What Is The Moneyline Bet?

There is no easier way to start betting on sports than going for a moneyline bet. If you’re a lover of soccer or basketball and you’ve been around sports betting sites for a while, then you must have heard about this popular betting market.

In this article, we’ll take a close look at what is the moneyline bet, how does money line work, and how to actually win a moneyline bet. Ready? Let’s get right into it. 

Table of contents

What is a Moneyline Bet?

Compared with other bet types, moneyline meaning is pretty straightforward for new players to understand.

A moneyline is simply a bet predicting whether a team will win or draw in an upcoming match.

There are three outcomes to a moneyline bet; Win, Lose, Draw.

  • Win 

Placing a moneyline bet on a team means betting on the odds (i.e. -150) to win. For example, a moneyline bet on a team with odds of -150 means you will have to wager C$150 to win C$100. If you win the bet, the sportsbook will credit you C$250, which is your initial stake (C$150) plus the win (C$100). 

  • Lose

You will lose your wager if the team you chose to win is unable to convert their chances to become the winning team or if the game ends in a draw.

  • Draw or Draw no Bet

Some matches only come with a win or lose option on moneyline bets. However, a draw is also likely to happen. If there is no draw bet option on the moneyline bet and the game concludes as a draw, the bettor will get their full stake returned. However, if a draw is offered as a betting option on a moneyline bet (like a 3 way moneyline hockey) and the outcome of the game is a draw, the bettor can only win if they selected a draw as the outcome. Otherwise, they will lose their bet.

How does a Moneyline Bet Work?

A moneyline bet involves you choosing one of two teams to win a game and claiming a payout if you’re right. Each team in a game is given a numerical value known as “odds” which players have to bet on. These odds are determined by the sportsbooks based on a bunch of criteria including the team’s form and how both opponents match up. Before each numerous value, the minus sign (-) or a plus sign (+) is placed in front.

To better understand how this works, here is an illustration of an NFL game between the New England Patriots and the Washington Giants alongside their moneyline odds at a sportsbook:

NFL TeamsMoneyline Odds
New England Patriots-120
Washington Redskins+150

Based on the table above, you can tell that the Patriots are the favourites here (the team most likely to win) which is denoted by the minus sign (-). The Redskins are the underdog (the team most likely to lose), as you can see due to the plus sign (+). 

Betting C$100 on the Patriots will bring back a winning of C$80 which gives you a total payout of C$180. Placing the same C$100 wager on the Redskins would earn you a whopping C$250; your initial C$100 wager, plus your win of C$150. 

With moneyline bets, the bigger the risk the greater the rewards. Since the Redskins are most likely to lose, betting on them attracts a bigger reward, but that’s only if they win.

How To Read Moneyline Odds?

Moneyline odds can be tough to wrap your head around especially if you’re a newcomer to the world of sports betting. This explanation of moneyline odds is based on American odds which are quite popular with online betting sites.

The odds indicate each team’s probability of winning and how much money you would win based on your wager. The odds with the minus (-) signifies exactly what you have to bet to win C$100 while the number with the plus sign (+) signifies how much you will win if you bet exactly C$100. 

Do you want to fully understand how to read moneyline odds? Think of an NFL match between the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants with the following odds:

NFL TeamsMoneyline Odds
Dallas Cowboys-150
New England Patriots+150

Betting on the Dallas Cowboys, you will have to place a bet of C$150 on  -150 odds to win C$100 (for a total of C$250) while for that of the New England Patriots, placing a bet of C$100 will get you C$150 (for a total of C$250). Though you spend less betting on the New England Patriots, keep in mind that the plus (+) sign means that the Patriots are less likely to win.

In this example, both teams have the same odds but different signs to them. In some cases, both teams will have the negative “-” sign next to them. If you come across such a game, the team with the odds farther from zero should be considered as the favourite to win (for example, 135 would be the favourite over -105). 

You don’t always have to wager C$100 exactly. For example, an NBA game between Miami Heat and Brooklyn Nets 

NBA TeamsMoneyline Odds
Miami Heat-140
Brooklyn Nets+175

Wagering just C$36 on the Nets will get you C$100. Being the underdog, you will only need to bet less to win more but that’s only if it hits. The Heat, on the other hand, will pay out C$100 in profit for a bet of C$140.

How To Bet The Moneyline? 

