Home Betting Guides How Do American Odds Work in Betting?

How Do American Odds Work in Betting?

If you are keen to get involved in sports betting, you must understand the odds or the American odds that are mostly used here in New Jersey. It would be absurd to place bets without learning how betting odds work and how they relate to probabilities.

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In New Jersey, we use American (money line) odds, but in Europe, they do use fractional (British) odds or decimal odds. Don’t get confused, as those are just different ways of presenting precisely the same thing, and there are no differences in terms of payouts. A chance of an event to occur, which is expressed in probability, can be translated and presented with one of the mentioned types of odds.

How American (Moneyline) Odds Work?

American odds, also called money line odds or US odds, are the most popular in the United States. The odds related to favourites are accompanied by a minus sign (-), which indicates the amount of money you would have to stake if you want to win $100. The odds for the underdogs are with the positive (+) sign, which tells the amount you will win for every $100 staked. In both situations, you will also get your initial wager back, in addition to the winning amount. The difference is that if you wager on the favourite, the amount you will win will be less as the probability of that outcome will be higher.

Let’s understand this concept better with an example. Imagine you are betting on a match between Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles. The Cowboys are the heavy favourite and have money line odds of -760, while the Eagles are the underdogs with odds of +585. If you decide to back the Cowboys, you would need to stake $760 to win $100, as the likelihood of this happening is bigger. If they do win, you will get your wager back ($760) plus $100 as a win, so the total will be $860. On the other hand, if you decide to bet on Eagles, who are the underdogs, and they do pull an upset, you get $100 back in addition to $585, which will be your win, so the total payout will be $685.

If you are keen to get involved with sports betting, it is important to spend some time understanding all the types of odds and what they are indicating. Then, once you have mastered the American odds, you can start looking for value in the different betting markets or just rely on our expert cappers to flag those opportunities for you by following our daily betting picks.

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John was born and raised in London, John has always been in love with American sports. He started to write football articles back in 2006 on his own blog and has also worked for several newspapers. John other passion was betting and has worked as a trader for several top sports book in the UK. As sports trader and has joined leading UK betting tipping site BettingTips4You in 2013 and he is now head of content. He has a great passion for US Sports so hasn't wasted the opportunity to write also for NewJerseySafeBetting, now that online sportsbetting has been legalized in the state.