Decimal, Fractional, and Moneyline: How Do Odds Work in Football?


Thinking of betting on the NFL? If so, the first thing you need to learn is how to read and interpret the betting odds.

So, how do odds work in football? Well, there are three main types of odds: decimal, fractional, and Moneyline. That said, the only thing that separates them is how they present the bet. They hold no difference when it comes to payouts.

Want to know more about how to read football odds? Here’s a short guide:

Decimal Odds

Decimal odds are also known as European or digital odds. Of the three types, the decimals are the easiest to read and understand.

The decimal odds number tells you how much you win for every $1 wagered. Your stake is already included in the number, making payout calculations easier. For example, let’s say that the Lions are playing the Rams. The odds may look like this:

Detroit Lions: 4.00

Los Angeles Rams: 1.3

If you bet $100 on the Lions to win, your total payout would be $400 (100 x 4). With the initial stake of $100, your net profit would come out to $300. These prices show that bookmakers believe that the Rams are the heavy favorite in this game.

Fractional Odds

Fractional odds are often written with a hyphen (-) or a slash (/). They’re used by many major bookmakers, making them the most popular odds in the world.

A fractional listing of 6-1 odds means you win $6 against every $1 you wager. You would also receive your initial stake back, resulting in a payout of $7. By staking $10 at 6/1 odds, your total payout would be $70 (60 + 10).

Let’s assume that you want to bet on the Super Bowl winner. Here’s a selection of the three teams that have the lowest odds against winning:

Kansas City Chiefs: 10/11

Green Bay Packers: 9/4

New Orleans Saints: 7/1

It’s easy to deduce that the Chiefs are leading the pack at the moment. Betting $100 on the Chiefs would result in a mere $90.91 profit. Once you add the initial stake, your total payout would come out to $190.91.

In this case, the other two teams provide much better odds. If you bet on the Packers, you’d win $9 against each $4. By wagering $100 on them, you’d receive a profit of $225 [100 x (9/4)] alongside your initial stake.

Moneyline Odds

Moneyline is the most popular type of odds in the United States. You can spot the favorite by noting a minus (-) sign next to their name.

With the Moneyline, you get the initial wager along with the amount won. Let’s say you’ve scoured this week’s NFL picks and decided to bet on the Bears – Seahawks game. Here’s what the odds may look like:

Chicago Bears: +585

Seattle Seahawks: -760

The odds of +585 tell us that the Bears have a very low chance (about 15%) to win the game. If you bet $100 on them, your total payout would be $685 (585 + 100). If you go with the Seahawks, you would need to bet $760 to win $100.

More on How Do Odds Work in Football

Hopefully, this answers your question of, “How do odds work in football?” Again, these are merely three different ways of presenting the same thing. When it comes to NFL football odds, you should only care about the wager itself. Get your Packers tickets so you can see them play in person or, if you’re fortunate, meet the players before or after the game; nothing beats that excitement.

Interested in the football odds this week? Want to learn about the history of NFL betting in the United States? Keep reading our NFL-related content!