How to Read Odds

I know, you’re looking at all those numbers and thinking, “Nevermind, I have no idea what I’m doing, I won’t bother.” Believe me, I was so NOT a math major in college. In fact, I had trouble figuring out my grocery store budget for the week. But I learned how to get my numbers right. Down below, I’m going to walk you through all those numbers and give you the scoop on what it all means!

Betting on entertainment events and celebrities is called Proposition Betting or Prop Betting. Basically, it’s just a fancy way of terming these kind of bets as exotic, and not your average sporting event bet. You’re betting on the proposition of something happening in the future, rather than knowing the advantages of a team, like in football and baseball betting.

BetUS: Money Lines

First we’ll look at how both BetUS and put up their odds. They have their entertainment props in a money line style of betting. Basically it means that the odds that are up on the outcome of the most likely event, from that point of view, will be indicated with a minus (-) and the least likely, from that point of view, with a plus (+). It took me a minute to think it through, but when you see our example, it’ll make more sense.

View Full Size | Go To BetUS The picture of the BetUS page is the props for the winner of “The Biggest Loser,” either male or female. Because either sex could win the reality show, the numbers are relatively small and have either a plus or minus sign in front of the number. That means these events are very likely or unlikely to happen, depending on how the competition is going at that particular point in the season.

In this prop we have Male at -420 and Female at +260. If we were able to bet with no restrictions on the limit, if we wanted the guys to win we would have to put down $420 to make $100 (and get back the original $420 we put in). And the females at this point in the series don’t look likely to win, so they have a plus sign, meaning they’re the underdogs. So if the girls were to pull out the upset at the end of the season, if you put down $100 on them, you’d get $260 along with the original $100 back. Now, if we wanted to scale it down to money we could actually bet with the limits in place, betting $42 on the guys and they win nets you $10 plus the $40, and betting $10 on the girls and they win nets you $26 plus the original $10. Still doesn’t make sense? Just drop us a question and we’ll be happy to help.

Bodog: Money Lines & Fractions

Last, let’s look at Bodog. Bodog has their props up in both money lines and fractions.
You already know how the money lines work (you can look at how Bodog puts up those kind of odds with the picture of the Donald Trump/Melania Knauss baby). Click on the full size to see those odds. View Full Size | Go To Bodog

View Full Size | Go To Bodog The fractions work in a similar way to the decimals. The other picture there is the odds up for The Apprentice: Martha Stewart going into week four of the show. By now, anyone who was up with odds and has been eliminated has been removed from the list of odds. Say, the week before this, you had money down on Shawn winning, you lost all your money, since she was fired. If you look at the full size picture, it’ll totally help.

Fractions work like this: The bottom number indicates the number you would multiply by your bet, and the top number is the number you would multiply by to figure out how much you won that you would add to amount that you bet. Let’s break this down. Right now the least favored to win, according to the oddsmakers, is Amanda at 14/1 (or 14-to-1). That means if you put down $10 on her to get hired, you’d win $140, and get back your $10. The favored person to win right now is Bethenny at 2/1, which means that if you put down $10 on her to go all the way, you’ll win $20. Now, you’ll see that both Howie and Dawna are at 7/2 odds, which means that if you put down $20, you’ll get $70 if they win the competition, plus your $20 back. Let us know if you have any questions!

Make sense? Now armed with the info on the numbers, it’s time to start playing those numbers and make a little cocktail cash!

RJ Bell is the founder of Pregame.com – Where sports bettors get ready. RJ has been an expert contributor to Maxim Magazine, CNN.com, About.com, and ABC News – and has won 3 world handicapping championships! Located in Las Vegas, the Pregame.com team works at adding to your betting confidence with powerful game insights and sportsbook reviews. FreePicksByEmail.com, the biggest daily sports betting newsletter, delivers help from famous handicappers.

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