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What is American Odds: A comprehensive Guide

American odds are a type of odds display that is particularly popular in the United States. They are classified into two types: positive and negative, and they reflect the possible profit or risk associated with a bet. Underdogs are given positive odds, while favorites are given negative odds. 

In sports betting, American odds are a popular and extensively used technique of describing odds. We’ll walk you through the ins and outs of American odds, how to understand them, and the benefits and drawbacks of employing them in this detailed guide. You’ll also learn how to compute American odds and discover basic tactics for properly using them. To present a complete picture, we’ll discuss the advantages and disadvantages of utilizing American odds. Finally, we’ll go over some frequently asked questions to ensure you have a firm grasp on this critical topic in sports betting.

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How To Read American Odds

Reading American odds is simple if you’ve mastered the fundamentals. Positive odds, shown by a plus sign (+), represent how much profit you can gain on a 100-bet wager. For example, +300 odds indicate that you can win 300 on a 100 bet. Negative odds, denoted by a minus sign (-), represent the amount of money required to win 100. For example, -150 odds indicate that you must risk 150 in order to win 100.

Positive and negative american odds

Positive odds show the potential return on a 100 bet, whereas negative odds represent the amount required to win 100. Underdogs are associated with positive odds, which give a bigger payment if they win. Negative odds are associated with favorites, indicating the amount you must risk to get a 100 profit.

How to calculate american odds

To calculate the potential profit with American odds, you can use the following formulas:

For Positive Odds: Profit = (Odds / 100) x Wager 

For Negative Odds: Profit = (100 / Odds) x Wager

Pros and Cons of American Odds


The simplicity of American odds is one of their key advantages. They provide a clear idea of prospective profit or risk, making it simple to understand for both novice and seasoned gamblers. Furthermore, American odds are commonly employed in the United States, making them necessary for wagering on American sports.


While American odds are straightforward, they may not be as intuitive for bettors accustomed to other odds formats, such as decimal or fractional. This can make it challenging for international users. Moreover, American odds do not provide the probability of an outcome, unlike some other odds formats.

Tips and Strategies in Using American Odds

These basic strategies are designed to help you make more informed and calculated bets while minimizing risks. As you gain experience, you can refine and adapt these strategies to suit your betting style and preferences.

Understanding the Favorites and Underdogs

One important thing to know about American chances is the difference between favorites and underdogs. Favorites have negative chances, which means that most people think they will win. Underdogs, on the other hand, have positive odds, which means that they are less likely to win. To make smart bets, look at how the team or player has been playing lately, any injuries, and any other factors that might affect the result. Bets on favorites with strong negative odds may not pay off and come with a lot of risk. Bets on losers with strong positive odds, on the other hand, can pay off big.

Managing Your Bankroll Well

No matter what odds format you use, it’s important to know how to handle your money when you’re betting on sports. For American odds, you should decide how much you can spend on bets and stick to it. Don’t risk more money than you can afford to lose. You could use a percentage-based strategy, in which you only risk a small part of your total sum on a single bet. In the long run, this helps protect your money and lessens the effect of any loses that might happen.

Comparing Odds Across Different Sportsbooks

Odds at Different Sportsbooks: Different sportsbooks have different odds for the same game. It’s smart to look at chances from different sportsbooks so you can make the most money possible. You can find the best deal for your bet this way, which is called “line shopping.” Even small changes in odds can have a big effect on your returns, so it may be worth your time to look at chances at more than one sportsbook.

Avoiding Heavy Favorites with Very Low Negative Odds

It might seem like a safe bet to bet on heavy favorites with very low negative odds, but it usually doesn’t pay off. Also, these bets can be dangerous because even a small upset can cause a big loss. You should instead think about making these kinds of bets or looking for other markets with better odds or more value. To increase your profits, try to find a balance between risk and return.

Hedging Bets to Manage Risk

Hedging your bets is a smart way to reduce the risk of losing money or lock in gains. You can protect your bet with American odds by betting on the opposite result of your first bet. For example, if you bet on a winner with bad odds and the underdog does really well, you can place a smaller bet on the underdog to cut your losses or even make sure you make money. This approach might lower the amount of money you could win, but it makes your betting portfolio safer.

Do Your Research and Stay Informed

One of the most important things you can do is learn as much as you can about the sports, teams, and people you are betting on. Keep up with the latest team news, injuries, data, and how the team works together. With this information, you’ll be able to make more accurate guesses, which will help you win more often when you play American odds.

What Sports Can You Bet On With American Odds?

American odds are flexible, so you can use them to bet on many different games. People in the United States often use them for games like American football, basketball, baseball, and ice hockey. You can find American odds in games like soccer, tennis, golf, and more that are played around the world. In a sense, American odds can be used for any sport that bookmakers offer. This makes them a universal odds system for betting on sports. When you bet, it’s important to know how American odds work for each sport and how the rules of that sport work.


This complete guide to American odds has gone over the basics, shown you how to read both positive and negative chances, given you ways to figure out your possible profits, talked about the pros and cons, and given you the most important tips for using American odds correctly. We hope that this help has given you the information and confidence you need to bet on sports with American odds. If you have any more questions or need more help, feel free to look around our OKBet site. There you can use what you’ve learned. Have fun betting!


The way American odds are shown is different from other chances. Positive American odds mean that you could win $100 on a bet, while negative chances mean that you have to bet more than 100 to win 100.

Depending on your research and risk level, you can make money betting on either underdogs (with positive odds) or favorites (with negative odds).

When American bookmakers set odds, they look at a lot of things, such as how well a team or player has done in the past, data from the past, public opinion, and other important information.

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