What Does -2 Mean In Betting? Sports Betting Odds

What Does -2 Mean In Betting

Sports betting terms can be very confusing. In this article you will discover what does -2 mean in betting as well as many more other type of bets. Having a good profitable betting strategies is not just about picking up the winning team. Understanding ” what does -2 mean in betting” and other type of odds can make a huge difference in your betting results.

What does -2 mean in betting

Types of Betting Odds

Betting odds are displayed in one of the three primary ways – American (moneyline), Decimal (European) and Fractional (British). These are just different ways of presenting one thing and there is no difference in payouts.

This means it is possible to present the probability of an event in of the three types of odds. They show the implied probability of the outcome they are related to and indicate how much you can win by betting on the particular outcome.

American Odds

Popular in the United States, American Odds work differently for underdogs and favourites and they are also called ‘moneyline’ odds. For favourites, the odds are denoted with a minus sign to indicate how much you should stake to win $100.

For underdogs, a positive sign accompanies the odds to indicate how much you can win by risking $100. In both these cases, the initial amount comes back to you along with your winning. The difference between the odds for underdogs and favorites becomes bigger with the increasing probability of winning.

Fractional Odds

Popular among Irish and British bookies, Fractional Odds or UK odds are used by some of the biggest bookmakers in the world and hence the most preferred ones. These odds denote the net total amount paid out to the player if he wins, factoring in the stake. Fractional odds are written using a hyphen or slash like 5-1 or 5/1 and said as ‘five-to-one’.

This listing means you win $5 against every $1 you bet. This implies that you receive your stake of $1 along with your profit of $5 giving you a total payout of $6. So, if you bet $10 at 5/1, you receive a payout of $60 that contains your profit of $50 and your stake of $10.

Decimal Odds

European odds or decimal odds are highly popular across Australia, Europe and Canada and believed to be the simplest formula to comprehend. All the professional online sportsbooks have the option to display odds in the decimal format.

European odds represent the quote as the exact amount won in case you win. Decimal odds are technically the decimal value of the fractional odds and an added one. The underdogs and favourites can be instantly found by looking at these numbers.

The Meaning of the + and – In Sports Betting

+ and - sports Betting odds

Understanding the meanings associated with a plus (+) and minus (-) sign is really important before placing a sports bet. The plus sign stands for underdogs of the event in sports betting. It is always placed next to the outcome that is not likely to take place. As the outcome is not likely, the payout on bets having the plus sign give you the initial wagered amount as the minimum.

While it is quite tricky to bet on underdogs, they are rewarding because the winning bet at least gives the staked amount.

When you see a minus sign in sports betting, you should understand it as ‘favorite’. The – sign is always used beside an event that is likely to occur. As the outcome is likely, this sign is associated with bets that will not pay back the investment amount.

Plus and Minus In American Odds

American or Moneyline is the most popular type of betting odds. It stands for placing the bet on a player or team to win the contest in subject. In the American odds, you can find the minus (-) sign next to the favorite in addition to the odds to win.

The plus (+) sign, on the other hand, accompanies the underdog and its odds. This style of betting odds is named as the ‘American odds’ style.

In the American style of denoting odds, the number beside the minus sign represents the amount a player should wager to be able to win $100. The number next to the plus sign denotes the amount profited from a wager of $100.

For example, a team which is -400 moneyline favorite needs a wager of $400 to get a total profit of $100 getting a payout of $500. If the team has an underdog of +800, a moneyline bet of $100 would give a net profit of $800, equalling a payout of $900 in total.

Consider the example:

A moneyline Favorite -130 on Pittsburgh Penguins and Underdog +110 on Ottawa Senators can be used to calculate the payouts with Moneyline odds. This representation of odds indicates that you need to bet $130 to win $100 on the Penguins while wagering $100 on the Senators would give you $110. The following formula helps you calculate the total payout for the amount you want to wager.

If you bet $40 on Pittsburgh, you would get the equation like

130/100 = 40/x

You can cross multiply to get 130x = 4000 and get x=30.77.

This means if you bet $40 on Pittsburgh, you win 30.77 dollars and the total payout will be $70.77 including the profit and initial wager.

