Understanding Sports Betting: Decoding the + and – Signs

Posted by Alice on January 8, 2023 in Gaming

A graphic displaying the symbols "+" and "-" with text explaining their meaning in sports betting. The image also includes examples of how these symbols are used in relation to point spreads and betting odds.

In sports betting plus (+) and minus (-) refers to either the betting odds or point spread. With regards to the spread “+” and “-” always refers to the underdog and the favorite. For instance, you can wager on the Green Bay Packers as a -7 to beat the Dallas Cowboys as a -7 point underdog. If you place a bet on the Packers -7 and they win with over 7 points, you get to win the bet. On the other hand, if you bet on the Dallas Cowboys +7, as long as the team loses by less than 7 points or even win, you get to win the bet. Read on to learn more about what does the + and – mean in sports betting?

The same applies to the betting odds, even though the favorites do not always have the “-,” particularly in sports events like soccer, hockey, or baseball where the results are typically decided by one goal or one run. This is usually the case in soccer, particularly if the match ends in a tie, where a winner is usually declared in different types of sports mainly because of the overtime rules. Nevertheless, in many cases, the favorites have a “-” in front of the Moneyline odds whereas the underdog would have a “+.”

What Does the + and – Mean In Sports Betting?

For instance, when it comes to the Moneyline betting odds, you can bet the Giants as a -180 favorite to win or the Eagles as a +150 underdog to win. Incase you bet $100 on the Giants to win at -180, you will get a $196 payout. On the other hand, if you bet on the Eagles to win at +150, the payout would be $280 because they are the underdogs.

However, when it comes to soccer, Liverpool may be a +150 favorite against Arsenal as a +190 the underdog, whereas a tie will be set at about +220. If this is the case, the payout will be a decent amount for each situation. This is because the teams seem to be even and there are 3 possible outcomes as compared to just 2 for things like football. Unless the teams are still goalless even in extra time. In a situation where the teams have a “+” in front of the team’s odds, the team having the lowest number is considered the favorite.

Keep in mind that a lower number also generates a lower payout, which is often the case for betting the favorites on Moneyline. A $100 on Liverpool +150 will net $250, whereas a $100 on arsenal +190 will net $290. Take note of the fact that a $100 on a tie at +220 will net $320.

How To Become  A Sports Betting Affiliate?

What has over the years made affiliate marketing so popular is because it provides the real measurement of client acquisition and the overall success of a business. It works perfectly for both the affiliate marketers and the business they advertise. The same applies to sports betting affiliate marketing.

How To Become  A Sports Betting Affiliate

When it comes to sports betting, affiliate marketing has proven to be the most cost-effective way that online sportsbooks can drive traffic to their websites, whereas the affiliates who direct traffic get paid in the form of a commission based on the number of depositing players they have sent to the sports betting website. So, if you are serious of getting started as an affiliate for sports betting websites, below is one of the most important things you should consider:

  • Run A Professional Blog Or Website

To work as a sports betting affiliate, you need a professional platform to promote the services offered by the sports betting provider. Since this is a niche industry, you should create targeted content in the market. Therefore, stock to sports betting related content.

If you are just getting started, you must find a way of creating a stunning website. The most cost-effective way you can build an affiliate website is through WordPress. Below is our handpicked list of the best sports betting affiliate theme for WordPress that you can use to build an affiliate website. The good news is that with the best WordPress theme, you don’t need any coding skills or programming knowledge to create a great website.

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What is a Sports Betting Exchange?

Sports betting exchange enables sports bettors to wager against one another rather than via a bookmaker.

If you find a sportsbook that allows betting exchange, this means they don’t worry about specific sides since sportsbooks often take a smaller commission on the winnings from their customers.

How Sports Betting Exchange Works?

Essentially, a sports betting exchange is a bet between 2 people. You can think about it as betting with a friend that a specific team will win. It happens when you take one side and your friend takes the opposite side.

The primary difference in the sports betting exchange compared to a sportsbook is that you get to play the role of the sportsbook by laying the selection. Technically, backing a certain selection is possible in the conventional sense since it means the bet would happen. For instance, if you bet the Giants as -7 point favorites, you are betting that they will win.

What Does The Spread Mean in Sports Betting?

Also known as the line, the spread is often used to even the odds between the 2 unevenly matched teams.

sportsbooks set the spread hoping to get the same action on both sides of the match. For instance, the Texans are a -3 point favorite against the Colts. In this case, the -3 point is the spread. If you are looking to wager on the Texans the spread, this means the Texans must win by a minimum of 3 points for you to win the wager. Incase the Texans win by only 2 points, you will lose the wager since they do not hit the crucial number of 3.

