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The emergence of live odds for sports betting has made wagering on big events far more convenient now, but what do you need to know about the odds?

Thankfully, this subject isn’t as complicated as you might think, and by reading on you’ll soon understand how these odds work and what to look for.

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Betting Odds Explained

You can place a betting line for just about any major sport and, in some cases, you can choose from a variety of odds for different outcomes. For example, you could bet on the outright winner of a game, the winning margin, or whether the total points will be over or under a certain figure.

We’ll look in a moment at the different types of sports betting odds fans can choose from, and some of the most popular sports that they’re available in. The layout is very similar across all sports, although you can obviously bet on some different things in each case.

Who Sets the Odds for Sportsbooks?

Have you ever looked at the odds for a certain outcome and wondered how the sportsbook reached that figure? Maybe you think the odds should be different. The truth is that every sportsbook analyzes a vast quantity of data to calculate what they consider to be the best and fairest odds at any given time.

This takes into account factors such as recent results, what happened the last time the teams met, and any injury issues that could affect the team selection. After crunching the numbers using powerful computer programs, the sportsbook staff will manually review their odds and then release them onto their site. As for live bets, the sportsbook will calculate the changing possibilities and issue new odds constantly as the game is played.

How to Read Sports Betting Odds?

In general terms, the odds on sports betting are easy to read once you understand a few basic concepts. There’s no need to be an expert to understand the latest odds today and decide which ones you want to choose.

  • For example, the money line bet is a straightforward wager on who will win the game.
  • In this case, the favorite has a negative number and the underdog will have a positive figure.
  • The negative figure tells you how much you need to bet to earn $100 in profit.
  • The positive number is the amount you’ll win for betting $100.

Things are made easier by the fact that online sportsbooks let you immediately see the potential return when you enter some basic details on your bet slip. In this way, you can try a few different approaches until you find a wager that you like the look of and has a good return that seems worth the effort. You then need to confirm the bet and wait to see what happens.

Which Factors Impact Betting Odds?

Every sport is different, but there are some things they all have in common that help us to understand how the odds are worked out. For example, let’s say that you’re a basketball fan and see that the Minnesota Vikings are playing the Chicago Bears.

At the time of writing, the Vikings won the last meeting of the teams and if their recent form is also better then it’s easy to see why they should be the favorites.

But what if the Vikings are hit by a mystery virus that wipes out half their roster in the days before the game? In that case, the Bears begin to look more likely to win.

Sportsbooks also need to consider whether the current weather suits a certain team or whether behind-the-scenes problems could have an effect. With so many different things that could happen in the build-up, you might feel that you can spot something the sportsbook has failed to take fully into account.

What Odds Are Available on Clutchbet Sportsbooks?

  • NFL – Football is the biggest sport here and you’ll find a wide range of NFL bets.
  • NCAAF – College football is also hugely popular with bettors.
  • NCAAB – College basketball gives you another way to place some bets.
  • NBA – The appeal of the world’s biggest basketball league is easy to see.
  • NHL – Ice hockey betting adds to the excitement of this sport.
  • MLB – If you want to bet on baseball, you’ll find betting odds to choose from.
  • Soccer – The MLS and other soccer leagues are increasingly popular choices.
  • UFC – Mixed martial arts events can be found in sportsbooks too.
  • Tennis – The major Grand Slam tournaments are among your options.
  • Boxing – Find odds on the upcoming big fight nights.
  • Nascar – Motorsports fans can also look for their favorites.

Money Line Bets

The money line is the example we looked at earlier, as it’s the simplest type of bet. We can get an even clearer idea of how it works by looking at the current example of the Milwaukee Bucks (-286) vs the Orlando Magic (+235).

If you think that the Bucks will win the game, then a $286 wager on money line wager would earn you $100 if you get it right. On the other hand, if you believe that Orlando will win the game then a $100 bet would give you a $235 profit.

This makes it the type of sports bet that pretty much anyone can make. All you need to do is think about which team you expect to win and then look to see whether the latest odds today make it a worthwhile wager for you to place.

Point Spreads

The spread bet is more difficult to get right, as you need to say who will win and also the winning margin. This means that the odds are more generous than for a money line bet. If we go back to the Bucks vs the Magic game, we can see that Milwaukee is at -110 for a seven-point spread. This means that you get $110 on a $100 bet if they win by seven points or more.

As for Orlando, they’re also at -110 based on current sports betting odds, but this time it’s for a +7 margin, meaning that you only need them to win the game or else lose it by fewer than seven points. It adds some extra excitement when you follow the game, and it can also be a way of trying to get a bigger win if you’re confident about which team will win.


Futures are ideal for anyone who likes to look ahead and try to work out what might happen in games that won’t be played for a few weeks or months. With future bets, you can wager on who wins the Super Bowl or the NBA Finals even before we know which teams are going to be taking part.

This means that it’s more difficult to get right than an event that’s going to take place today or tomorrow. There are so many things that can happen in terms of injuries or teams losing or gaining confidence that the odds for futures tend to be more generous than for more immediate upcoming games.

You could look at this as meaning that the sooner you place your wager the better, and it certainly means that you’ll have an extra degree of interest in the events leading up to the eventual game that you’ve bet on.

Prop Bets

With prop bets, you’re looking at something specific happening during the game, such as the number of touchdowns scored or the number of rebounds. They’re divided into team and player props, and tend to include some of the most interesting possible wagers on any sporting event.

This is the sort of wager you can approach on a fun basis or by really diving into the statistics. For example, what if there’s a certain player that always seems to perform extremely well against this opponent, or certain tactics that you think will produce the right outcome for you to win?


There may be cases in which you aren’t sure who will win, but feel that you have a clear idea of how many points will be scored. Maybe you think that the defenses will largely cancel out both offenses, or that both teams are stronger going forward than defending.

It doesn’t matter who wins, so you can watch the game unfold and only really care about how many points are scored. The odds are often the same for the score being over or under a certain level, as the number of points is carefully chosen.

How to Find the Best Sports Betting Odds?

Finding the best odds for your betting line isn’t as difficult as you might think. It’s all about choosing a reputable sportsbook that’s regulated in the state and offers the wide range of bets that you need. A look at the ClutchBet site shows us exactly what you need, with a huge range that includes all of the sports we looked at earlier as well as all of the different bet types that you might be interested in. Get started by registering as a new user and collecting the new player welcome offer.

After this, you can filter on the sport you’re interested in and look for games that you want to try and predict. The odds are updated regularly to reflect changes in the market and any significant updates from the teams, so expect to find a vibrant, constantly-changing betting market where there are always going to be odds that catch your eye.

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