American odds a.k.a. Moneyline odds are used by default by US-based sportsbooks, including both retail and internet sportsbooks. If you have no experience with this format of odds, you may find them strange at first. However, to understand how they work, you just need to remember that American odds are all about $100 – either wagering or winning a hundred bucks.
How to Read American Odds?
The odds on the favorite have a minus (-) sign in front of them. What this means is that the number you see is the amount you need to wager to win $100.
If the odds have a plus sign (+), it means that you’re betting the underdog. In this case, the number you see is the amount you could win with a $100 stake.
To make it even clearer for you, let us show you how to read American odds with an example. Let’s say the odds on the New York Knicks are -250, what this means is that you need to wager $250 so that you will make a profit of $100 if the bet wins.
But what if you wish to back the underdog? Let’s say that in this case, the Brooklyn Nets are the dog, with the odds of +205. These odds suggest that if you bet $100 on the Nets, your potential profit would be $205.
How to Convert American Odds to Decimal?
Everyone seems to agree that decimal odds are significantly less complicated than American odds. That’s why many bettors prefer converting them. The good news is that at most NY betting sites, there is a feature you can use to change the odds format.
There are also many online apps out there that will convert the odds for you from one format to the other. On top of everything, you can convert the odds on your own as well using a special formula.
Actually, there are two formulas – one for favorites odds and one for underdog odds.
In the case of the favorites odds, that is, those with a minus (-) sign in front of them, here’s the formula you should follow:
100 ÷ Odds + 1
So, if the odds are -250, you should take 100 and divide it by that number (losing the minus sign along the way), before adding 1. If you follow this formula, you will see that -250 in American odds equals 1.40 in decimal.
Next, let us show you how to convert underdog odds. If the American odds come with a plus sign (+) in front of them, here’s what you ought to do to turn them into decimal odds:
Odds ÷ 100 + 1
Let’s say the odds are +205, it means that you need to divide that number by 100 before adding one. Do that and you’ll see that +205 equals 3.05.
Calculate Your Bet with American Odds
With American odds, everything is focused on $100, but what if you’re planning to bet a different amount. How are you supposed to calculate your winnings?
One way of doing it is by converting American odds to decimal and doing it that way. Another, even easier method is to use a math formula. Once again, it’s two formulas you need to keep in mind, one for favorites and one for underdogs.
In the case of minus odds, you got to take 100 and divide it by the odds value before multiplying the result with your stake. So, if you’re betting $20 on -250 odds, what you got to do is use this formula: 100 ÷ 250 x 20. The result is 8, which represents your profit (you will get your $20 stake back as well).
When it comes to minus odds, you got to take the odds value and divide it by 100, then multiply by your stake. This means that if you want to bet $20 on +205, you need to use the following formula: 205 ÷ 100 x 20. The result is 41, which represents you’re the money you will make if the bet wins. You will get your $20 stake back as well.