The spread at (-3) shows the teams are almost equal and most probably in such a case, the Texans are just -3 since they are playing on home ground. Sportsbooks see the teams as equals and largely expect to get fairly even money from the sports bettors. Incase the teams are largely considered to be equal and sportsbooks have a -5 spread, they will not get equal money as Colts +5 will most likely be pounded by sports bettors.

In the spread bet, the winning odds are often set at about -110 on both sides, based on the bookmaker and state. This means if you bet on Texans +3 and Colts -3, you would win a similar amount of money incase you win this bet.

What Does Over and Under Mean In Sports Betting?

Total bets are often referred to as the Over/Under bet. The wager name is interchangeable and both terms are used in the media and sportsbooks. The totals bet is by far one of the easiest and highly popular wagers you can make in a sportsbook. The only highly popular wager is selecting winners. The betting totals are usually available for many professional sports like hockey, baseball, basketball, and football.

In many cases, if you are betting on the total, you simply get to pick if the total number of points or goals scored by the teams will either be under or over the listed total to be scored. That’s all! In a totals wager, the loser and winner of the match don’t matter. The only thing that is important in the totals bet is the number of goals, runs, or points scored.

Before a game starts placing over or under bets is usually the -110 bets. Sports bettors will bet $110 for them to win $100 for the pre-game totals wager. Incase the bettors bet more on one part of the total, the Moneyline may change before the real point total moves. With time, the bookmaker will reset the current total and the Moneyline would reset back to -110.

Over/Under Bets

Although the Over/Under and Totals might be utilized interchangeably for scoring, also, there is another route to making the Over/Under wagers. The Over/Under wager can be a prop (proposition) bet where there is a bet made on a certain occurrence. The boxing match is a great example because scoring is not the same as major sports.

Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather

The fight lasts 9.5 rounds

  • Under (-110)
  • Over (-110)

Floyd Mayweather defeated Conor McGregor by a knockout in the tenth round and the over bettors won this bet. If either won this fight earlier, under bettors would have won the bet because the outcome would have happened before the 9th round.

What is the ‘Line’ In Sports Betting?

In sports betting, “line” is a phrase used for the pointspread. It is commonly referred to as the betting line or the gaming odds used in determining the parameters for betting on either the underdog or favorite in the sports events. The practice of betting on the line encourages wagering on both sides.

Instead of just choosing the outright winner, bettors are allowed to bet on the final point of victory, where the favorites must win by a specific number of points whereas the underdogs must remain within a specific point range.

For instance, Chicago -5.5 means that Chicago is the current favorite and must win by at least 6 points. On the other hand, Green Bay +5.5 means that the Green Bay is the underdog and has been awarded 5.5 points, if Green Bay loses by 5 or fewer points, this is a winning bet.

In most cases, there is a 10% juice that the sportsbook or bookie charge for line betting. For instance, Chicago -5.5 (-110) or Green Bay +5.5 (-110) means you will have to wager $100 for a chance to win an extra $100 incase you wager in the pointspread.

Based on the side that is receiving more action, the sportsbook will move the line down or up as a way of incentivizing betting on the less popular side. Unforeseen changes or injuries can also affect the gaming line.

What is PK in Sports Betting?

PK is short for Pick ’em or Pick. If you see this on an NFL betting line, it means that the game is largely considered to be even. For instance, incase the New York Jets are playing the New York Giants and the betting line is PK, this means this is an even game. Technically speaking, there is no known point spread. Therefore, no matter the team you choose to bet, the Jets or Giants, just needs to win the match for the bettor to win the bet. “Pick” are not quite common in the NFL. For instance, throughout the 2018 regular season, about 256 games, there were just 6 games where the betting line closed as the pick. There were no “Pick” games in the 2018 NFL playoffs.

What States Have Legalized Sports Betting?

If you reside in the United States, one of the most important things that you will enjoy about sports betting is that many states have legalized sports betting online. Besides Nevada, there are many other states where you can bet on sports legally. Click here to find legal sports betting sites for a fascinating sports betting experience.


We strongly hope that by now you fully understand What does the + and – mean in sports betting? This is important because you will now be in a much better position to place winning bets. Also remember to check out our sports betting articles to learn everything about placing real money bets on sports.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I get free bets in sports betting?

Yes, in sports betting, free bets are connected to deposits and are referred to as bonuses.

Which states in the US have legalized sports betting?

As of 2022, there are 21 states including Washington D.C that have legal sports betting.

Can I bet on sports online?

Of course! But although online sports betting is legal in almost 30 states in the US, not all of them permit online betting.

When was online sports betting legalized?

Sports betting online was legalized at the state level back in 2018, soon after PASPA was abolished.

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