If you want to bet on esports and make money from it, you need to know how to understand and read esports odds. The odds are an integral part of every betting journey, and if you want to learn more about how to read them, where to find the top esports betting odds, and ultimately, how to use them to your advantage, you’ve come to the right place!
What Do Esports Odds Mean?
Betting odds are nothing more than numbers that show the probability of something happening and indicate how much money you can win per bet. Although the latter part is important, you must first understand that you can convert odds into percentages that show the implied probability of a certain outcome happening – most commonly the squad’s chances to win the next match. To convert betting odds into percentages, use the following formula:
(1/decimal odds) * 100 = implied probability
Assuming Team A is priced at 3.00 to defeat Team B in the next game, its implied probability of winning is (1/3 *100) 33.3%.
Understanding what esports odds mean and that they don’t only show how much money you can earn per bet is crucial if you want to bet on esports. And only after you understand it can you move to the next step – learning how to read different odds formats.
Esports odds across all bookmakers will mean the same thing, but know that the format in which bookmakers show odds will differ. There are three odds formats – American, Decimal, and Fractional – and while all show the same thing, they do it slightly differently.
American odds, also known as Moneyline odds or US odds, are the default betting odds used by American betting sites. Unlike the other two formats, they’re centered around wagering or winning $100 on a given bet.
With American odds, the favorites’ odds will always be represented with a minus (-), while the underdog odds will always have a plus (+) sign. For example, If Team A is favored to defeat Team B, a bookmaker will price Team A at -150 and Team B at +225.
To understand what the two odds mean, you have to follow a simple formula: the favorites’ odds show how much money you have to wager to earn $100, while the underdogs’ odds show how much money you can expect to earn per a $100 wager.
So if you decide to bet on Team A at -150, you’ll have to risk $150 to earn $100.
If you bet on Team B at +225, you can expect to earn a $225 profit per $100 wager.
While the American odds may sound complex and strange at first, they’re convenient and easy to understand once you get the hang of things. Although you don’t necessarily have to use them over decimal or fractional odds, its direct correlation to how much you need to wager might be more practical to some.
Fractional odds, also known as UK odds, is an odds format primarily used by UK esports bettors and on British betting sites. As the name suggests., fractional odds are displayed in fractions (1/2, 3/5) and indicate the ratio between the amount of profit won to the stake.
So let’s assume you want to bet on MiBR to defeat Astralis in the next game at 2/3; you would need to risk $3 to win $2. Now let’s say esports bookmakers have priced Astralis at CS:GO odds of 4/1, which would indicate that you need to risk $1 to earn $4.
The offered odds show that the bookmakers believe MiBR are more likely to win this match between the two teams and, as a result, you can expect to earn less if you decide to bet on them.
Fractional odds are not as popular as decimal format, and most of it has to do with the fact that many people consider them too complex. But as shown, fractional esports betting odds are fairly straightforward as long as you remember that they show the ratio between the amount of profit won to the stake.
If you want to bet online on esports and you visit any betting site, chances are that you’ll come across the decimal odds format. Decimal odds (or European odds) are the most common odds format across all bookmakers mainly because they’re the easiest to understand and use.
Unlike the American odds, which are centered around wagering or winning $100, or fractional odds, which show the ratio between the stake and profit, decimal odds simply show a decimal number which is the amount a winning bet would earn you per $1 wager.
For example, if you want to bet on Evil Geniuses to defeat PSG.LGD in The International and the team is priced at Dota 2 odds of 2.10; you can expect to earn $2.1 per each $1 staked.
Moreover, with decimal odds, it’s straightforward to see which of the two teams is priced as the favorite – a larger decimal number indicates a lower implied probability of winning the match; therefore, the team that is priced at higher decimal odds is the underdog.
Esports betting is growing at an exponential rate, which explains why most esports bookmakers have very solid coverage of esports betting markets. Nowadays, you can bet on essentially every esports title you wish; however, it’s worth noting that some esports are better covered than others.
