American Odds

American odds are the most common form of betting odds used by North American based sportsbooks.  This style of betting odds is probably the most difficult to understand for beginners, but hopefully this page will clear up any doubts you may have about how to use American style odds.  We’ll start off with an example so you have something to draw from when we explain how American odds work.

Florida Marlins +165
Washington Nationals -185

As you can see right away the odds for each team have a positive or negative sign and a number.  These are both very important aspects of the American odds format and they will be explained in detail below.

The Positive or Negative Sign

The negative or positive sign before the number in the American style odds determines whether a wager on either team will win more or less money than the amount of the placed wager.  The negative (-) sign indicates that wagering on that outcome will win less money than the original wager, while the positive (+) sign indicates that wagering on that outcome will win more money than the original wager.  As you can probably tell by now, the negative (-) sign will always indicate the favourite in a game, while the positive (+) sign will indicate the underdog.

The Number

This is where it gets slightly complicated so pay attention.

The number beside the negative (-) sign indicates the amount of money you must wager in order to win $100.  Continuing with our example, you would have to wager $185 on the Washington Nationals in order to win $100 and receive a total payout of $285.

The number beside the positive (+) sign indicates the amount of money you will win by placing a $100 wager.  Continuing with our example, you would win $165 on a $100 wager on the Florida Marlins, for a total payout of $265.

It’s important to remember that the (+) positive number indicates how much you would win from a $100 bet, while the (-) negative number indicates how much you must bet in order to win $100.

Another Example

Here is another example taken from BetOnline.ag:

Carolina Panthers +230
New York Giants -270

In this example a $100 wager on the Carolina Panthers would win the bettor $230, for a total payout of $330.  In contrast in order to win $100 betting on the Giants you would have to risk $270.  That would receive a payout of $370.  Check out more american style lines at BetOnline.ag now!

Hopefully this page has provided you with enough information to understand how american odds work.  Don’t hesitate to contact us with any more questions you may have.