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Soccer Betting Odds Explained

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Before you place a bet, you need to understand the terminology and be able to read soccer betting odds.

Most people think that picking the winner of a soccer match is the most important thing when making soccer bets.

However, professional sports bettors understand that the most important thing about soccer betting is knowing which odds are correct.

Read on to learn how to read soccer betting odds.

What Are Betting Odds

Betting odds tell you how much you can win from making a bet. The betting lines are constantly balanced by sportsbooks to ensure they get enough action on both sides.

Soccer betting odds are displayed in three formats:

  • American Betting Odds
  • Fractional Betting Odds
  • Decimal Betting Odds

Most sportsbooks allow you to change them based on your personal preference but they’ll default based on your lofcation.

American Soccer Betting Odds

The American odds favorite is displayed by a ‘-‘ sign and shows you how much you need to bet to win $100.

On the other hand, the American odds underdog is displayed by a ‘+’ sign and shows you how much you can win from a $100 bet.

Here is an example of how American soccer odds are displayed:

American soccer betting odds


American odds show how much you need to wager on the favorite to make $100 profit. However, not everyone bets in $100 units so another formula is needed to calculate how much to risk:

Risk Amount = (Favorite Odds / 100) * Amount To Win

So for example, if your standard bets are measured in $150 units:

Risk Amount = (600/100) * $200 = 6 * $150 = $900

Therefore, we would need to risk $900 to win $150.


For reference, here are the odds again:

American soccer betting odds

In the American odds format, when betting on the underdog, sportsbooks show you much you will win from a $100 bet.

If you aren’t using $100 unit sizes, here how you calculate how much you will win:

Amount To Win = (Underdog Odds / 100) * Risk Amount

So if you’re betting sizes are in $150 units:

Amount To Win = (1,200/100) * $150 = 12 * $150 = $1,800

Therefore, a $150 bet on Rayo Vallecano would win $1,800.


For completeness, betting on the Draw uses the same formula as betting on the underdog.

Fractional Soccer Betting Odds

Here is the same soccer match as above but displayed as fractional odds:

Fractional soccer betting odds

Look at the numbers on either side of the fraction to work out which team is the favorite and which team is the underdog.

If the top number (numerator) is smaller than the bottom number (denominator), that team is the favorite. Likewise, if the numerator is bigger than the denominator, that team is the underdog.

Use the following formula to calculate how much you would profit using fractional odds:

Profit = (Numerator / Denominator) * Bet Size

For example, a $100 bet on Barcelona would profit $16.67, a $100 bet on Rayo Vallecano would profit $1,200 and a $100 bet on a draw would profit $650.

Decimal Soccer Betting Odds

Soccer betting decimal odds are different to American and fractional odds; they produce the total money returned rather than just the profit.

Here is that same soccer game but shown in decimal betting odds:

Decimal soccer betting odds

If the decimal is less than 2.0, that team is the favorite. If the decimal is greater than 2.0, that team is the favorite.

For completion, odds will be usually greater than 2.0 when betting on a Draw.

To calculate the total money returned, multiply your bet by the decimal odds:

Total Money Returned = Decimal Odds * Bet Size

So, if you bet $100 on Barcelona, your total payout would be $116. If you bet $100 on Rayo Vallecano, your total payout would be $1,300.

The profit can then be calculated by subtracting the original bet from the total money returned.

So a $100 bet on Barcelona would make $16 profit and a $100 bet on Sevilla would make $1,200 profit.


You’ll now be able to read soccer odds no matter the format and understand all the associated payouts.

If you have any questions about this article or anything else, contact us on Twitter.

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