A moneyline bet is one of the simplest and most straightforward types of sports betting a person can make. When you make a moneyline bet, you simply pick who you believe will be the winner of the game — that’s it! This type of betting is significantly easier to make than a point spread bet, which is much more complicated with the team having to cover the spread in order for you to win the bet. Moneyline bets are very popular with casual sports bettors who are looking to have some fun with online sports betting.
Before you go and place a moneyline bet however, you need to understand how moneyline odds work. Obviously, sportsbooks aren’t in the business of just handing out free money and as they say, the house always wins. When you are placing a moneyline bet, each team will have their own odds. Those odds determine how much money you’ll win if you bet on that team and they end up winning the game. The favored team (the one expected to win) will have lower odds, while the underdog (the team expected to lose) will have higher odds.
Let’s use an example to make sense of this. The Green Bay Packers are playing the Minnesota Vikings, as is tradition. The Packers are favored to win, so their moneyline odds are -150. This means if you were to bet $150 on the Packers and they win the game, then you’ll win $100 plus get back your original $150 bet for $250 total. The Vikings on the other hand, may have moneyline odds of +200. If you were to place a $100 bet on the Vikings and they ended up winning the game, then you’d win $200 plus get back your original $100 bet for $300 total.
Is this all starting to make sense? If you’re new to online sports betting, moneyline bets are a great way to get your feet wet. You simply choose the team you believe will win the game.
When you are placing a moneyline bet, the odds will have a minus (-) sign for the favorite and a plus (+) sign for the underdog. The easiest way to understand this is the favorite odds, or the one with the minus sign, signifies how much you have to wager in order to win $100. So if the moneyline odds are -200, you’d have to wager $200 to win $100. For the underdog, or the odds with the plus sign, that is the amount of money you’d win if you wager $100. So say a team’s moneyline odds are +200, you would win $200 with a $100 bet.
You don’t always have to bet $100 — but moneyline odds are posted based on a $100 bet.
What happens when there are no favorites?
This happens more often than you might think, when oddsmakers believe the game will be too close to call and you see moneyline odds that are nearly the same for both teams. Typically when this happens, you’ll see that both teams have minus or negative odds, because the sportsbook believes either team can win the game.
Can odds change?
The moneyline odds will almost always change from the time they open to the start of the game. These changes can be important if you’re trying to strategize your bet. By tracking the odds and how they’ve changed, you can get an idea of what the betting public and the oddsmakers are thinking about the outcome of the game. Factors that can change the odds include weather conditions for the game, injury reports, public betting, lineup changes (suspensions), and even momentum. Odds will change if a team goes on a win streak or a lose streak.
Always monitor the odds if you’re placing a bet, and be ready to adjust according to what’s been changing leading up to the game.
Can different sportsbooks have different moneyline odds?
They sure can, which is why experienced bettors will shop around for the best moneyline odds for the team they believe will win. Typically if there are any differences, they won’t be significant — but it’s very similar to shopping around when you’re looking to buy anything. If you can get an item for $30 cheaper, you’ll probably want to do that. Same goes for moneyline odds — if you can win $30 more with the same bet, why wouldn’t you?
What happens if there’s a tie?
In two-way moneyline bets — where you bet on one of the two teams — a tie or draw results in a push. That means the bet is cancelled and your wager is returned. In a three-way moneyline bet, you’ll see a set of odds for a draw. If you choose to place a wager on the draw, you’ll get those winnings only if a draw happens.