What Are Sports Betting Odds?

If you’re new to betting, chances are you’ve heard of the concept of betting odds. They’re always there on the sports betting exchange, where you place a wager on the outcome of a sporting event. For example, you might see +300 for a win, -200 for a loss, and +100 for a tie.

While this might seem like basic knowledge, it can be challenging to understand exactly what these numbers mean. Luckily, we’ve got you covered on this front. Here, we’re going to teach you the basics of reading and interpreting sports betting odds.

Understanding The Odds’ Basics

Before you begin interpreting odds, it’s important to understand the fundamentals of how they work. Most sportsbooks give away free odds, so it’s usually easy to get a sense of what they mean. For example, if you were to look at the odds for the 2020 NCAA football championship, you’d see something like this:

  • Ohio State is the current favorite at +350
  • The Bucks (Wisconsin) are at +240
  • Michigan +350
  • Iowa +400
  • Nebraska +450
  • Notre Dame +500

Let’s break down each of these numbers for clarity’s sake.

The Favorites

The favorite in this scenario is Ohio State, according to the betting exchanges. If you’ve ever placed a bet on the Super Bowl or the NCAA football championship, you might be familiar with this term. In the grand scheme of things, the favorite is considered the one the casino or bookmaker thinks you’ll most likely bet on if presented with a choice. They want to encourage you to place a wager on them because they feel like the safest choice.

It’s also important to keep in mind that not all favorites will payout the same as you might expect. For example, if you look at the 2020 NCAA football odds, you’ll see that Kansas State is the favorite at +600, but their payout is only +300.

The Banker’s Advantage

The betting exchanges also give you the opportunity to bet on the “banker’s advantage,” which is offered at most sportsbooks and lets you choose which side of the bet you want to back. For example, if you were to look at the 2020 Kentucky Derby odds, you’d see something like this:

  • Traditionally, Kentucky Derby winners are paid out at odds of 7-2 or higher
  • This year, with COVID restrictions making it difficult for people to attend sporting events, the Derby has changed its format in an attempt to accommodate online sports betting
  • As the name would imply, the “banker’s advantage” allows you to bet on whether or not a certain team will win, with the house taking a commission on each winning bet

This option gives sportsbooks an additional revenue stream, as fans are more likely to wager on their favorite team due to loyalty or emotional attachment. It also provides the bookmaker with an incentive to ensure that their favorite team wins. Last but not least, the “banker’s advantage” allows you to get a taste of live betting, as you’ll be placing your wagers against the advice of a skilled representative who will watch the game closely and alert you to any irregularities. You can also choose to have a free replay of the game if you’re not satisfied with the outcome of your original wager.


Each sportsbook will have detailed payouts for each team and event, so you can always go back to the source if you want to know more about a certain team’s payout. It’s also important to remember that winnings are subject to tax laws in the area in which you reside. However, as a general rule of thumb, winnings over $10,000 are required to be reported to the IRS.

One last thing to keep in mind is that not all “odds” are created equal. This is primarily due to the fact that most sportsbooks give away free odds, so the number can be somewhat misleading. It would be best to look at the money line rather than the “over/under” column to get a better idea of how much each team is really worth. For example, the over-under for the 2020 Super Bowl was 39.5 points; however, the money line indicates that the New England Patriots are favored at -155, as opposed to the underdogs New York Jets at +125.

Hopefully, this has helped to clear up some of the basic concepts surrounding sports betting odds. Now, it’s time to get into some real numbers so that you can start applying this knowledge to your upcoming bets!

The 2020 NCAA Football Championship

The 2020 NCAA football championship is currently being played and has reached the stage where we can start taking bets. Here are the current odds from five popular sportsbooks:

  • Ohio State is favored at 8.0
  • Michigan at 14.0
  • Wisconsin at 14.0
  • Iowa at 18.0
  • Nebraska at 32.0
  • Notre Dame at 40.0

As was the case with most of this year’s major sporting events, there’s a wide spread in the betting markets for the upcoming championship. While some books are offering huge odds on some of these teams, it’s important to keep in mind that these odds can vary from sportsbook to sportsbook. For example, the Chicago Cubs are at +600 at one book, while they’re at -400 at another. It’s also important to note that a team’s odds are usually dictated by a number of factors. In the case of the 2021 NCAA football championship, several key factors are listed below:


Of course, the weather in Chicago will have a major impact on the betting lines for the 2021 NCAA football championship. It’s currently 83 degrees and sunny, and the forecast for the week is a beautiful, beautiful day. If you’re looking for a sunny day out, you can’t go wrong betting on football!

For those of you who are still wondering what are sports betting odds, you’re in the right place. This article will teach you the basics of reading and interpreting sports betting odds so that you can become a more confident and knowledgeable sports bettor. Stay tuned, and good luck!