What do the + and – mean in sports betting?

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The + and – in betting most often refer to the point spread difference between the teams. The point spread is the number of points added or subtracted from each team’s final score to make the game more even.

For example, if the Eagles are -3.5 against the Giants at +3.5, that means the Eagles must win by 4 or more in order for that bet to win while the Giants have to lose by 3 or less (or win).

When reading the lines, you would say the “Eagles are minus 3.5” and the “Cowboys are plus 3.5.”

Whichever team has the minus (-) sign in front of it is the favorite since they are having points “taken away” from their score. Whichever team has the plus (+) sign is the underdog since they are having points “added” to their score.

If you ever see a “pk” in place of the + or – sign, that means the game is a pick’em and there is no spread. In this case, you just pick the winner straight up.

There are also pluses and minuses in sports betting odds. You can learn more about how to read betting odds here but the short version is as follows:

  • Plus sign (underdog): Reflects how much you would win off a $100 bet. For example, if you bet $100 on a market with +250 odds, you would profit $250. If you bet $50 on a market with +500 odds, you would win $250.
  • Minus sign (favorite): Reflects how much you have to bet to win $100. For example, if you would need to bet $150 on a market with -150 odds to win $100. If you bet $10 on a market with -120 odds, you would profit $8.33.

Dave Rathmanner

Dave Rathmanner is the Founder & CEO of Odds Assist. After struggling to find helpful sports betting resources and honest reviews when he first started betting, he decided to create the site he always wished he had. Dave has been betting on sports since NJ legalized it in 2018 and regularly analyzes sportsbooks to find the best options for bettors. Aside from creating new content for OA readers, Dave is also passionate about researching betting markets, creating models, and developing profitable betting strategies.