If you’re looking to find out ‘what does plus and minus mean in betting?’, then put simply, it means the symbols that appear in front of odds or lines, showing the favorites or underdogs – favorites being marked with a minus sign (-), underdogs with a plus (+).

And, if you’re currently looking at a sportsbook website screen filled with numbers making no sense at all, then read on to discover what you need to know about plus and minus in betting.

Plus and Minus in Betting

American sportsbooks rely heavily on – and + in betting. These symbols give you the information you need for point spread wagers and betting using American odds. Some of the ways offshore sportsbooks use plus and minus are as follows:

  • Point Spread: In a point spread bet, the minus labels the favorite and the number of points for the handicap. The plus labels the underdog and the handicap points it receives. A favorite of -6.5 points would have to win by at least 7 points to win the spread bet.
  • Odds: Plus and minus symbols with odds indicate the amount you must wager to win a certain amount.

Understanding American Odds

American odds are those used in most crypto betting sites, and they use plus and minus signs every time. If you are unsure whether you’re looking at odds or spreads with the + and – signs, odds involve numbers of 100 or larger.

When you make a wager with American odds, the plus and minus signs indicate the amount you must wager or the amount you could win. This differs from point spread betting, which focuses on the point handicap for the teams in the game.

  • Plus: When a plus sign is next to the American odds number, you must wager $100 to win the amount listed.
  • Minus: When a minus sign is next to the odds number, you must wager this amount to win $100.

When you win your sports bet using American odds, you receive the amount you bet back along with the amount you won.

What Does +200 Mean in Betting?

If you see positive odds of +200 on a bet you want to make, it means:

  • You would win $200 on a $100 bet.
  • You would also receive your $100 bet back if you win.
  • Plus 200 indicates an underdog or a less likely outcome, so you receive a more favorable winning payout on these odds.

What Does Plus and Minus Mean in Betting - BetWhale +200 odds example

What Does -200 Mean in Betting?

When a bet you want to make lists -200 as American odds:

  • You must bet $200 to receive $100 in winnings.
  • You would also receive your $200 bet back if you win.
  • Minus 200 indicates a favorite or a more likely outcome, so you receive a less favorable winning payout on these odds.

What Does Plus and Minus Mean in Betting - BetWhale -200 odds example

How Does Plus Minus Work in Sports Betting?

With the basic information on what plus and minus mean in betting, you’re ready to begin making wagers.

Understand that you do not have to wager $100 or more on each bet to use American odds. You can bet any amount as long as you abide by the minimum and maximum bet amounts the sportsbook sets.

Calculate the ratio of your desired bet to the base amounts to determine what you can win on whatever amount you want to bet.

  • Minus: If you want to bet $20 on an outcome with -200 odds, your $20 wager is 1/10th of the base amount for a wager using a – sign. This means you could win 1/10th of the base amount of $100, which would be $10.
  • Plus: If you want to bet $50 on an outcome with +300 odds, your $50 wager is 1/2 of the base amount for a wager using the + sign. This means you could win 1/2 of the base amount of $300, which would be $150.

When using one of the best online sportsbooks, the sportsbook will calculate this ratio for you. It will display the amount you could win based on the amount you want to bet.

Moneyline

With a moneyline bet, you are selecting the winner of a game or the outcome that you expect to happen. Most moneyline bets involve selecting one of two outcomes, although some allow you to select a third outcome of a draw or tie.

Each option you have on a moneyline bet will include American odds that show the + or – sign.

  • The favorite (or the most likely outcome) on the betting lines may have negative odds of -120, -250, or another number with a minus sign.
  • The underdog (or the less likely outcome) on the betting lines may have positive odds of +110, +750, or another number with a plus sign.

Spread Betting

With a point spread bet, the sportsbook assigns a handicap in points, runs, or goals to the game. The sportsbook lists the handicap using plus and minus signs.

The sportsbook also lists the American odds with pluses and minuses next to the point spread. Be certain you are considering the odds and spread separately when thinking about your wager.

  • A point spread favorite may have a spread listing of -4, -11.5, or another number with a minus sign. Alongside the spread number, you’ll see the negative odds, which usually are -110, although other plus or minus odds numbers are possible.
  • A spread underdog may have a listing of +1.5, +20, or another number with a plus sign. The odds next to this number again usually will be -110. This occurs because the sportsbook uses the spread handicap to make both outcomes roughly equally likely, creating nearly equal odds.

What Does +100 and -100 Mean in Betting?

