# What Does the + and – Mean in Sports Betting?

When you are first learning how to bet on sports, the main thing that you will need to get your head around is the jargon that is commonly used in the industry. One of the phrases that you will hear a lot is ‘+’ and ‘–’ and it is used to denote the point spread and odds, respectively. While these phrases might seem easy enough, there is a lot more than meets the eye behind them. Here, we will tell you exactly what these two special symbols mean in relation to sports betting so that when you hear them, you will know exactly what they are referring to.

## What Do the + and – Denote In Sports Betting?

For decades, the + and – have denoted the point spread and odds, respectively, in sports betting. The point spread is the number of points that you believe that your sports team will win the game compared to the opposing team. For example, if you put money on the New York Yankees to win the World Series, and the Yankees win the first game 6-5, then you would win 5 points (assuming the game goes the distance of seven games).

Similarly, the odds are the amount of money that you would need to wager to win an amount of money equal to the point spread. For example, if you bet \$100 at even odds (ie: the odds are 1:1) then you would need to win \$100 to make the same amount of money as you had initially staked. This scenario is known as a ‘push’.

These numbers can change from game to game and even across betting windows, so it is important to always check the bookmaker’s website for updated odds and point spreads before placing a bet. Additionally, many bookmakers will also give you updated odds and point spreads during live betting sessions.

## What Do The + and – Mean In Terms Of Probability?

When speaking with experts about sports betting, you will often hear them say that the + and – don’t always have the same meaning in terms of probability. The point spread and odds can both be used to determine the likelihood of an event occurring, but when they are used together, they can have a slightly different meaning. For example, take a look at the phrase ‘-1 and +150 for the Underdog’.

This is a common representation used when talking about a parlay (ie: betting two teams simultaneously). The plus sign indicates that you believe that the probability of the underdog team winning is 150/1 (1 in 150 odds) while the minus sign indicates that you believe that the chance of the favorite team losing is also 1 in 150 (ie: -1 in 150). When you see this, you are essentially expressing a subjective belief about the likelihood that one of the two teams will win. In this case, the chances of the underdog team winning are actually just slightly higher than evens (ie: 50/50 chance).

This being said, the point spread and odds are generally used together in sports betting to denote the likelihood that an event (ie: a game) will happen. If the favorite team is listed as +150 and the underdog team is listed as -1, this would indicate that you believe there is a 150/1 chance that the underdog team will win and a 1/150 chance that the favorite team will win.

## Do You Use The + And – In Your Bets?

When first learning how to bet on sports, the main question that you will be asked is whether you use the + and – in your bets. As we have established, these two special symbols are generally used together in sports betting to denote the point spread and odds, respectively. Therefore, when someone asks you whether or not you use these numbers in your bets, you will simply need to indicate that you do.

To give you a clearer picture of how these numbers work in relation to your bets, let’s say that you have made a \$20 wager on the New York Yankees to win the World Series. If the Yankees win the first game 7-5, you would win \$60 (ie: your original \$20 stake plus the \$40 winnings from the prior game).

In this example, you are essentially expressing a subjective belief about the probability that the Yankees will win. While this might seem like a good idea in theory, it could also lead to you losing money if the point spread and odds don’t correspond with your subjective opinion. For instance, if you picked the Boston Red Sox +280 and the Yankees -240, you would be looking to profit from a 280/240 chance that the Red Sox will win the game. However, if the Red Sox win the game, you would lose the \$20 that you staked because the Yankees were listed as +240 on the money line.

## What Is The Difference In Point Spread And Odds?

An important distinction to make is that the point spread and odds are not always the same thing. The point spread is the number of points that you believe that your team will win the game compared to the opposing team. The odds are the amount of money that you would need to wager to win an amount of money equal to the point spread. As an example, if you bet on the New York Yankees to win the World Series, and they win the first game 7-5, then you would win 5 points (assuming the game goes the distance of seven games).

The odds can change from game to game and even across betting windows, so it is important to always check the bookmaker’s website for the latest odds before placing a bet. Additionally, many bookmakers will also give you updated odds and point spreads during live betting sessions.

## Why Are The Odds And Point Spread Important?

As a gambler, you would always like to know the odds of making a certain wager. If you put \$100 on the New York Yankees to win the World Series and they win the first game 7-5, then you would win \$300 (ie: your \$100 stake plus the \$200 winnings from the prior game).

This example illustrates the importance of knowing the odds when gambling. You put in a \$100 stake and you think that you have a 30/1 shot at winning \$300, what would you do? You would keep betting for more money, of course. This is why it is important to always check the odds before placing a bet. By knowing the odds, you can decide whether or not to keep betting based on whether or not you are likely to win. This is crucial to being a successful gambler.

## When Do You Use The Point Spread And Odds?

The point spread and odds are generally important in sports betting situations where there is disagreement about the final outcome of the game, or the score is not in yet. If you don’t have time to watch the whole game, or you want to bet on something that is not yet decided, then using the point spread and odds is the best option. Additionally, these numbers can change from game to game and even across betting sessions, so it is important to always check the Internet for the latest odds before placing a bet.

## What Is The Difference Between The Money Line And Underdog?

One of the biggest FAQs that you will hear about once you begin betting is the difference between the money line and underdog. The money line is the popular name for the wager that you can place when you believe that one of the two teams is more likely to win the game. The underdog is the team that you believe is the underdog compared to the favorite in the game. For example, let’s say that you put money on the New York Yankees to win the World Series and they win the first game 7-5. In this case, you have chosen the Yankees – the underdogs in the series – and you would win if they win the rest of the games in the series as well. Money line betting is useful if you want to wager on the outcome of a game that you have not yet seen, or you want to make a bet on a sporting event that does not yet have any results. This is also known as a ‘lay’ bet in some countries. Underdog betting is useful if you believe that the underdogs are going to win, but you do not want to wager on the outcome of the game. You would choose the Yankees as your underdogs because they are the team that you believe is not going to win the World Series. However, you don’t necessarily have to choose an underdog team to do this – you can choose whatever team you like (within the rules of course), as long as you are consistent within yourself.