On the other hand, if you bet $40 on Ottawa, your equation will be

100/110 = 40/x

You cross multiply to get x=44.

So, if you bet $40 on Ottawa, you win $44 and your total return will equal $84.

Plus and Minus in Spread Betting

The + and – signs are not exclusive to American betting odds. They are also used when betting the spread. The point spread is one of the most preferred betting options associated with football betting. It is sometimes called an equalizer for bookmakers as it is used to balance the chances of winning a game for different teams.

Point spread gives a reason to risk money on both the teams playing. The better of the two is considered favorite and listed with a minus sign. They need to win by the point spread set by the sportsbook. The other team is called the underdog and is listed with a plus sign. The player wins if this team wins or loses by an amount smaller than this defined number.

Point Spread Betting Odds

A point spread is a figure specified by the oddsmakers and works as a margin of victory or house edge. The team you are betting on has to beat this margin to make you win the bet. Generally, point spreads are set with -110 odds but the value often changes at online sportsbooks.

This house edge makes sure the operator gets some profit over time. If the odds are set to -110, a player should bet $110 to win $100. Point spread betting odds are commonly known as ‘vig’ and the point spread is often called ‘juice’ by bettors.

What Does -2 Mean in Betting?

Let us try to understand the point spread betting odds with the help of an example. We consider a matchup between the two teams – Los Angeles Raiders and Miami Dolphins. The betting line says

Los Angeles Raiders +2

Miami Dolphins -2

Firstly, you should see whether the sign is ‘+’ or ‘-‘. The minus sign says the team needs to win by a higher number than the margin while the plus sign denotes that the other team can either win the game or lose the game by that margin and cover the point spread in either case.

Considering the example, Miami Dolphins are at -2 which means the team should win the game by two points or more to win on the point spread. Alternatively, Los Angeles Raiders listed at +2 underdog means the team should either win or lose by two or one point to cover the spread.

What Does -2 Mean in Betting? Team has to win the game by 2 points

What does - 2 mean betting odds

With a point spread betting odd, the team with a negative sign always lays points and is favorite while the one with positive sign is the underdog and gets points.

Calculating the Winnings on the Odds

Generally, with a point spread betting odd, two values are give to each of the teams – a moneyline value and a point spread value. You can easily calculate the potential payout with the help of the numbers listed.

If there is a minus sign beside the odds, the number shows the amount you should wager to win $100. In this case, you would risk $110 to win $100. If you bet $110 on Miami Dolphins at -2 and they win by two or more points, you get your wager amount plus another $100 as winnings, giving you a total payout of $210.

What is a Point Spread Push?

Apart from winning and losing, there is one more outcome for point spread betting which is Push. If you are looking to place your first wager in your favorite sport, you should know about this possibility because it affects your payout. In simple words, a push is a tie.

If a sport has games that can end in a tie, push is an outcome you can wager on. You should consider this outcome only when betting against a point spread. If a push occurs, you get your money refunded.

For a point spread betting odd, a push is a situation where the final victory margin equals the value of the house edge. For example, if the Miami Dolphins beat Los Angeles Raiders 30-28, it would be considered a push.

The oddsmakers usually use half-points to avoid ending in a tie but there are lines that have whole numbers. In this case, you would get your money back like the bet never took place.

Comparing Betting Odds on Sportsbooks

It is common to see the same betting odds appearing again and again for different events or sports. Most modern online sportsbooks let you convert between American, decimal and fractional odds on the markets they offer. It is somewhat difficult to change moneyline odds to decimal odds as the former includes both positive and negative signs.

You can convert positive American odds to decimal, you can divide the odd by 100 and then add 1 to the number. The equation is as below:

Positive American odds / 100 + 1 = Decimal Odds

100 / Negative American odds + 1 = Decimal Odds

This means +240 in Moneyline odd converts to 3.4 in decimal while -350 is equal to 1.28 in decimal.


If you are planning to enter the world of online sports betting, it is important to understand different types of odds and their interpretation. Once you get expertise in reading betting odds, you can go ahead and start winning on your favorite sports.

Not all sports are created equal so it is ultimately your skill and knowledge that decides how successful you are at sports betting. We hope this guide helps you to understand what does -2 mean in betting.

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