What Do + and – Mean in Betting?

The + and – signs before an odds value are shorthand for two different betting concepts. One, that the – side is the favorite and that one or more + sides are underdogs. Two, the risk and win amounts for each side.

Note that a point spread favorite indicated by a – sign could have a + sign before its odds value. Therefore, it’s important to keep both concepts in mind when looking at US betting odds. We’ll review each below in order.


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Underdog or Favorite

+ and – indicate which side is the underdog and which side is the favorite. One or more sides can be underdogs, particularly for 3-way moneylines, futures bets, or even some prop bets. Only one side can be the favorite. We’ll explain more below.

+ is For Underdog

The + sign indicates the underdog side or outcome. It can also indicate that one or more sides are underdog outcomes in a 3-way moneyline or future bet. For example, you may see that one team and “Draw” both have + signs in a soccer 3-way moneyline. Less often, all 3 sides will have + signs because there’s no clear favorite outcome.

A + sign before a point spread indicates the underdog side. The same is true for a baseball run line, hockey puck line, or soccer goal line or Asian Handicap bet.

The same holds true for futures odds. Here, a heavy favorite will have a – sign. But all other outcomes will have + signs. Sometimes all outcomes will have + signs when there’s no clear favorite.

– is For Favorite

The – sign indicates the favorite side or outcome. The favorite is the team or other outcome, like a “Tie” or “Draw”, considered most likely to win. There can only be one favorite side per betting market.

A – sign before a point spread indicates the favorite side. This is also the case for a baseball run line, hockey puck line, or a soccer goal line or an Asian Handicap bet.

Similarly, a – sign before a futures odds outcome indicates the betting favorite, or most likely outcome.

Risk and Win Amounts

American sports betting odds, also known as US Odds or moneyline odds, indicate risk and win amounts for each side of a bet for a hypothetical $100 wager. The – sign and + sign indicate different risk and win calculations.

+ Is for How Much a $100 Bet Wins

+ indicates how much a $100 bet wins. To calculate the + moneyline payout, divide the + value by 100, then multiply the quotient by your wager amount. See the calculation below.

For example, +200 means a $100 bet wins $200. Similarly, +150 means a $100 bet would win $150, while +1500 represents a $1,500 win.

+ Moneyline Odds Win Calculation

+ Moneyline Win Calculation
MLCalculationExample
+Num(ML/100) x $Bet+150, $20 Bet
(150/100) x $20
1.5 x $20 = $30

Of course, you can bet any amount you want. +150 odds on a $10 would produce a $15 win. +300 odds on a $5 bet would return a $15 win.

– Is For How Much You Risk to Win $100

– indicates how much you risk to win $100. To calculate the – moneyline payout, first drop the minus sign. Second, divide your wager amount by the quotient of the – moneyline divided by 100. See the calculation below.

For example, -200 means a $100 bet wins $50. Similarly, -150 means you would win $66.67, while -1500 represents a $6.67 win for a $100 wager.

– Moneyline Odds Win Calculation

– Moneyline Win Calculation
MLCalculationExample
-NumDrop – Sign
$Bet/(ML/100)
-160, $20 Bet
$20 / (160/100)
$20 / 1.6 = $12.50

You can also bet any other amount on the favorite. A $10 wager on a -150 moneyline would win $6.67. Meanwhile, a $6 wager on a -300 moneyline would win $2.


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FAQs

What do + and – mean in betting?

The + and – signs before an odds value are shorthand for two different betting concepts. One, that the – side is the favorite and that one or more + sides are underdogs. Two, the risk and win amounts for each side.

What does + mean for a point spread?

A + sign before a point spread indicates the underdog side. The same is true for a baseball run line, hockey puck line, or soccer goal line or Asian Handicap bet.

What does – mean for a point spread?

A – sign before a point spread indicates the favorite side. This is also the case for a baseball run line, hockey puck line, or a soccer goal line or an Asian Handicap bet.

What does a + moneyline mean?

The + sign indicates the underdog and the amount of money you’ll win if you risk $100.

What does a – moneyline mean?

The – sign indicates the favorite and the amount of money you’ll need to risk to win $100.

Sports Betting Lessons

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Sports Betting Resources

  • How to Read Sports Betting Odds – Our helpful tutorial explains what the numbers mean for point spread, moneyline, total, and Asian Handicap bets.
  • Sports Betting Questions and Answers – Common sports betting questions and answers, a simple quick reference for beginners.
  • Sports Betting vs Casino Gambling – Learn how sportsbooks and casinos make money, and the important differences between each business model.
  • How to Read NFL Odds – Short and sweet guide to NFL point spreads, totals, and moneylines. We’ve got live example bets from upcoming NFL matchups.
  • Point Spread Bet – Understanding the point spread is key to betting on football and basketball. Learn how the point spread bet works with our tutorial video and text.
  • Over-Under Total Bet – Bet over or under the sportsbook’s line. We explain how to place this bet with easy examples, a video, and text explainer.
  • Moneyline Bet – Whether it’s a 2-way or 3-way moneyline, we’ve got you covered. Moneylines are available for almost every major sport league, including football, basketball, baseball, hockey, soccer, tennis, and combat sports.
  • Teaser Bet – A teaser is a modified parlay that lets you buy points to shift point spread and total lines in your favor. Our fun tutorial video and detailed text article explain how to place this bet.
  • If Bet Win-Only – Sequence multiple bets together in an if-then sequence. Your next bet only sees action if the previous one wins. Ideal for bettors with small bankrolls.
  • Futures Bet – We explain what a futures bet is, how it works, and when to bet on a future sporting event. Common futures bets include the winners of the Super Bowl, Final Four, Stanley Cup, World Series, and NBA Finals.
  • Parlay Bet – Combine multiple selections into one bet that returns a huge payout if all your selections were correct. We explain how parlay bets work and provide common parlay payout tables.
  • Progressive Parlay Bet – Also known as a “Close Call Parlay”, this parlay variant can win even if one or more of selections lose. Our article describes this bet in detail.
  • Parlay Card Betting – Parlay cards are issued by major sportsbooks midweek, allowing bettors to make multiple point spread, total, and prop bet selections that can return big payouts. Not to be confused with an “off the board” parlay!
  • Prop Bets – We explain what a prop bet is, how to place a prop bet, and provide an expansive list of sports leagues with plenty of props to bet on right now.