What does +100 mean in betting? If you see +100 or -100 in betting odds, they mean the same thing. If you wager $100 on either -100 or +100 odds on Edmonton in an NHL game on the moneyline, you receive $100 if you win (plus your original $100 wagered).

However, very few sportsbooks ever list American odds as -100. They nearly always list them as +100 instead.

-110 and the Spread – Explaining the Juice

With most sportsbooks, -110 American odds — or a number very close to -110 — are common when the two outcomes have a nearly equal chance of occurring. In this wager, you would bet $110 to try to win $100.

The use of -110 odds is not by accident. It creates the juice or the vig for the sportsbook. If sports bettors wager roughly equal amounts on both sides of the potential outcome, the sportsbook keeps nearly 5% of the total amount bet as its profit.

If bettors wager $110,000 on Team A and Team B with -110 negative odds on both of them, the sportsbook would take in $220,000. If Team A wins, the sportsbook pays those bettors $210,000 (consisting of $100,000 in winnings and $110,000 returned from the original bets). That leaves $10,000 for the sportsbook as profit (about 4.5% of the total wagered).

Reduced Juice

Sometimes, the sportsbook will slightly adjust the vig to encourage equal amounts wagered on both sides.

In the days leading up to a football game, the sportsbook may lower the odds to -105 on Team A and increase the odds to -120 on Team B without changing the point spread. Because bettors on Team A now only have to wager $105 to try to win $100 — and because sports bettors on Team B must wager $120 to try to win $100 — bettors may start betting on Team A in higher amounts.

As mentioned earlier, when the sportsbook can encourage roughly equal betting amounts on both sides, it has its surest possibility of making a profit. Changing the vig slightly throughout the week can help the sportsbook achieve this without affecting the spread.

Plus Minus Odds – Sports Betting Examples

If you prefer visual examples, here are some tables that show what wagers using plus minus American odds look like for each of the major sports you might be keen to bet on.

Plus Minus Betting Odds in NFL Football

NFL Team Moneyline Odds Implied Probability Winnings on $100 Bet
Chicago +200 2-to-1 or 33.3% $300 ($200 plus $100 bet returned)
Miami -225 4-to-9 or 69.2% $144.44 ($44.44 plus $100 bet returned)

In this NFL betting example, Miami is expected to win against Chicago, so Miami’s moneyline payout is far smaller.

NFL Team Point Spread Spread Odds Implied Probability Winnings on $100 Bet
Chicago +5.5 -105 20-to-21 or 51.2% $195.23 ($95.23 plus $100 bet returned)
Miami -5.5 -120 5-to-6 or 54.5% $183.33 ($83.33 plus $100 bet returned)

With a spread bet in the NFL, the sportsbook uses the handicap to try to make the two outcomes nearly equal, so the odds are closer, too.

Plus Minus Betting Odds in NBA Basketball

NBA Team Line Odds Implied Probability Winnings on $100 Bet
Philadelphia -180 5-to-9 or 64.3% $155.55 ($55.55 plus $100 bet returned)
Utah +150 3-to-2 or 40% $250 ($150 plus $100 bet returned)

Philadelphia is favored on the moneyline, which means you have more risk wagering on Utah.

NBA Team Point Spread Spread Odds Implied Probability Winnings on $100 Bet
Philadelphia -4 -110 10-to-11 or 52.4% $190.90 ($90.90 plus $100 bet returned)
Utah +4 -112 25-to-28 or 52.8% $189.28 ($89.28 plus $100 bet returned)

An NBA betting site sets the spread handicap to make both outcomes nearly equal in probability.

Plus Minus Betting in MLB Baseball

MLB Team Line Odds Implied Probability Winnings on $100 Bet
St. Louis -140 5-to-7 or 58.3% $171.42 ($71.42 plus $100 bet returned)
Baltimore +115 23-to-20 or 46.5% $214.99 ($114.99 plus $100 bet returned)

With MLB betting, one team is rarely a huge favorite on the moneyline, as can happen with football.

MLB Team Run Line Run Line Odds Implied Probability Winnings on $100 Bet
St. Louis -1.5 +125 5-to-4 or 44.4% $225 ($125 plus $100 bet returned)
Baltimore +1.5 -150 2-to-3 or 60% $166.66 ($66.66 plus $100 bet returned)

When you wager on the run line in MLB, the favorite, according to American odds, may be completely flipped from the moneyline.

