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Understanding American Style Sports Betting Odds

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Many of the popular online bookmakers nowadays list their odds in the American style. It is characterized by listing odds in positive and negative numbers, which at first glance may seem confusing to the uninitiated.

To better understand American style sports betting odds the first thing you should do is always remember that a negative number means a more likely outcome (and smaller payout) whereas a positive number means a less likely outcome (and bigger payout). That’s the basics, so for example in odds that are listed as “Team A (+150) vs. Team B (-150)” the more likely team to win is Team B, so betting on them will have a smaller payout.

Once you wrap your head around that, the next part is to understand how the payouts work. In American style sports betting odds, a positive number denotes the amount you get paid out if you bet $100. On the other hand a negative number donates the amount you need to bet for a $100 payout.

That may sound confusing, but based on the previous example of “Team A (+150) vs. Team B (-150)” that means that:

  • If you bet $100 on Team A, if you win you’ll get $150 and your initial bet back.
  • To win $100 (and your initial bet) by betting on Team B you would have to bet $150.

Fortunately nowadays many of the bigger online bookmakers such as IBC Bet Malaysia offer odds in various formats – or do the calculations on your behalf. In that way you can get by even if you aren’t familiar with American style sports betting odds or other styles of odds as well.

That being said it is always helpful to be able to at least understand the odds so that you can tell at a glance whether a bet may be attractive or not. For example as you peruse the odds at IBCBET you may be able to immediately see a pick that looks good by knowing the payoff based on the odds, and then can look into it further.

Aside from American odds there are several other formats that are used online, but it is definitely the most popular – at least internationally. That is why if you want to pick up and learn about one type of odds, it makes sense to start with it as you’re likely to get the most use out of it.

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