What are ‘Vegas Odds’?
Vegas odds, Las Vegas odds or less commonly American odds all refer to the money line betting system commonly used in US sports wagering. Often associated with combat sports, the term also describes odds posted for sports events and races where a handicap has been applied. With Vegas odds, wagers are usually expressed in terms of positive and negative scores which represent the favorite and the outsider of any match.
‘Vegas Odds’ Explained
If a player refers to the ‘Vegas odds’, they are usually talking about sports betting. ‘Las Vegas odds’ typically refers to the wagers offered on combat sports like mixed martial arts, and the term originated from the Las Vegas tradition of posting money line bets against two competitors in a show match. Vegas odds are sometimes called ‘American odds’ or ‘Las Vegas odds’.
In the most common sense, Vegas odds are posted as money line bets, either in support of the match favorite or against them. These odds are expressed as a positive or negative value against a value of 100 either way – for example, Team A (+150) or Team B (-70). To make a win on Team A, a player should bet $150 to get $100 back. To win on Team B, the player should bet $100 and will make a $70 profit on that win.
Vegas odds can also refer to casino odds that are expressed in terms of A to B or B in A. For example, odds for a game might be expressed as 3 to 1. However, where this would usually translate as a one in three chance to win, Vegas odds are usually written as 1 in 4 – over four opportunities to win, one of three will be successful. This form of writing odds is not often seen as it is confusing for players, but it is sometimes used to express chance when calculating gambling systems.