If you want to bet on League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, or Dota 2, you can rest assured that you’ll find betting options and odds on any sportsbook you visit. But if you wish to bet on some other esports that are not as popular – such as PUBG, Wild Rift, or King of Glory – you might struggle to find betting markets and will need to look closely for sportsbooks that offer esports odds on those games.
At the end of the day, the most popular titles will always have the best coverage on sportsbooks, while lesser esports games will receive less love from bookies and have poorer market coverage. Regardless, you can rest assured that even if you want to bet on a lesser-known esports game, there are esports bookies that will offer you the opportunity to do so; you just have to know where to look and how to find the best esports sportsbooks.
Esports betting and online sports betting are not quite alike, but they’re very similar in some aspects – mainly when comparing the betting markets and the available betting types. So if you have any experience in online sports betting, then learning how to bet on esports should be very straightforward.
Sports betting and esports betting both use the most common bet types in moneyline, handicaps, totals, and outrights, and even though you’ll find proposition wagers on either League of Legends or football, props are the only bet type that is pretty different between the two.
Moneyline is the simplest and most common bet you can make while betting on esports. With it, you’re simply predicting the outright winner of the upcoming match, where the only thing that matters is the final result.
So if you’re looking to bet on the upcoming matches between TSM and Team Liquid and Fnatic and G2 Esports, and you believe TSM and Fnatic will win, you could place a moneyline bet on the two esports teams. Depending on the esports odds the sportsbooks offer, you will earn more or less money on the wagers, but only if the two teams actually win the matches.
Handicap wagers add another layer of complexity to your esports bets as they don’t necessarily require you to predict which team will win the match. Also referred to as “spread betting“, handicap betting involves a sportsbook giving one squad (or a player) a virtual deficit – or handicap – and the other squad a virtual advantage. These are also called esports betting lines.
The simplest explanation of handicaps is that a sportsbook offers handicaps in a bid to level the playing field between two teams or players who are not evenly matched. Esports handicaps work the same way as handicaps in sports betting, namely in football, where bookies will offer +1.5 goals on the underdogs or a -1.5 handicap on the favorites.
Depending on the esports you’re betting on, the handicaps will vary. For example, in CS:GO, handicaps will mostly be related to rounds won, while in League of Legends, esports bookmakers will offer handicaps on kills or turrets destroyed. However, all esports matches that are played in a best-of format will have map spreads available.
For example, if MiBR are favorited to win against Cloud9 in a best-of-three CS:GO match, a sportsbook could offer a -1.5 map handicap bet on MiBR. By betting on this spread, you are predicting that MiBR will win the series with at least two maps – alternatively, you can back Cloud9 at +1.5 handicap, which would mean that you’re predicting Cloud9 will win at least one map.
The handicaps get added to the final score, so if you back MiBR at -1.5 maps and they win 2-0, your bet would hit since the adjusted score would still favor MiBR.
Handicaps are one of the most popular bet types among esports bettors since they add a bit more variety to your esports bets and are more flexible than moneyline bets.
Totals or over/under wagers in esports work the same way as totals in sports betting. This is a wager in which a sportsbook will predict a figure for a statistic in the game, and esports bettors can then predict whether the actual number will be higher or lower than the offered number.
Depending on the esports title you’re betting on, the over/under will differ as it will refer to a different statistic in the game. If you’re betting on League of Legends, Dota 2, or CS:GO, the most common over/under bet will refer to kills or maps won.
For example, if you’re betting on a Dota 2 match between Team Liquid and Vici Gaming, esports betting sites could set the total line at 24.5 kills, allowing you to predict whether the match will end with more or less than 24 kills. Alternatively, you can also bet on the total number of maps played in the best-of series.
An outright bet can refer to many different wager types, but most commonly, an outright bet is a bet on a future outcome, such as the winner of the next tournament, regional leagues, or any other esports events. With outrights, you can predict which LoL team will win the next League of Legends World Championship or which CS:GO squad will be the outright winner of the next Major.
