MLB Odds Explained

In this section you will find the three types of MLB odds explained. There are three main ways MLB Odds, or any sports betting odds for that matter, can be displayed. These three types of betting odds are: American Odds, Decimal Odds (our odds of choice) and Fractional Odds.


Decimal odds Explained

Decimal Odds (also often referred to as “Canadian Odds”) are by far the easiest odds to understand. For this reason, we always display decimal odds with our MLB Tips. To begin our explanation of Decimal Odds, please take a look at the following example:


Chicago White Sox 2.14

LAA Angels 1.78


Take a look at the bottom selection, the Los Angeles Angels, listed at odds of 1.78. The first digit (“1″) indicates that your wager will pay less than even money. Why you ask? Well, the first digit expressed in the odds must be at least a “2″ to pay even money. This may sound complicated at first, but it is very simple. If you make a $100 wager on the Angels at odds of 1.78, and your wager wins, you will win $78 profit (plus your bet back if you win), so you have now turned your $100 into a total of $178.


Here is the very simple math equation: $100 x 1.78= $178 total return – $100 wagered = $78 profit.


When calculated as shown, decimal odds will always give you the total return with your wager. To calculate only the profit on your wager, you would simply use this equation:

$100 x .78= $78 profit.


Lets take a look at the White Sox, at odds of 2.14. Since the first digit (“2″) is greater than 1, we know this wager will pay at least even money. How much more? Well, the digits on the right of the decimal place will tell us the answer. Simply use the same formula from the first example:


To calculate total return:

$100 x 2.14= $214 total return – $100 wagered = $114 profit.

And to calculate only the profit:

$100 x 1.14= $114 profit.


Decimal odds are literally that easy! Use the exact same formula every time, simply substitute your wager amount and the actual odds of your selection. There is no limit on how high the odds might go! It’s not uncommon to see a big underdog at odds similar to 3.09 or something of that nature.

Here’s what would happen with odds of 3.09 on a big underdog:

$100 wagered x 3.09= $309 total return – $100 wagered = $209 total profit.


to calculate only the profit: $100 x 2.09 = $209 profit.


American Odds Explained

American odds are far more difficult than decimal odds, and generally assume that the bettor will either be “betting x amount to win $100″, or will “win $100 betting x amount”. You’ve probably seen these odds posted all over television (the score channel perhaps), or in a Vegas sports book. When you see American Odds, you will see both a positive (“+”) number, and a negative (“-”) number. Take a look at the following example:


Kansas City Royals +110

Cleveland Indians -124

If you were to wager on the Indians, you would have to bet $124 to win $100.

The negative (“-”) sign indicates that you must risk more than $100, to win $100. How much more? Well, the number to the right of the negative sign is how much you must wager to win $100. In our example, the Indians are listed a -124, therefore to win $100 we must wager $124.


The positive (“+”) sign indicates that you can risk less than $100, to win $100. Take a look at the Royals, +110. What this means is that if you risk $100, you will win $110.


As you can see, American odds are not easily calculable at all, and they are based on a bettor either betting $100 per wager to win more, or betting more than $100 to win $100.


Luckily for you, any major sports book will allow you to adjust the odds to whichever format you prefer. However, if you are stuck in such a situation that American odds are the only ones listed (Vegas for instance), here’s how to convert American Odds to Decimal Odds:

 How to convert American Odds to Decimal Odds:

American Odds paying less than even money ( “-” sign):

(100/odds) +1 = decimal odds.


Let’s try it out. We will convert the Indians -124 to Decimal odds:

(100/124) = .806 + 1 = 1.806. The decimal odds for Cleveland -124 read 1.806.


Now, for American Odds paying more than even money (“+” sign):

(odds/100) + 1 = decimal odds


Here’s Kansas City +110 converted to decimal odds:

(110/100) = 1.1 + 1 = 2.10. The decimal odds for Kansas City +110 reads 2.10.


Fractional Odds Explained

If you’ve been to a horse racing track, you’ve experienced fractional odds first hand. Fractional odds are (you guess it) displayed as a fraction. Fractional odds display the amount you will win, in profit.

Let’s take a look at the following example:

Horse “A” : 10/1


If you were to make a wager on Horse “A”, you will receive ten (10) times your wager if you win. If you make $100 wager on Horse A and it’s a winner, you’ve won $1000 profit. Your total rake would be $1100, as you get your winning bet back.


Regardless of the numbers listed in fractional odds, follow these easy steps.

You must simply multiply the numerator (the first or top number, in this case 10) by your total wager (in this case, $100), and then divide that number by the denominator (the second or bottom number) to get your total profit. When the denominator is “1″, the calculation is very simple. But what if the bottom number isn’t “1″?


Just follow the same simple calculation. Let’s use something ugly looking like this:

Horse “B”: 22/25

Now, that looks a little more complicated, but all you have to do is stick to the same simple formula. If you are making a $100 wager, multiply that by your numerator (“22″) to get a sum of $2200. Simply divide $2200 by the denominator (25) and you will quickly find your total profit of $88.

Here is the very simple calculation: $100 x 22 = $2200. $2200 / 25 = $88.

Here’s a quick way to convert Fractional odds to decimal odds:


Simply divide your numerator by your denominator, and add “1″.

Example: 22/25= .88 + 1 = 1.88. The decimal odds for 22/25 is 1.88!

Example 2: 10/1 = 10 + 1 = 11. The decimal odds for 10/1 is 11.00!


And there you have it, you now understand the three types of betting odds. Your sports book of choice should allow you to select whichever odds your prefer!

 Next: Money Line  & Money Line 3-Way