What are sports betting odds, how do they work - explained

A look at what are sports betting odds, how do they work - explained as we dive into it.

Interested in betting on sports, but don’t understand a thing about it?

Well, let us help. For sports gambling beginners, the first thing you have learn is odds. Let’s use Week 8 of the NFL season for example. The Houston Texans (4-3) host the Miami Dolphins (4-3) on Thursday Night Football (8:20 p.m. ET on FOX).

Now, FanDuel, for example, has the game listed as:

Miami Dolphins +7.5 (-110)

Houston Texans -7.5 (-110)

For someone just dipping their toe into the sports betting waters, this could look like some sort of foreign mathematical equation. But it’s not, so there’s nothing to fear.

You can bet on all sports at FanDuel Sportsbook right now. Click here to bet on sports at FanDuel.

The -7.5 signals that oddsmakers at FanDuel have named the Texans as the favorites playing at home on Thursday night. That means, the Texans would need to win the game by eight points or more to cover the spread and win the bet. If they cover that margin and you bet $110, you’ll win $100. If you’d bet $11, you’d win $10. An $1,100 bet on the Texans would get you $1,000.

Now, on the other hand, the underdog Dolphins would need to win or not lose the game by more than seven points to win the bet.

So, let’s say the Texans defeat the Dolphins, 27-20. Although they’re victorious, if you bet $100 on Houston, you’d be out of one Benjamin Franklin because it didn’t win by at least eight points. If you bet on the Dolphins, even though they lost on the field, your bank account wouldn’t know it, as you’d be $100 richer since they lost by seven points or less.

Let’s go with another game, with the undefeated Los Angeles Rams (7-0) hostingthe Green Bay Packers (3-2-1) on Sunday (4:25 p.m. ET on FOX).

FanDuel has that game’s odds listed as:

Green Bay Packers +9.5 (-110)

Los Angeles Rams -9.5 (-110)


The Rams in this case are the favorites, meaning they’d need to win the game by 10 points or more to cover the spread and win the bet. Not an easy task against Aaron Rodgers. Conversely, the Packers would need to win or not lose by more than nine points for you to win the bet.

Most sports’ odds work in the same way and look similar, so, comb through as many as possible until you get comfortable. Then, wager wisely.