How to Read North Carolina Betting Odds & Lines – Finding the Best Odds in NC

Fact Checked by Blake Weishaar

Learning how to read odds and betting lines are literally the backbone to getting started sports betting in North Carolina. With sportsbooks officially live with odds in the state, we will go everything you need to know here before setting out on your sports betting journey.

How to Read Lines & Odds in North Carolina

All North Carolina sports betting apps, sites and retail books default to American odds on all events. Consider a simple moneyline in NFL betting where we just bet on who will win the game. The odds are Dallas Cowboys -140 vs Carolina Panthers +120. As per that quote, bettors on the Cowboys need to risk $140 in order to win $100. Conversely, anyone wagering on the Panthers wins $120 per every $100 risked.

Professional football games all have point spreads as well. In the above National Football League game, we might see Cowboys -2.5 over the Panthers. A Panthers better cashes the ticket if Carolina either wins the game outright or they lose by 2 points or less. Sportsbooks like FanDuel North Carolina default to price even odds spread markets at -110 on each side, meaning that all bets will require risking $110 to win $100.

How Do North Carolina Betting Odds Work?

Sports betting odds are ostensibly “set” by the books, but they are really determined by how the world at large views the game. The books use both software and human handicapping experts to set sports betting lines based on both estimations or “power ratings” of the quality of the teams in question as well as where they expect to see money flow on the game. 

In other words, their numbers might suggest the Boston Bruins have a modestly better team than the Carolina Hurricanes and the moneyline is worth something like Bruins -130, Hurricanes +110. But they expect one-sided moneyline bets on the Bruins if they open the game there, so maybe they tweak it a little to Bruins -135, Hurricanes +115.

It is important to remember that sports betting lines are not static, but rather represent live markets. They will change between first posting and in this example, the puck drop, bases on the action in the betting markets and news involving the teams. Maybe a star player is out, or a goalie is dinged up. Perhaps a known successful and large bettor (a “sharp”) is wagering big on one side. The sportsbooks like BetMGM North Carolina are very quick to adjust lines.

Calculating Sports Betting Payouts in NC

It is vital for gamblers to be able to read betting odds. Sports odds exactly reflect the probabilities that the “market” places on the results of the game. We can convert all odds into probabilities. In the above NFL betting example with the Cowboys -140 vs +120 on the Panthers, the “vig free” midpoint of the market is 130. To convert that into the market assessment of the probability of the underdog Panthers winning, we would use the formula 100/(130 + 100), where 130 is the midpoint we found. That comes out to 43.5% chance the Panthers win, and 56.5% chance the outcome is the Cowboys triumphing.

Negative Odds

Negative odds are as they sound. Charlotte Hornets -160 vs the Washington Wizards are an example. It almost always means the team is a favorite. Occasionally in close matchups, the two teams carry negative odds and the favorite is the one with the lower negative number.

The number expresses how much one would need to bet to earn $100. Thus someone wagering $160 on the Hornets takes in $100 should they win. And sometimes, with North Carolina sports betting promos, you can boost that payout. 

Positive Odds

Positive odds are as they sound as well. They express how much a bettor wins on a $100 stake. In a two way moneyline, a team with positive odds is always the underdog. 

In the earlier NHL example, the Carolina Hurricanes are +115 vs the Boston Bruins, A bettor risking $100 earns $115 if the Hurricanes win the game.

What is the Difference Between Fractional Odds and Decimal Odds?

All the North Carolina online sportsbooks like Caesars Sportsbook NC will default to quoting in American odds. Some players prefer to place bets using fractional odds. Others like to bet with decimal odds, particularly ones accustomed to European sportsbooks that default to decimal odds. They all attempt to express how much a bettor has to risk in order to win a certain amount. It is just in the eye of the beholder which is the easiest to grasp. Here is how they work.

How Fractional Odds Work in NC

Fractional odds are most popular in the UK and Ireland as well as in horse racing. The number on the left or the “numerator” if you prefer is the “win”. The number on the right or the “denominator” is the stake required for that win. Suppose the fractional odds on Carolina Panthers vs Kansas City Chiefs are 5/2. That means you win $5 for every $2 bet on the Panthers. To convert those to a probability, divide the stake by the stake plus the payout. In this case that is 2/(2+5) or 28.6%.

