American Odds Explained

American odds are used in the USA where they are also known as Vegas odds and Money Line Odds. They tend to be tricky for someone that encounters them for the very first time, especially after being accustomed to fractional odds or decimal. Here we explain American odds in detail with real life examples.

While fractional odds remain a favorite format in the UK, we believe decimal odds are the easiest to use for various reasons. Further along this document we go on to explain how to convert from american odds to decimal.

American Odds represent the payout for a $100 dollar bet or how much you need to stake to make $100 in profit.

American Odds Explained Step by Step

  • American odds will always appear with a plus or minus sign.
  • Bets with a plus sign before them represent how much you can win. Ex: +120 means that for a $100 dollar bet you can win $120 dollars.
  • Bets with a minus sign before them represent how much you have to bet in order to win $100 dollars. Ex: -110 means you have to bet $110 dollars to win $100.
  • American odds do not include the stake like decimal and fractional odds do. So the number you get is your profit.

This format makes it very easy to know your potential wins and simpler to sort out value bets from invaluable ones. But it can get fishy to calculate the stake size or potential profits with stakes other than $100 dollars. That is why it is important to understand the profit percentages of each line, not only to make a profit calculation but to know how much value really is inside an odd.

For example:

  • +120 is 120% profit
  • -110 is 90% profit

In simple terms…

  • Any bet with a (+) sign goes from even or 100% return forward.
  • Any bet with a (-) sign goes from 99% return downwards.

American Odds Calculator

Calculating the percentages is not that hard, especially with positive American odd which tell you right away your return. For an American Odds calculator you can use the Odds Converter tool, named Moneyline Odds. Or just follow our tips to do it yourself:

  • For positive American odds just take the odds number and change it to a percentage, +120 is 120%.
  • For negative American odds do a subtraction of the odds given by 100 two times. Ex: -110 odds, then 110 – 100 = 10 Next step 100 – 10 = 90%.

*That last explanation can be confusing, so just ditch out the “1” in front of the odds and leave the remainder, if we got -110 then ditch the first “1” and we have -10. Now subtract -10 to 100 and that gives us 90 or 90%.

BUT!! This conversion system is not entirely accurate, it works until a certain point. So better read the odds conversion table below.

American Odds to Decimal

This table will help you to understand how to turn American odds to decimal odds more easily. Decimal odds are our preferred method, it makes it easier to scan value in bets without complex calculations.

American odds Decimal odds American odds Decimal odds
-101 1.990 +100 2.000
-105 1.952 +105 2.050
-110 1.909 +110 2.100
-120 1.833 +120 2.200
-130 1.769 +130 2.300
-140 1.714 +140 2.400
-150 1.667 +150 2.500
-200 1.500 +200 3.000
-300 1.333 +300 4.000
-400 1.250 +400 5.000
-500 1.200 +500 6.000
-600 1.167 +600 7.000
-700 1.143 +700 8.000
-800 1.125 +800 9.000
-900 1.111 +900 10.000
-1000 1.100 +1000 11.000

Money Line

money line odds explained

Money line is the same thing as a straight bet or an outright bet result of a match, but it has its own way of calculating odds.

  • Positive Money Line Odds: Oddsx (stake/100)
  • Negative Money LINE Odds: (100/Odds) x stake

*As you are beginning to realize this is not the same as pure American Odds.

Example of Money Line Odds

Real Madrid  Match Odds  -108

Barcelona  Match Odds  +102

  1. If we bet $10.80 on Real Madrid we can calculate our earnings the following way:

(100/-108)*$10.80 = $10.00 dollars in payout.

  1. If we bet $50 on Barcelona at +102:

+102*($50/100) = $52.

*A quick shortcut to this calculation is by reading the last number in the odds, for example:

  • -108 is telling you 8% – 100% = 92% payout.
  • +102 is telling you 2% + 100% = 102% payout.

But once again, this quick reading system of payouts gets distorted after +120 or -120 odds. So refer to the table or do the manual math calculation.

Reference Links

[1] Pinnaclesports.com, Odds Formats Available at Pinnacle Sports, 2014