A Look at "American Odds"

Published on January 8th, 2020 12:56 pm EST
Written By: Dave Manuel

The King explains the meaning of numbers in the American Odds. If you have ever bet on sports, you have likely come across numbers that look something like this:


What you are seeing in these numbers is something called "American odds". There are three different ways to express odds when it comes to sports betting - American odds, fractional odds and decimal odds. Decimal odds are frequently used at European facing sportsbooks, while American odds are mainly used at offshore books that target Americans, as well as US-based brick-and-mortar casinos.

These numbers all mean the same thing - just expressed differently.

In short - if you see a "minus" symbol before a set of odds, this means that the team (or person in an individual sport) is a favourite to win.

If you see a "plus" symbol before a set of odds, this means that the team (or person) is an underdog to win.

So, let's break down some examples for you:

You want to bet on the Green Bay Packers to defeat the Detroit Lions at home. You want to bet on the Packers on the money line, and you see some odds that say this:

Green Bay Packers, -200

Now, what does the -200 mean?

This means that you would have to bet $200 on the Packers in order to win $100 back.

Anytime you see odds with a minus in front of it, take the number and that is what you would need to bet in order to win $100 in profit.

So, a -450 number would mean that you would have to bet $450 in order to win $100 in profit back.

On the other hand, an odds number with a "plus" in front of it means that the team or player is an underdog.

So, let's say that you wanted to bet on the Detroit Lions to beat the Green Bay Packers in the example listed above. Your odds might look something like this:


In this case, the number represents the total amount of PROFIT that you would realize if you bet on the Lions and they won.

So, in this case, you would realize a total profit of $160 if you bet $100 on the Lions at +160.


Again - American, decimal and fractional odds all tell the same story, just expressed differently.

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