How Decimal Odds Work

Decimal odds are the norm pretty much everywhere in the world outside of North America, the UK and Ireland.They represent the total return for every $1 bet, including the amount of the bet itself. In the above Panthers NFL odds example, a $1 bet on the Panthers returns $2.5 plus the original $1, for equivalent decimal odds of 3.5.

Any decimal odds under 2.0 means either that the team is favorite or they it is a very close matchup and the sportsbook vig prices both teams with negative odds.

MatchupAmerican OddsFractional OddsDecimal Odds
Panthers vs. Falcons-13520/271.74
Hurricanes vs. Panthers+1503/22.5
Hornets vs. Wizards+1334/32.33
Braves vs. Mets-14569/1001.69

Different Types of Betting Odds in NC

North Carolina residents can now look forward to soon having all types of betting odds available to them. That includes all of the following.

  • Moneyline A Moneyline is a bet on who will win the game, with odds. North Carolina Tar Heels -180 vs Duke Blue Devils +160 in college football is an example. A Tar Heel bettor needs to risk $180 in order to win $100, while a Blue Devils backer can take home $160 on a $100 wager if Duke prevails. Moneylines have the most relative popularity in low scoring sports like baseball, hockey and soccer.
  • Point Spreads This is the most popular sports bet on both NFL and NBA as well as on college football and basketball. Say a bettor goes with Charlotte Hornets +8.5 vs the Boston Celtics. If the Hornets win, or lose by 8 points or fewer, the bet wins. Sportsbooks usually price both sides of a standard point spread at -110.
  • Over/Under (Totals) Totals are popular in virtually every team sport. No need to pick a winner, just wager on the total number of points or runs or goals in the game. Over/Under 5.5 goals in Carolina Hurricanes vs Boston Bruins game is an example. The money is often tilted to one side on totals, especially in lower scoring sports. Here maybe it is  -120 on the Under and 100 on the over.
  • Parlays Parlays are combinations of at least two wagers into one ticket. In order for the parlay to hit, every bet or “leg” in the parlay must win, otherwise the whole wager is a loss. You can combine any combo of sports and leagues and bet types into a parlay. Carolina -180, Hornets +8.5 and the under on the Hurricanes-Bruins game is a perfectly legal (and fun) parlay.
  • Futures Futures betting refers to wagers on the outcome oflonger term achievements, usually season-long. All sports books list Super Bowl futures for example. The Carolina Panthers are extreme underdogs to win the Super Bowl at +8000. They are also +4000 to win the NFC but the futures odds do suggest they have a fighting chance to win the NFC South at +380. Online betting shops list futures like these in all major sports as well as Over/unders on team win totals. The Panthers total is 7.5 wins, with money shaded to the over at -120 vs +100 on the under.
  • Prop Bets Prop wagers on professional sports have grown in popularity in recent years. Prop bets are generally wagers on  either player or team achievements in the sporting event. On a game basis, LaMelo Ball over 15 points vs the LA Lakers is a common type prop bet. Online sportsbooks also list team props like Panthers total rushing yards and even season long prop bets. Always shop around as props tend to vary more from book to book than straight bets.

Get the Best Betting Odds for North Carolina Sports Bettors

The best way to get the most favorable wagering odds is to shop around between the online sportsbooks like DraftKings North Carolina. Open as many accounts as is practical. The sportsbooks do not vary their posted odds much, but there are differences between books. The margin between ultimately turning a profit as a sports bettor and not is very small, and every little edge helps. Experienced bettors look at it in terms of Return on Investment (ROI) and to them it is a long term enjoyable grind hopefully towards positive results.

The books default to American Odds, but often give users the option to convert to fractional or decimal odds. No one system is superior. It is really just a matter of personal preference.

North Carolina Odds for Sports Betting FAQs


Adam Warner

Adam Warner is an expert reviewer for The author of "Options Volatility Trading: Strategies for Profiting from Market Swings" former financial writer for Schaeffers Research, and freelance writer for and Previously Adam was a Market Maker on the American Stock Exchange and a graduate of Johns Hopkins University.

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