I often see in sports betting that odds are indicated with either a plus (+) or minus (-) sign before the number. I am unsure what this means. Are these symbols signifying underdogs or favorites? And how does it work in terms of how much I can win or lose? Further, are winnings calculated differently based on these signs? It would be great if someone could break it down for me.
In sports betting, both the “+” and “-” symbols before a number can indicate the favorite or underdog in a game, but they also indicate the potential payout of the wager. The “-” symbol typically denotes the favorite, or the team that’s more likely to win. The number following the minus symbol represents how much you need to bet to win $100. So if a team has -150 odds and you bet $150, you would win $100 in addition to getting your original $150 back if that team wins.
On the other hand, the “+” symbol indicates the underdog, or the team less likely to win. The number following the plus symbol tells you how much you could win if you bet $100. So, if a team has +200 odds, and you bet $100, you would win $200 in addition to getting your initial $100 back if that team is victorious. This is why betting on underdogs can potentially be more profitable, but also riskier since they’re less likely to win.
This system of displaying odds is called American Odds or Moneyline odds, which are commonly used in the United States. It’s fundamentally based on the amount you’re willing to stake and the payout you might receive. Remember, the wider the gap between the “+” and the “-” numbers, the greater the bookmaker’s margin and the less fair the wager becomes. This allows the bookmaker to earn a living from betting and ensure the sustainability of the business model. Any intelligent gambler will always try to find the best odds available to increase their chances of making profit.
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