Decimal Odds

No wonder the NFL wants to expand into Europe. The market for “the other” football just keeps getting bigger with more and more people betting on the NFL online every year. If you’re logging in from continental Europe (or perhaps from Australia or New Zealand), you’ll be working primarily with decimal odds. That’s why they’re also known as “European odds” or even “continental odds.”

Decimal odds are one of the three most common ways (along with fractional odds and the moneyline) to conduct fixed-odds betting on NFL games. This notation is especially useful when you’re putting together a parlay card. For now, let’s start with a game in sunny California between the Oakland Raiders and the New England Patriots:

  • Patriots 1.18
  • Raiders 5.00

With decimal odds, you take the number on the right and multiply it by your wager to see how much money you get in return for your bet – including the original wager amount. The Patriots are big favorites here; a $100 bet would return $118, or $18 in profit. The underdog Raiders would return $500 with a miracle win, or $400 in profit on a $100 bet.
Here’s where the magic comes in. Let’s throw another game into the mix:

  • Cowboys 2.65
  • Saints 1.54

Now let’s put together a simple two-team parlay with the Patriots at 1.18 and the New Orleans Saints at 1.54. All you have to do to calculate your potential payout is multiply those two numbers, which gives you 1.82, or $82 in profit for every $100 you bet. Want to parlay the Raiders with the Dallas Cowboys instead? If both teams pull off the upset, the payout will be 5.00 times 2.65, or 13.25. That’s $1,225 in profit for every $100 – or 100 euros, if you prefer.