Plus Minus Betting in NHL Hockey

NHL Team Money line Odds Implied Probability Winnings on $100 Bet
Pittsburgh -220 5-to-11 or 68.75% $145.45 ($45.45 plus $100 bet returned)
Ottawa +180 9-to-5 or 35.7% $279.99 ($179.99 plus $100 bet returned)

Because Ottawa is a significant NHL betting underdog in this game, you receive a favorable payout on a moneyline bet on Ottawa.

NHL Team Puck Line Puck Line Odds Implied Probability Winnings on $100 Bet
Pittsburgh -1.5 -108 25-to-27 or 51.9% $192.59 ($92.59 plus $100 bet returned)
Ottawa +1.5 -115 20-to-23 or 53.5% $186.95 ($86.95 plus $100 bet returned)

Even a big underdog may receive minus American odds when wagering on the puck line versus the moneyline in the NHL.

Plus Minus Betting in Other Sports

Soccer Team Three-Way Money line Odds Implied Probability Winnings on $100 Bet
Sporting KC +170 17-to-10 or 37% $270 ($170 plus $100 bet returned)
Seattle +150 3-to-2 or 40% $250 ($150 plus $100 bet returned)
Draw +220 11-to-5 or 31.25% $320 ($220 plus $100 bet returned)

In soccer, you often can make a three-way betting line wager, selecting the winner or a tie game.

Soccer Team Point Spread Line Spread Odds Implied Probability Winnings on $100 Bet
Sporting KC +0.5 -210 10-to-21 or 67.7% $147.61 ($47.61 plus $100 bet returned)
Seattle -0.5 +145 29-to-20 or 40.8% $245 ($145 plus $100 bet returned)

Soccer wagering may use a spread, which greatly changes the odds versus betting on the moneyline.

Pros and Cons of + and – Betting

Pros:

✅ Plus minus wagers are easier to understand than fractional odds for most people
✅ If you like to bet $100 every time, your potential winnings are easy to calculate
✅ Even if you don’t bet in $100 increments, the sportsbook website will calculate your potential winnings for you

Cons:

❌ If you’re a frequent horse racing bettor, which uses fractional odds, betting in American odds may feel strange
❌ The wall of numbers and plus minus symbols on the sportsbook screen can feel overwhelming to newcomers
❌ Plus minus American odds paired with plus minus spreads can be confusing

Understanding Plus Minus Betting – Key Tips

Here are some tips to follow for + or – betting.

Odds and Spreads – Be Aware of the Differences

Although point spreads and American odds use plus and minus symbols, they represent far different pieces of wagering information. Make sure you understand what you’re seeing.

Understand How To Read Plus Minus Odds

The best tip for reading these odds is that a number of 100 or greater with a plus or minus sign refers to the American odds. Single- or double-digit numbers with a plus or minus sign are spreads.

Calculate Winnings on $100 Stakes

  • What does the plus mean in betting? You wager $100 to win the amount listed with the + sign.
  • What does the minus mean in betting? You bet the amount listed to win $100.

Responsible Betting

Organizations that can help with responsible betting include Gamblers Anonymous and the National Council on Problem Gambling.

Conclusion on Plus Minus Betting

You should be a lot clearer on bet plus minus odds, and understanding them will help you have a better chance at success. Always remember to look out for the different + and – when it comes to the spread as there could be two symbols – one for the spread (e.g. -11.5) and another for the odds (e.g. -110). For more information, our sports betting guide can help.

Plus Minus Betting FAQs

What does +100 mean in betting?

What does + mean in betting?

What does – mean in betting?

What does underdog mean in betting?

Can a betting line move?

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Trevor Jones
Sports Editor

Trevor Jones is an expert in iGaming with a passion for writing about US sports, particularly football and basketball. He is extremely knowledgeable about US gambling regulations and contributes to Sports Casting. He has also contributed to sites like The Grueling Truth and Strafe, among many others. He is an avid sports and betting enthusiast and a huge fan of the Golden State Warriors, though he follows all of the major sports leagues.

Get to know Trevor Jones better
Author photo
Trevor Jones Sports Editor

Trevor Jones is an expert in iGaming with a passion for writing about US sports, particularly football and basketball. He is extremely knowledgeable about US gambling regulations and contributes to Sports Casting. He has also contributed to sites like The Grueling Truth and Strafe, among many others. He is an avid sports and betting enthusiast and a huge fan of the Golden State Warriors, though he follows all of the major sports leagues.

All posts by Trevor Jones