In the United States moneyline odds are generally favored. This is expressed by either a positive or negative number. These numbers represent the payout on the straight-up outcome of the game and ignore a point spread. If the number is positive (+200) then this represents how much money would be won on a $100 bet. If the number is negative (-200) then the number represents how much money needs to be wagered to win $100. Even odds are shown as +100 or -100.

Fractional odds are favored in the United Kingdom and Ireland and are commonly used in horse racing. This represents what a person would be paid for their bet if they win. If the odds on a horse were 10/1, and you placed a bet for that horse to win, then you would stand to win $10 for every dollar wagered, plus your original bet. A 1/5 bet would mean you would be receiving $2 for every $10 dollars wagered, plus the original bet.

Decimal odds are used across Europe, Canada and Australia. These odds are represented by a decimal, but are not just the decimal equivalent of fractional odds. Decimal odds represent what the bettor would win for a successful wager, including the original bet. To calculate the decimal odds you could add one to the fractional odds and compute the decimal value. Therefore, our 10/1 shot from above would be represented as 11 in decimal odds, and the 1/5 odds would equate to 1.2.

These are three different ways odds are represented for sports betting. It is vital for you to understand what the numbers mean before placing your bets. In this section of Ask The Odds, we will cover the many different ways to bet on sporting events. This can be extremely fun and exciting, but can be very confusing if you are not familiar with the bets and terms. Browse this section to help educate yourself and hopefully give yourself an advantage when making a wager.