There are also outright player bets, such as which League of Legends player will have the most kills by the end of the LoL World Championship. Or which CS:GO player will be the MVP of a Major Championship or any other player-specific bets on esports events and leagues.
Outrights are readily available on all esports betting sites and are very popular among esports bettors, mainly due to their high odds and potential payouts. So if you’re looking to bet on competitions and leagues and make a lot of money with a single bet, outrights might be for you.
Proposition bets are wagers you can make on esports matches regarding an occurrence or non-occurrence of a specific esports event, which is rarely related to the final outcome. Props, also known as side bets, are special wagers which can include the first tower in League of Legends, will a player score an ace in CS:GO, or will any of the teams kill Roshan in Dota 2.
Although not as popular as moneyline or handicaps, proposition bets are readily available on all esports betting sites and are perfect for any esports bettor who is seeking more thrill on his esports betting journey.
Thanks to the popularity of esports betting, you won’t be limited when deciding which esports to bet on. Although esports betting sites put more focus on covering the “Big Three” esports titles in two multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) games League of Legends and Dota 2, and the first-person shooter game Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, there are many other competitive games that you can place your bets on.
Besides the major three esports titles, you can also bet on:
Notably, if you wish to bet on less-popular games, you’ll have to find a sportsbook with betting markets ready for it. But as long as you pick between the best esports bookmakers, you can be sure that you’ll not be limited in your betting options.
There is no sportsbook that will always have the most generous esports odds, but there are many betting sites that can offer you competitive esports odds and have a solid market offer – and that’s all you need. Since the esports betting odds on various bookies differ, it’s advisable that you first narrow down a list of the best bookies and then register with multiple sites, which will allow you to price shop and bet with the best available odds.
If you aren’t sure which sportsbook to choose for your esports betting journey, you can check our in-depth and honest sportsbook reviews, where we list the top esports betting sites. Or you can pick between some of the most popular sportsbooks in:
Price shopping or price shopping is an act of searching for the best odds among different sportsbooks before you place your bets. It is an essential thing to understand for every esports bettor who wants to make money long-term and set himself up for success.
As noted, esports betting sites will offer different odds, and often you’ll see the same match priced differently by two bookmakers. These odds discrepancies are fairly common both in esports and sports betting worlds, but the best way to explain it is with an example.
Let’s say you want to bet on Fnatic to defeat G2 Esports in the game tonight. G2 Esports are priced as 1.70 favorites on most sportsbooks; however, GG.Bet has G2 Esports priced at 1.80, so if you want to bet on G2, it will make sense that you visit GG.Bet and place your bet there.
The small differences in odds might not seem like a lot, but they can add up in the long term. In this example, a $100 bet on G2 on GG.Bet would earn you $10 more than on other bookmakers. And if you repeat this process 100 times, you would earn $1,000 more by simply looking around and betting with the best prices.
Yes, betting on esports can be very easy and simple, but you have to understand the basics. Most importantly, you need to know what esports betting odds mean, how to read them, and familiarize yourself with the available betting types.
You can bet on various esports games, from League of Legends, CS:GO, Dota 2, Rocket League, Valorant, Call of Duty, and many more. If you have access to a solid esports betting site, you can essentially bet on any esports game, but know that less popular titles might have fewer betting options.
Remember that you can also bet on live esports games with any bookmaker that offers in-play betting options, but again, the betting options will vary depending on the title’s popularity.
The most popular esport games for betting are CS:GO, Dota 2, and League of Legends. As the biggest games in the online betting world, all three are extremely well covered by online sportsbooks.
The odds of +200 are written in American format and mean that a winning bet at this price will earn you $200 for every $100 wagered. As a positive odds, +200 will be offered next to an underdog team.
Negative odds in the American format are offered next to the favored team. For example, if Astralis are favored to defeat Complexity in the next game, sportsbooks could offer -150 odds on Astralis, indicating that you need to risk $150 to earn $100. On the other side, positive odds (+150) are offered on the underdog squad and indicate that you can expect to earn $150 for every $100 staked.