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How to Read Esports Odds

Steven D. Thompson


One thing you will always come across at sportsbooks, irrespective of your betting selection, is odds. They usually appear beside individual betting markets and are essential for calculating payouts. If you want to be a successful punter at sports or esports betting in general, you need to understand how odds work. Here, you will learn how odds work and how to read and particularly understand esports betting odds. Before that, let's briefly look into esports.

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Table of Contents

    What are Esports and Esports Betting?

    Esports, also known as electronic sports, are online video game competitions ranging from first-person shooters like CS: Global Offensive to multiplayer online battle arenas (MOBA), League of Legends and other esports games.

    Online esports betting is similar to standard sports betting. They share the same basics, odds format and options like outright betting, handicap, total score and over/under bets. You can also check our comprehensive esports betting guides here at Betpack.

    What are Betting Odds? What are Betting Odds?

    What are Betting Odds?

    Esports odds represent the probability of an event to occur. Through numbers, they show what the outcome of a game or an event is likely to be. They also help you determine your chance of winning and the profit you can make when you bet on esports.

    For instance, let's say a bookmaker attaches a 1.00 odd to Team A in a match and gives 3.00 odds to the second team. It simply means that the first team has a higher chance of winning in the bookmaker's view.

    If you stake £1 on Team B to win at 3.00 odds, your potential returns will be  £2 plus your initial £1 bet- that's £3 in total winnings.

    Bookmakers fix match odds by evaluating facts like match history, individual player abilities, and many other things. There are three popular ways you will see odds displayed at sports betting sites, including fractional, decimal and American.

    These three odds formats are different in how you read and calculate them. You can find a detailed guide of the three different odds formats and read and understand them regarding esports games.

    Fractional Odds

    Fractional odds are the oldest and most popular odds format in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Initially used in horse racing, this type of odds is always displayed fractionally. It involves two numbers separated by a slash (/) or a hyphen (-).

    The numerator or first number on the left represents the outcome or amount you will get from your bet. The denominator or second number on the right is the amount you need to stake.

    For instance, fractional odds of 4/1 gives you a return of £4 for every £1 you wager. In addition to the £4, you will get your initial £1 stake giving you a total return of £5.

    How to Calculate Fractional Odds

    Calculate your esports fractional listing using this simple formula:

    Total Payout= Stake x (Numerator/Denominator)] + Stake Where: numerator/denominator is the fractional odd 

    For instance, let's say a bookmaker lists the following odds for an upcoming match between two English Premier League teams. 

    Manchester United 10/11

    Watford 7/1

    The listings show that Manchester United is the favourite to win while Watford is the underdog. You only win £10 against every £11 you wager on Manchester United to win. However, for every £1 you wager on Watford, you will win £7.

    Using the example above, if you bet £30 on Manchester United to win, you could profit £27.27 [30 x (10/11)]. Add the initial stake of £30, and your total payout would be £57.27.

    Wager that same amount on Watford to win [30 x (7/1)], and you could win £210. With your £30 bet, your total winnings would be £240.

    Decimal Odds Decimal Odds

    Decimal Odds

    Sportsbooks widely use decimal odds in New Zealand, Canada, Australia, continental Europe, and Africa. This odd format is easier to understand and calculate compared to the previous one. 

    Another benefit of this format is that it tells you your exact payout (winning + initial bet) when you stake on it. You can also calculate the percentage easily by dividing 100 by the decimal listing. For instance, the percentage of 2.5 odds will give us 40% (100/2.5).

    How to Calculate Decimal Odds

    Calculating the returns on your esports bets with decimal odds is simple. Just use the following formula.

    Total Payout= [Stake x Odds]

    For instance, here are the betting odds offered by a bookmaker for two teams in La Liga; Barcelona 1.19 vs Grenada 16.00.

    From the listings, Barcelona is the favourite to win with just 1.19 odds, while Grenada is the underdog with a massive 16.00. It's quite easy to grasp the basic understanding; the higher the odds and payout, the less probable it is for the listed team to win.

    If one bets £10 on Barcelona to win, he/she can get a total profit of £11.9 (£10 x 1.19). This amount also includes your initial bet of £10. However, place the same £10 on Grenada to win, and you could get a total payout of £160 (£10 x 16.00).

    To decide your net profit from the total amount earned, deduct your bet from the total payout. In this case, calculate £160 - £10 and your net profit is £150.

    American Odds

    American odds are also known as money line odds. This odd format is prevalent in the USA and used by some sportsbooks in Canada as well.

    Although it may look uniquely challenging, it's actually easy to calculate when you get the hang of it. Money line odds usually come with a plus (+) and minus (-) sign.

    The minus sign (-) accompanies odds for favourites. It indicates the amount you must stake to land a win of £100. A team with a -150 odds means you need to bet £150 to win £100.

    The odds for underdogs are followed by a positive sign (+). It shows the amount you will win for every £100 you wager. For instance, odds of +300 means you might win £300 if you bet £100.

    How to Calculate American Odds

    Formula to calculate - Odds (100/odds x your bet)

    Total Return = Profit + Initial bet

    Use this for + Odds (Odds/100 x your wager)

    Total Return= Profit + Initial Bet

    Here is an example to get a better understanding of American odds.

    Most bookmakers have a similar listing of NBA odds, with The Nets as the favourite to emerge the 20221-22 NBA season winner with +260 odds. The Magic is the least underdog to win the title with a whopping +100,000 odds. 

    Bet £50 on the Nets to win the title and you will get £130 in net profit.

    (260/100 x 50) 

    Profit = £130

    Total Return = £130 + £50 

    = £180

    Here is a look at another money line eSports bet;

    Celtics -165

    Rockets -140

    The bookmaker sees the Celtics as the favourite in this game with -165 odds. A £30 bet credits stake on the Celtics at -165 odds would give you £18.18 in net profit. 

    (100/165 x 30)

    Profit = £18.18

    Total Return = £18.18 + £30

    = £48.18

    Final Thoughts Final Thoughts

    Final Thoughts 

    Although esports may look far more different than traditional ones, the odds are actually no different from regular sports betting.

    Depending on the location, bookmakers present competitive odds using three main formats; fractional odds (primarily popular in the UK), decimal odds (widely used in Canada, Australia, Africa etc.) and American or money line odds (popular in the US). 

    If you want to be a professional in the esports betting world, then you need to know how to read esport odds and the formats.

    However, if you find reading some odds too challenging, you can always use odds converter tools online. They allow you to calculate odds in any format as well as your net profit and total returns. In addition, feel free to discover our recommended esports betting sites. Thanks to our list, you can easily find betting special offers and compare the top 10 free bets and reload bonuses.

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