When it comes to sports betting, initially the first thought that comes to mind is the moneyline wager. It is by far one of the easiest sports betting options available, where your only job is to select a winner of the game. You can pick team one or team two, fighter one or fighter two, player one or player two – it’s as easy as that, with a 50/50 chance of being correct.
Moneyline betting is the most common betting type for new sports bettors – it’s a great starting point if you aren’t familiar with betting in general. However, you likely have been unknowingly making small unofficial money line bets with friends over the years by picking which team you think will win the Super Bowl or Stanley Cup.
What you will need to look at when placing a moneyline bet is the odds. Moneyline betting odds will show you which team is the underdog and which team is favored, as well as show you how likely that team is to win. The larger the number, the bigger the underdog or favorite. They can also show you how much you need to bet to win $100, or how much you might win off of a $100 wager.
Moneyline odds can be displayed in a few different odds formats. In North America, American odds tend to be the most commonly viewed odds format, but there are also Decimal and Fractional odds that you may find easier to understand.
Moneyline Betting using American Odds
American odds will be displayed in the hundreds or thousands with a plus or minus sign that will show you how big of an underdog a team is or how favored a team is.
American odds in moneyline betting will show you a quick way to calculate your winnings on a $100 wager. With the favored team, you will need to bet the odds amount to win $100. If the favored team’s negative odds are set at -225, you have identified that the team is the favorite because of the negative symbol, and now you can see that you will need to wager $225 to win $100. You can obviously bet any amount, but this shows you that you will need to wager quite a lot to win any substantial amount of money.
If you want to bet on an underdog that has odds of +400, you will have identified the underdog by the positive symbol. These moneyline odds will show you that you will need to wager $100 to win $400 on this team, as they are less likely to win, so you’re taking a risk for a potentially big reward. Again, you can bet any amount, this is just a quick and easy way to look at positive odds to determine how much you’d win on a $100 wager.
If you see -110, this is essentially what the sportsbook needs to charge to not lose money on the wager. You would bet $110 to win $100, which then gives the sportsbook their small cut, and nearly doubles your money. This amount is standard across many different betting types and options, and is close to being even odds, it just allows the oddsmaker to not cut a loss on that wager.
Moneyline Betting Using Decimal Odds
Another popular moneyline odds format you can view your wagers in is the decimal odds format. Decimal moneyline odds are popular in European countries and have been around for decades. The decimal number will essentially show you how much you would win for each dollar you bet – all you have to do is deduct the dollar from the decimal amount.
If you are looking to bet on a baseball game, and the odds look like this:
Washington Nationals (2.85)
Philadelphia Phillies (1.47)
This means that the Phillies are favored to win this game, and the Nationals are the underdog. By looking at these odds, you can determine how much you would potentially win by looking at the decimal odds.
For each dollar bet on the Nationals, you would win $1.85 (don’t forget to deduct your dollar – it will be returned to you with your winnings though). On a $10 wager, your total payout would be $28.50
For each dollar bet on the Phillies, you would win 47 cents. If you bet $10, you would return $14.70.
Favorites are not as clear cut and easy to spot as they are in American odds, because it’s easy to spot the plus/minus symbols – you actually have to look at the numbers and determine that the higher the number, the bigger the underdog and eventual payout.
Moneyline Betting Using Fractional Odds
Fractional odds are almost as popular as American odds in the United States and Canada, as it can be a great way to look at horse betting odds, however you can use this format for any type of sport. Fractional odds are obviously displayed as a fraction and does require some math skills to determine how much you’d win.
The numerator is the top or left number, and the denominator is the bottom or right number. You will have to multiply your stake by the numerator and then divide that result by the denominator.
Let’s look at an example.
New York Yankees 7/6
Tampa Bay Rays 11/14
The Tampa Bay Rays are the favorite in this game, but only slightly. If you were to bet $20 on them, the calculation would look like this:
$20 x 11 = 220.
Then you would divide by the denominator amount = 220 / 14 = $15.71
Your total winnings would equal $35.71
A bet on the Yankees (the underdogs) would pay out a little more.
$20 x 7 = 140
140 / 6 =$23.33
Your total winnings would equal $43.33.
Moneyline Betting By Sport
Now that we have a grasp of the different odds formats for moneyline betting, we can look at how moneyline odds are displayed and how they function for different sports. This will be fairly straight forward for the team sports specifically.
Moneyline Betting on the NFL
If you’ve bet on the NFL or the Super Bowl in the past, you would likely be familiar with the NFL moneyline bet. Your job is to pick the team that wins the game outright. It doesn’t matter how much the team wins by, or any other factor in the game – the team could win by one point and you would collect your winnings.
