As the name implies, American odds are often used in America and are sometimes referred to as US odds. They are also known as "lines" or "moneylines". Reading about and trying to understand American odds can be very confusing, especially if you come from mainland Europe or the UK. They are often considered to be more confusing than fractional odds. Fortunately, our simple guide, which you will find below, will help you understand the American odds.
The first thing you need to understand with American odds is that they can be either positive or negative. When you look at odds on the bookmaker's website, let's say for an NFL match, you can see odds that show either -150 or +150.
Odds starting with a negative sign (-) will show you what your bet must be to make a profit of $ 100.
Odds that start with a positive sign (+) show you what the potential profit can be if you bet $ 100.
If the Gren Bay Packers play against the Seattle Seahawks in an NFL game, the odds for that match may be as follows:
Green Bay Packers (+120) vs Seattle Seahawks (-140)
So if you want to place a bet on the Seattle Seahawks, the information above will show you that you need to place a bet of $ 140 to make a profit of $ 100. If you want to invest less, the same principles still apply. For example, if you are looking for a profit of $ 10, you must bet $ 14. All we have done is remove a zero from both amounts by moving the decimal place.
If you wanted to place a bet on the Green Bay Packers, the information above will show you that a $ 100 bet will lead to a profit of $ 120. If you want to invest less, such as $ 10, this will result in a profit of $ 12.
Here are two simple calculations you can use when playing with American odds.
Let's use the examples above to see how these calculations work in practice.
Since it can be more difficult to understand American odds than decimal odds, you can always convert them. Most good bookmakers on the web will do this for you automatically, but if you want to do it yourself you can use the calculation you find below.
If you are unsure of the significance of American odds to your potential winnings, you can always convert them to decimal odds using the above calculation.
You have now got a good understanding of how American odd works and what they mean. If you play on American sports such as NFL, baseball or basketball, this guide will be very helpful to you. Below is a summary of the key points to remember. You can check these whenever needed.