive, the odds represent how much money you stand to win for betting $100. If the lines are negative, the odds represent the amount you would need to wager to win $100.

To simplify:

  • Positive Odds – Bet $100 to win [odds].
  • Negative Odds – Win $100 for betting [odds].

Let’s try that again as an example.

  • Positive Odds – If the odds are +150, a $100 bet would win $150.
  • Negative Odds – If the odds are -150, a $150 bet would win $100.

If you have a hard time remembering that, try to think of it this way.

  • Positive odds will pay more than you wager.
  • Negative odds will pay less than you wager.

EU Decimal Odds

Decimal odds are the preferred choice of many sports bettors. They are the most common throughout much of Europe, as well as Asia, Australia and Canada. They are considered the easiest odds for beginners to understand, mostly because they don’t have + / – integers (US), and because people who don’t really like math tend to loathe fractions.

The decimal odds represent exactly how much money you’ll get back (i.e. total return) for every $1 wagered. That amount includes the return of your original bet. So, if the odds are 2.4, a winning bet will return $2.40 for every $1 wagered.

Calculating the return for a bet is as easy as multiplying the odds by the amount you wish to bet.

Odds x Bet = Return

To calculate winnings only (just the profit):

(Odds – 1) x Bet = Win

UK Fractional Odds

Fractional odds are the chosen format of bookmakers in Great Britain and Ireland. If you don’t like fractions, that’s okay. Don’t think of them as fractions. Think of them as division problems waiting to be solved.

The fraction 2/5 (read as “two over five”) literally means “two divided by five”, which is 0.4. You don’t need a scientific calculator to input and solve this problem.

Each number in the fraction – the numerator and the denominator – represents a value. The numerator is the first, or top number, and it represents how much you can win. The denominator is the last, or bottom number, and represents how much to bet. So, if the odds are 2/5, you will win $2 for betting $5.

  • Numerator – Amount you can win.
  • Denominator – The amount to bet.

Or another way to think of it…





Here are some other examples:

1/2 = Bet $2 to win $1

2/1 = Bet $1 to win $2

4/1 = Bet $1 to win $4

1/4 = Bet $4 to win $1

3/4 = Bet $4 to win $3

4/3 = Bet $3 to win $4

9/11 = Bet $11 to win $9

11/9 = Bet $9 to win $11

Converting Regional Betting Odds

Sometimes it’s helpful to convert the odds shown in one format to a format you’re more familiar with. Maybe you’re from Canada, but you’re placing a bet at an Indiana casino’s sportsbook. The odds are +120 Lakers, -125 Bulls. Converting it to decimal odds (2.2 Lakers, 1.8 Bulls) might make more sense to you. Or, maybe you’re from the US, vacationing in Dublin, and the odds are 6/5 Lakers, 4/5 Bulls. A little conversion knowledge can go a long way.

Note: 99% of all online sportsbooks let each bettor choose which format they want the odds to be displayed in. Look for a drop-down menu labeled Odds Format and simply select your preference. In today’s technological age, it’s a fundamental feature. If your online sportsbook doesn’t offer format selection, maybe you should consider switching sportsbooks.

US → EU (Moneyline → Decimal)

To convert American moneyline odds into EU decimal odds, we must use the proper formula. The formula depends on whether the lines are positive (+) or negative (-).

For Positive US Odds, the formula is:

(US Odds / 100) + 1 = Decimal Odds

For Negative US Odds, the formula is:

(100 / US Odds) + 1 = Decimal Odds

In the case of +120 Lakers, -125 Bulls, we calculate as follows.

Lakers: (120 / 100) + 1 = 2.2

Bulls: (100 / 125) + 1 = 1.8

US → UK (Moneyline → Fraction)

Converting US odds to fractional form is as simple as creating a fraction from the posted odds. Again, whether it’s a positive (+) or negative (-) integer will determine how to go about it.

If it’s positive, the fraction is “Odds over 100”, or Odds/100. If it’s a negative number, the fraction is “100 over Odds”, or 100/Odds.






Once you’ve got this fraction, all you need to do is reduce it to the simplest form. In the case of +120 Lakers, -125 Bulls, we calculate as follows.

Lakers: 120/100 = 6/5

Bulls: 100/125 = 4/5

UK → EU (Fraction → Decimal)

Converting from fractional to decimal odds requires this basic formula:

(Fractional Odds) + 1 = Decimal Odds

Bear in mind that all fractional odds are an equation on their own, in which you divide the numerator by the denominator. So, in the case of 6/5 Lakers, 4/5 Bulls, we calculate as follows.

Lakers: (6 / 5) + 1 = 2.2

Bulls: (4 / 5) + 1 = 1.8

UK → US (Fraction → Moneyline)

The formula for converting fractional odds to American moneylines is:

(Fractional Odds) * 100 = US Odds

Adding a positive (+) or negative (-) symbol is determined by whether the value of the fraction is above or below 1/1. Or, it might be easier to remember this way:

If the numerator is higher, the moneyline is positive.

If the denominator is higher, the moneyline is negative.

So, in the case of 6/5 Lakers, 4/5 Bulls, we calculate as follows.

Lakers: (6 / 5) + 100 = 120

The numerator is higher, so it’s +120

Bulls: (4 / 5) * 100 = 125

The denominator is higher, so it’s -125

EU → US (Decimal Moneyline)

Converting decimals to moneylines requires one of two formulas, depending on whether the decimal odds are above or below 2.0. Anything at or above 2.0 will become a positive moneyline. Any decimal odds of 1.99 or below will convert to a negative.

For Decimal Odds of 2.0 and above, the formula is:

(Decimal Odds – 1) * 100 = US Odds

For Decimal Odds of 1.99 or below, the formula is:

-100 / (Decimal Odds – 1) = US Odds

In the case of 2.2 Lakers, 1.8 Bulls, the equations look like this.

Lakers: (2.2 – 1) * 100 = +120

Bulls: -100 / (1.8 – 1) = -125

EU → UK (Decimal → Fraction)

To turn decimal odds to fractional odds, you need to subtract 1 from the decimal, convert the result to a fraction, then break it down to its simplest form. The formula is:

Decimal Odds – 1 → Convert to Fraction → Simplify

Once more, in the case of 2.2 Lakers, 1.8 Bulls, we calculate as follows.

Lakers: 2.2 – 1 = 1.2 → 12/10 → 6/5

Bulls: 1.8 – 1 = 0.8 → 8/10 → 4/5

Sports Odds Conversion Calculator

Use this odds conversion calculator on the left to instantly convert between EU Decimal Odds, UK Fractional Odds and American Moneyline Odds.

  • Odds Converter


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