What are the odds your favorite team is going to win the big game on Monday night? If you want to make a bet, then it is worth knowing about the sports odds, and in this case, your Super Bowl betting odds. Sports odds are the first thing to look into when it comes to handicapping sports. Handicapping is a word that just means trying to figure out how you are going to get a payout from your bet; you know, buying a winning ticket.

At the end of the day, or the end of a game, a bet on sports is about the numbers. You do not have to have aced high school algebra or taken a class in calculus to understand it; it is fairly straightforward. As long as you have a grasp of positive and negative and can divide by 10, you should be good to go with the sports odds. Whether you plan on betting on the point spread (by how many points a team will win or lose) the money line (which team will win) or the over/under odds (another type of betting based on points in the game), you have to know how to read the odds set forth by the oddsmakers and sportsbooks. Those are the people you place your bet with.

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There is a simple number-based way that oddsmakers and sportsbooks list the odds they have come up with on a given game. They make it easy for you by listing the odds right next to the game in question. All you have to do is know what those numbers mean and you are on your way to placing a winning bet. Here is an example to get you started. We will go with a straight money line bet because it is the simplest way to get a grasp of what those numbers mean.

Let us say there is a game between Denver and Buffalo. So, you go to your favorite online sportsbook, and you see:

Denver  Broncos -147

Buffalo Bills +635

This means that the Denver Broncos are favored to win; it is counter-intuitive because of the negative sign, but the fact is that betting on the favored team gives a lower payout. Betting on the underdog gives a higher payout. Just like in life, greater risks equals greater rewards. Buffalo Bills, conversely, are the underdogs with the positive sign next to the number. These numbers are based on $100 bets. According to the booking service whose odds you are looking at, you have to bet $147 on the Denver Broncos to get a $100 payout if they win. If you want to bet a hundred bucks on the underdog, you will get paid a whopping $635 in the event they win. Of course you do not have to bet $100. Let us say you only want to bet $10 instead, just divide the odds by 10. This means you would have to bet close to $15 to get paid out $10 on a Denver win and conversely, you would get paid around $63 if you bet $10 on the Buffalo Bills if they were to win. Piece of cake, right?

Different odds show up for different types of bets; Money line, over/under and point spread betting all have different odds listed in a similar way. With this system you can compare the odds for different bets and make a type of bet based on which one will give you higher payout for which team.

Now that you know the odds (this is American odds notation by the way, different from European notation), you can figure out the best place to put your money for that booking service. If you are still a little unsure about the odds notation, do not sweat it. Online booking websites also have calculators that tell you exactly what you can expect to get paid out before you place your bet, in addition to giving you the option of how to view these odds, meaning you can view them as American Odds, as displayed in the example above, Decimal odds, commonly seen in Europe and parts of Canada, and the Fractional odds for racebooks and racetracks.