How do Football Betting Odds Work?

Are you new to betting on the football? Do you want to place a bet but are unsure how the odds work? Do football betting odds confuse you? This guide will help you to understand them.

Did you know that you can get a free bet when you join a bookmaker and using the best app can make or break your football betting experience?

Bookmakers offer odds on a huge range of football markets and the betting odds can be expressed as decimals or fractions. There isn’t a monetary difference between decimal and fractional odds they are simply just two different ways of expressing the same thing. Understanding how the odds are calculated and what they mean in practice is essential if you want your bets to succeed.

How do odds work?

Odds represent the probability of something happening. The price shown equates to the percentage chance of something happening or not.

Fractional odds
These are also known as Traditional or British odds and are used mainly in the UK and in international horse racing. They are becoming less popular online. They tell you the amount of profit relative to your stake if you win your bets.

Examples of fractional odds include 1/4 and 7/2. There are many ways to understand the way they work, but the easiest is: [how much will you win] / [how much you stake].

So, if you have odds of 10/1, you stand to win £10 for every £1 you bet. If you place a £1 bet on odds of 7/2, you will receive £7 in winnings, plus your £2 stake.

Odds-on selections
Sometimes you see odds that look the wrong way around for example 1/10 or 2/7. The odds are frequently seen when a team in the favourite to win (or loose). With these ‘odds-on selections’ you would need to stake £8 to win £1 if the odds were 1/8. Betting on your team to win (or loose) in this situation wouldn’t lead to a huge return.

Decimal odds
Are also known as European odds. They are common around the world but especially in Europe. They are used as standard on betting exchanges such as Betfair. They convey the total amount you will receive if you win, including the return of your stake.

Some think that decimal odds are easier to understand than fractional odds. And I guess for some knowing whether 10/6 or 8/5 is the better odd would be difficult for some (10/6 is slightly bigger 🙂 ).

However when you look at decimal odds it’s easy to see that 2.60 is bigger than 2.10

How do I calculate decimal odds?
This is easy, all you need to do to work out your winnings is to multiply your stake by your decimal odds.

For example, a stake of £10 at odds of 3.0, you will win £30 in total.

For example, if you bet £10 at odds of 3.75, you will receive £37.50 in total if you win.

When working out the return of decimal odds, your stake is included in your returns. Odds of 2.0 are the same as (1/1) – an even money bet. Odds of less than 2.0 constitute and odds-on bet.

How to Understand Betting Odds Football

It can be very useful to know how to convert odds from decimal to fractional. Especially if you are trying to compare odds at two bookmakers or you are looking to find out how to make a profit from betting on football (we’ll be covering this in another post).

How to Convert Decimal to Fractional Odds – Odds Conversion Guide
To convert decimal odds to fractional, subtract 1.00 and then find the nearest whole integers (so 3.75 – 1.00 becomes 2.75/1, or 11/4).

To convert fractional odds to decimal, divide the first figure by the second figure add 1.00 (so 11/4 = 2.75, then add 1.00 = 3.75).

Odds Conversion Chart
The table below shows a range of fractional odds and how they relate to decimal odds and USA moneylines.

UK EU USA   UK EU USA   UK EU USA
1/5 1.20 -500   10/11 1.91 -110   95/40 3.38 +237.50
2/9 1.22 -450   20/21 1.95 -105   12/5 3.40 +240
1/4 1.25 -400   1/1 2.00 -100   5/2 3.50 +250
2/7 1.28 -350   21/20 2.05 +105   13/5 3.60 +260
3/10 1.30 -333.30   11/10 2.10 +110   11/4 3.75 +275
1/3 1.33 -300   6/5 2.20 +120   14/5 3.80 +280
7/20 1.35 -285.70   5/4 2.25 +125   3/1 4.00 +300
4/11 1.36 -275   13/10 2.30 +130   16/5 4.20 +320
2/5 1.40 -250   11/8 2.38 +137.50   10/3 4.33 +333.30
4/9 1.44 -225   7/5 2.40 +140   7/2 4.50 +350
9/20 1.45 -222.20   6/4 2.50 +150   18/5 4.60 +360
40/85 1.47 -212.50   8/5 2.60 +160   4/1 5.00 +400
1/2 1.50 -200   13/8 2.63 +162.50   9/2 5.50 +450
8/15 1.53 -187.50   17/10 2.70 +170   5/1 6.00 +500
4/7 1.57 -175   7/4 2.75 +175   11/2 6.50 +550
3/5 1.60 -166.70   9/5 2.80 +180   6/1 7.00 +600
8/13 1.62 -162.50   15/8 2.88 +187.50   13/2 7.50 +650
5/8 1.63 -160   19/10 2.90 +190   7/1 8.00 +700
4/6 1.66 -150   2/1 3.00 +200   15/2 8.50 +750
7/10 1.70 -142.90   21/10 3.10 +210   8/1 9.00 +800
8/11 1.72 -137.50   85/40 3.13 +212.50   17/2 9.50 +850
4/5 1.80 -125   11/5 3.20 +220   9/1 10.00 +900
5/6 1.83 -120   9/4 3.25 +225   10/1 11.00 +1000
9/10 1.90 -111.10   23/10 3.30 +230   50/1 51.00 +5000

Bookmaker Edge
Bookmakers can set odds for any given event. The odds include a house edge. As bookmakers are setting the prices on their own websites, they are able to build in a house edge. The house edge allows them to make a profit – this profit allows them to pay staff, pay for technology updates etc. The amount of edge built into an event or a specific market can vary between bookmakers. But if you look for a bookmaker with the best odds you will be in the best situation to make the best winning margin.