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Football Betting Odds Explained: Guide for Newbies

When you finally decide to start betting on football, one of the trickiest parts is familiarizing yourself with how the odds work. As a beginner, football betting odds can be confusing, difficult to understand, and completely overwhelming — but not for long. Once you get into the swing of things and place your first few bets, understanding the odds becomes much easier. And pretty quickly, you’ll be like the pros, meaning you no longer have to read odds or analyze them too closely to understand how much to bet.

So, if this sounds helpful to you, the following guide is going to explain how football betting odds work as well as everything else in-between. Whether you’re a fan of Premier League, LaLiga, or Serie A, it’ll help get you ready for all things football betting-related. Let’s go.

⚽💸 Football Betting Odds Explained – How They Work

Football betting odds are designed to show you how much money you’ll win based on the amount of money you wager. In most places around the world, including Europe, betting sites normally use decimal odds or fractional odds. With the US and Canada, it’s normally moneyline odds. If you speak to any bettor, they’ll tell you that they have a personal favorite out of the three types of odds, so you’ll need to figure yours out over time once you start betting.

Let’s imagine that you want to bet £10 on Arsenal to beat Manchester City in a Premier League game and these are the odds conversions for Arsenal to win:

 Decimal Fractional Moneyline Returns 3.00 2/1 +200 £30

Naturally, these odds look different due to the fact they’re represented in different forms, but they still payout the same. In this case, a £10 bet at ‘3.00’, ‘2/1’, or ‘+200’, would return £30, which makes for a £20 profit. Essentially, it’s all about choosing the odds you find simple and are comfortable with, whether it’s decimal, fractional, or moneyline.

Decimal Betting Odds

Decimal odds are the easiest of all the football betting odds to understand. They’re shown as one number and represent the amount of money you’d win from a £1 bet. For example, heading into the 2024/25 Premier League season, most bookmakers have Aston Villa with ‘25.00’ odds to win the title. So, if you were to bet £100 on Aston Villa to do this, the return would be £250. Make sense? Great. As a beginner, it’s a good idea to start with decimal odds first so that you can quickly get into a flow and understand the basics of betting.

Fractional Betting Odds

Next, there are fractional odds, which are also extremely popular across European and African football betting markets. Fractional odds are represented with a slash (/) and are quite easy to understand. For instance, if the odds of Arsenal winning the Champions League are 10/1, this means you’d win back £10 for every £1 you bet — simple.

And as you would expect, the higher the fractional odds, the less likely an event is to happen. Back in 2016, you’ll no doubt remember when newly-promoted Leicester City won the Premier League and shocked the world. At the start of the season, the odds of them winning the league were listed at 5,000/1, which in football betting terms means the event is never going to happen.

However, 47 people still decided to bet on Leicester winning the league. One person even bet 10p, earning themselves £500 back and the accolade of “smartest 10p bet ever placed”.

Moneyline Betting Odds

Lastly, there are moneyline football betting odds, which are most commonly used in the US and Canada. Compared to decimal and fractional odds, they can be a little more complicated because they use ‘+’ and ‘-’ symbols. When the odds have a ‘+’ symbol, it means you’ll win more money but the event is less likely to happen.

Then, when the odds are ‘-’, it means you’ll win less money but the event is probable. And for each moneyline bet you place, the numbers are based around what  a standard £100 bet would return. For example, -500 odds means you need to wager £500 to win £100. But if the odds are +500, this means betting £100 wins you £500.

How to Convert Football Betting Odds

In most cases, people have a favorite type of football betting odds (e.g. fractional). When they join betting sites, they then choose the type of odds they want to see. Or, if those odds aren’t available, they’ll use a betting odds converter to help them out, such as converting +400 moneyline odds to 4/1 fractional odds.

Once the conversion is done, they can confidently place the bet knowing exactly how much money they would win back, whether they’re betting on a Champions League game or who will win the Premier League golden boot.

Where to Place Football Bets

You can place football bets using the low deposit bookies listed on BettingTools. What’s great about this is that you can check these bookies to see the type of odds that they use. With a big bookie like bet365, they use decimal odds by default. However, some bookies offer all types of odds and allow you to select the type of football betting odds you want to see after creating an account.

And remember, these are low deposit betting sites, so you don’t have to deposit much money to start playing, which is ideal for newbie bettors who are on a budget or perhaps don’t want to bet much money.

Final Thoughts

In the world of football betting, you’ll need to choose from decimal, fractional, and moneyline odds. Every bettor has their own personal favorite, so it’s down to figure out what yours is. The best way to go about doing this is by experimenting with the different odds to see which you find easiest to understand.

This way, you’ll then be able to place faster, smarter, and more well-informed football bets moving into the future, no matter which sportsbook you’re using.