Everything You Need to Know About “+-” in Basketball Betting

In basketball betting, the term “+-” is typically used in the context of point spreads or handicap betting. Point spread betting is a popular form of wagering in which oddsmakers establish a margin of points that one team is expected to win or lose by. The goal is to create a more balanced betting market by giving each team an equal chance of covering the spread. Let’s delve into the details of what the term “+-” means in basketball betting.

Point Spread Basics:

The point spread is a numerical advantage or disadvantage assigned to a team by oddsmakers to level the playing field for betting purposes. When you see a point spread listed for a basketball game, it will be accompanied by a positive or negative number. The team with a positive number is the underdog, while the team with a negative number is the favorite.

“+” (Plus):

When you see a plus sign in front of a number (e.g., +5), it indicates the number of points that the underdog team is receiving. In other words, if you bet on the underdog with a plus sign, your team can either win the game outright, or lose by fewer points than the specified spread, and your bet will be a winner.

For example, if Team A has a point spread of +5 against Team B, and you bet on Team A, your bet will be successful if Team A wins the game or loses by four points or fewer. Even if Team A loses by exactly five points, the bet is considered a push, and your stake is returned.

“-” (Minus):

Conversely, when you see a minus sign in front of a number (e.g., -5), it indicates the number of points that the favorite team is expected to win by. If you bet on the favorite with a minus sign, your team needs to win the game by more points than the specified spread for your bet to be a winner.

Using the same example, if Team B has a point spread of -5 against Team A, you would need Team B to win the game by six points or more to win your bet. If Team B wins by exactly five points, it’s a push, and you get your original stake back.

Key Concepts:

  1. Push: A push occurs when the actual margin of victory or defeat aligns exactly with the point spread. In this case, all bets are refunded, and there is no winner or loser.
  2. Half-Points: To avoid pushes, sportsbooks often use half-points in point spreads. For example, instead of setting a spread at -5, they might use -5.5. This ensures there’s a clear winner and loser in every bet.
  3. Moneyline Alternative: While point spreads are prevalent in basketball betting, you can also opt for the moneyline, where you simply pick the team you think will win the game outright. However, moneyline odds are adjusted based on the perceived strength of each team.
  4. Understanding Odds: In addition to the point spread, you’ll encounter odds associated with each team. Positive odds (e.g., +150) indicate the potential profit on a $100 bet, while negative odds (e.g., -150) represent the amount you need to bet to make a $100 profit.

American Odds vs. Decimal and Fractional Odds in Basketball Betting

1. American Odds:

American odds, also known as moneyline odds, are prevalent in the United States and often used in basketball betting. The odds are presented with a plus (+) sign for underdogs and a minus (-) sign for favorites.

  • Plus (+) Odds: These indicate the potential profit on a $100 bet. For example, if a team has odds of +150, a $100 bet would yield a $150 profit, and the total return would be $250 (original $100 stake + $150 profit).
  • Minus (-) Odds: These indicate the amount you need to bet to make a $100 profit. For instance, if a team has odds of -150, you would need to wager $150 to make a $100 profit, and the total return would be $250 (original $150 stake + $100 profit).

2. Decimal Odds:

Decimal odds are a popular format in Europe, Canada, Australia, and many other parts of the world. They represent the total amount that will be returned on a winning bet, including both the original stake and the profit.

  • Calculation: To calculate potential profit, you multiply your stake by the decimal odds. For example, if you bet $100 on a team with odds of 2.50, your potential profit would be $100 * 2.50 = $250, and the total return would be $350 (original $100 stake + $250 profit).

3. Fractional Odds:

Fractional odds are common in the UK and are expressed as a fraction, typically in the form of “a/b.”

  • Calculation: The numerator (a) represents the profit, and the denominator (b) represents the stake. For example, if a team has odds of 3/1, a $100 bet would yield a $300 profit, and the total return would be $400 (original $100 stake + $300 profit).

Comparing the Formats:

  • American vs. Decimal: The key difference is in how they express underdogs and favorites. American odds use plus and minus signs, while decimal odds provide a straightforward representation of potential total returns.
  • American vs. Fractional: Both use different symbols for underdogs and favorites, but fractional odds often require more mental math to calculate potential profits compared to American odds.
  • Decimal vs. Fractional: Both formats directly represent potential total returns, but some find decimal odds easier to understand and calculate.

Choosing the Right Format:

The choice between American, decimal, or fractional odds often comes down to personal preference. Some bettors prefer the simplicity of decimal odds, while others may be more comfortable with the traditional plus and minus signs of American odds or the fractional representation.

In basketball betting, odds formats are interchangeable, and most sportsbooks allow users to switch between them based on their preference. It’s crucial for bettors to understand the odds format they are using to make informed decisions and accurately calculate potential profits.

Final Words

Understanding the plus and minus signs in betting is straightforward, yet it may require some time to become accustomed to this unique way of assessing a team’s likelihood of winning.

American odds provide an implied probability for a game, expressing percentages as prices in the betting world. The symbols “+” and “-” signify the cost and potential payout associated with a particular wager.

With American odds, centered around a $100 bet, you have the flexibility to wager either less or more based on your level of confidence. The plus and minus symbols play a pivotal role in conveying the stake and potential returns in the realm of sports betting.