This can be as simple as familiarizing yourself with the teams and their opponents and understanding how the offense/defense matchups will pan out. Some teams have defense who are strong against the pass game, so if the opposing team focuses on rushing, you might see the offense scoring more points.
NFL moneyline bets include overtime as well, so whoever wins the game after the extra time, will also be the winner of the bet.
Moneyline Betting on the NBA
NBA moneyline odds will work the same way as the NFL and all other sports. NBA games tend to be fast-paced and high-scoring, and many come down to the last few minutes or seconds to determine a winner. It can be extremely tense in the last two minutes and games tend to be too close for comfort. Many tend to stick to point spreads in the NBA, but NBA moneylines can still turn a good profit if you bet the right outcomes.
Moneyline betting on the NHL
On the complete opposite end of the spectrum we have the NHL, which is usually low scoring. NHL moneylines are extremely popular because it can be easy to predict an outright winner of a hockey game because the teams tend to be on the predictable side. However, these bets aren’t always profitable because the oddsmakers also know this and set the odds based on the team’s likelihood of winning.
NHL games can be decided by a goal or a shootout, and sometimes that can make for some risky wagers if you do the right amount of research.
Moneyline betting on the MLB
MLB moneyline bets are just as easy as the other sports, but you have other elements that you need to consider when placing a moneyline bet on your favorite baseball team. You have to account for the weather as games can be postponed or even canceled due to rain delays, and extra innings which will drag the game out as long as necessary until a winner is decided.
Baseball betting can be inconsistent, as there are so many games and so many different outcomes that could occur. Not to mention you can link your moneyline wager to the starting pitcher, which would ultimately pay out more, but if your pitcher doesn’t end up starting or isn’t credited with the Win, you would lose your bet.
Moneyline Betting on Soccer
This is the sport where moneyline betting gets a little twist. Soccer moneylines tend to have three options and are called three-way moneyline bets, because they incorporate the draw into the wager and allows you to bet on the tie.p>If you were betting on the MLS, i.e. Toronto FC and Vancouver Whitecaps FC, and you felt the game could potentially end in a tie, you can bet that option. Soccer games can end in ties so these three-way moneyline bets can be fun and the odds can tend to be a little more exciting or enticing.
The odds would look something like this:
Toronto FC -110
Vancouver Whitecaps FC +150
In the instances where there aren’t teams playing but single players or fighters, the concept of a moneyline remains the same. Whether it’s boxing or MMA where you have two fighters going head to head, there needs to be a winner, so the moneyline wager rules remain the same.
Tennis will also follow the same rules, with two players competing head to head in a tournament.
With Golf, you would rely on futures betting more than anything, but there are instances where you’d see player matchups that are determined by which bookmaker you are betting on – they aren’t official matchups because golfers aren’t really directly competing head to head against one another. Usually, sportsbooks will make up head-to-head matchups with players of similar skill and styles to make things a bit more interesting.
Best Online Sportsbooks for Moneyline Betting
Now that you have an idea how moneyline odds work, you can start picking those winners. Finding the best sportsbook for your moneyline bets will be your first and initial step – and luckily we have plenty of sportsbook reviews available for you to browse.
We identify essential criteria that we ourselves look for in an excellent sportsbook, so you don’t have to. These sportsbook reviews are subjective and outline deposit options, bonuses, security and customer service, to name a few.
All sportsbooks will undoubtedly have moneyline odds but we want to make sure you are checking off all the boxes and ensuring you have the best online sports betting experience possible.
What is the Moneyline?
A moneyline wager is a betting type that allows you to pick the outright winner of the game. As long as there are two competing teams, fighters or players, you can bet on one of them to win over the other. These moneyline bets will also have odds that will tell you how likely they are to win the wager, as well as tell you how much you might win in the case the team does win.
What does it mean to bet the moneyline?
When you are betting the moneyline, you are essentially picking an option between two outcomes. Usually in the case of two teams, you will be selecting which team will win the game. There will be odds associated with each team that will signify how risky the bet will be to make, and how much you could potentially win if you do pick the correct outcome.
Does a moneyline bet push on a tie?
Yes, but most games in popular North American sports don’t result in a tie. If you bet on an outcome, it includes overtimes and shootouts, so you won’t have to worry about your bet pushing from regulation ties. Soccer offers a three-way money line bet that will allow you to pick the tie option if you feel drawn to do so.
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