American odds
American odds is a format used to display betting odds. Positive and negative numbers are used to indicate potential profit relative to a 100 unit risk. American odds are frequently used in the United States.
How American Odds Work
The betting odds for any market will be either a positive or negative number. The negative numbers require an initial risk of that amount in order to profit $100. In the example below the New England Patriots are -180 favorites on the moneyline. A risk of $180 would yield $100 profit for a total return of $280.
Team | Spread | Total | Moneyline | |
New England Patriots | -3.5 (-110) | Over 44.5 (-110) | -180 | |
Baltimore Ravens | +3.5 (-110) | Under 44.5 (-110) | +160 |
Positive numbers will require a risk of $100 in order to profit that amount. Using the same example the Baltimore Ravens are +160 underdogs on the moneyline. A bettor who risks $100 would stand to make $160 profit for a total return of $260. It should be noted that any amount within a sportsbook's limits can be wagered. The $100 base risk and return are simply to make the odds easier to visualize.
The more favored a market is to win the more negative the American odds will be; the bettor is required to risk larger amounts to yield the same $100 profit. Consequently the more of an underdog a market is the larger the positive number; the bettor will receive a greater return on their $100 wager if it were to win. Here are some example odds with their respective risk, profit, and return:
American Odds | Risk | Profit | Return |
-500 | $500 | $100 | $600 |
-250 | $250 | $100 | $350 |
-125 | $125 | $100 | $225 |
-110 | $110 | $100 | $210 |
-105 | $105 | $100 | $205 |
-101 | $101 | $100 | $201 |
+100 | $100 | $100 | $200 |
+101 | $100 | $101 | $201 |
+105 | $100 | $105 | $205 |
+110 | $100 | $110 | $210 |
+125 | $100 | $125 | $225 |
+250 | $100 | $250 | $350 |
+500 | $100 | $500 | $600 |
The transition between positive and negative odds can be observed in the table above. A wager that features a 1-to-1 return would have +100 odds since a $100 risk returns a $100 profit. However two sides of a betting market with equal odds will instead be set at -110. This is due to the bookmaker's commission known as the vig. In the example below both sides of the spread and total have -110 odds.
Team | Spread | Total | Moneyline | |
New England Patriots | -3.5 (-110) | Over 44.5 (-110) | -180 | |
Baltimore Ravens | +3.5 (-110) | Under 44.5 (-110) | +160 |