Though oddsmakers and sportsbooks determine who is the favourite and underdog in a moneyline bet, you don’t have to trust the odds on the game when placing your bet. Performing analytical research, following betting trends, and breaking down team advantages help you to eliminate any guessing in a bet. This process is known as handicapping and is crucial for long-term success. 

moneyline bet

Below we have detailed the best tips to follow when placing a moneyline bet:

  • Opening Odds

The odds on any game don’t always stay the same as online sportsbooks will adjust the initial odds on a game as the betting public reacts. Bettors should track the odds on their preferred games immediately they’re opened till the point when you want to place your bet. Take for example, a Super Bowl with a team like the Kansas City Chiefs. The chiefs could start at -120 as the favourites. As more players wager on the team, the odds might jump to -160 or more.

This would significantly affect your winnings which makes tracking the odds and watching the moneyline very important if you’re hoping for a win.

  • Home vs Away Performance

When it comes to sports, teams typically perform better at their home base. While you should take note of this, keep in mind that some teams also excel when playing away from home. 

This is where the track records of a team come into play. Checking the recent results of a team at home or away could help you decide how the current match will play out. 

For example, a game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics. You could find that the Los Angeles Lakers have won all the last five games at home while the Dallas Mavericks have managed just 2 away victories in their last five away games. If the Los Angeles Lakers are hosting the Boston Celtics, you should consider this track record to help you determine your moneyline bet. 

  • Team Form

Cristiano Ronaldo is best known for scoring the most important goals. The same way LeBron James and Stephen Curry are both respected in the NBA for their ability to deliver on the court. In a moneyline bet, the specific matchup of a team can impact how the game will play out.

Basically, this means that the absence of crucial players or the lack of proper form can make a bigger team lose to a smaller team or underdog. When making a moneyline bet, look out for these crucial details and exploit them. 

  • Recent Games 

While teams put their best in every game, not every match is going to end up a win. Some teams record more wins than losses and others vice versa. When making your moneyline bet, you should take note of this information.

Remember, that the previous games played by the team are no indication of how it would perform in the current games. Nevertheless it does give you extra information on how to place your bet. Do you want to get lucky with predicting the future of every game? Check at least the five previous games for teams in the NBA, MLB, NHL, and NFL.

Spread vs Moneyline

The moneyline and the point spread share a similarity in terms of potential payout and are different in every other way.

The point spread bet is based on the outcome of the score rather than the winner of the game. For example, an NFL game between the Cleveland Browns and the New England Patriots.

NFL TeamsMoneyline Odds
New England Patriots-13.5
Cleveland Browns+13.5

Here, the Patriots are the favourites of the game. Betting on the spread means you’re predicting the Patriots will win by 14 points or more.

The similarity between point spread and moneyline is that picking a team that is a 3-point favourite will offer a bigger payout than a team that is a 7-point favourite.

The major difference in both betting markets is that moneyline bets require you to predict the winner of the game while point spread only requires your bet on the outcome of the score.

Which Sports Use Moneyline Betting?

Moneyline betting is available on the biggest sports in North America. You can find them in Basketball, Football, Baseball, and Hockey. 

  • Basketball: Moneyline bets are available in the NBA, WNBA, and NCAA. 
  • Football: The biggest game in North America is packed with Moneyline bet options in the NFL across all games and competitions.
  • Baseball: Moneyline line bets are available in the MLB which is the major baseball league in North America.
  • Hockey: Canada’s biggest sports gets its much-deserved dose of betting options including competitive moneyline odds on the NHL, AHL, and CHL.

FAQ

A 3-way money line means a bettor can choose from three possible outcomes which means you can bet on the home team to win, the away team to win, or the game to end in a draw.

Moneyline bet in basketball is a bet that indicates which basketball team would win a match. If you place a moneyline bet on the Detroit Pistons, and they win the game, you’ll get rewarded for your prediction.

A +200 money line odds on a team means the team is the underdog, and betting C$100 could earn you C$200 in profits.

Yes. Unless otherwise stated, all moneyline bets include anything that happens in overtime.

Negative odds are used to denote the favourites and do not actually mean the team is a bad play or the bet will turn out against your favourite.

Winning a moneyline bet requires getting a correct prediction of either a win, loss, or draw.

A puck line refers to a point spread bet in the NHL or hockey and it requires betting on the outcome of the score regardless of the team that wins the game. Whereas, a moneyline bet requires betting on a team to win the game.