Last updated on: November 10th, 2021

Betting On The Moneyline

Perhaps the most popular method of betting on sports is betting the moneyline. This is due to its simplicity: the moneyline is simply the odds for each team to win the game outright. It is referred to as the “moneyline” because the odds are displayed in a format that provides the bettor with information about the payout. The team with better odds to win the matchup is referred to as the favorite. The favorite’s odds are represented by a negative number (-150). This number is the size of the wager that would need to be placed to win a $100 profit. In this example, a bettor would have to place a $150 bet to profit $100. The team that has a lesser chance of winning the game is referred to as the underdog. The underdog’s odds are represented by a positive number (+150). This number is the amount of money a bettor would profit on a $100 bet. Therefore, in this example, if a bettor placed a winning $100 bet on the underdog, the bettor would profit $150. It is important to note that the original wager is not included in a moneyline. A winning moneyline bet (favorite or underdog) will always return your original wager, plus the profit.

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What Is A Three-Way Moneyline?

Three-way moneylines are almost identical to traditional moneylines, but with one major difference. This type of bet is only offered for certain sports, like soccer and hockey, that can end in a tie. A three-way moneyline offers bettors the ability to bet on one of the three possible outcomes of a game: the favorite wins, the underdog wins, or the game ends in a tie. The odds for each of these outcomes are presented in the same way as traditional moneylines. This is the most popular way to bet on soccer and provides slightly longer odds than a two-way moneyline.

Opening Moneyline Odds Vs. Closing Moneyline Odds

A very important factor of betting the moneyline is referred to as “line movement.” This is when the moneyline odds for a matchup change. Moneylines are not set in stone, and often move for a variety of reasons. When a bookmaker releases their first set of odds for a contest, they are referred to as the “opening odds.” Often, bettors will place more action on one side of the opening odds than the other. In an attempt to balance the amount of money on both sides of the bet, a bookmaker may alter the odds to encourage more bets on the lesser-bet side. This can happen multiple times before the beginning of the game, and when the odds are closed, this set of odds are called the “closing odds.”

Reasons To Follow Line Movement

  • Provides valuable information about how the game is being bet.
  • Allows you to “shop lines” and find a disparity between sportsbooks.

Is It Best To Always Bet On The Favorite’s Moneyline?

While it can be tempting to bet the favorite in a moneyline bet, it is not always smart to do so. This is due to the nature of the payouts for moneyline bets. When betting a favorite, you will always have to risk more money than you would profit, which could quickly lead to a depleted bankroll if even one loss occurs. On the other hand, if you bet on the underdog, you will win more profit than you risked but will be able to lose more bets before running out of money. Therefore, it is important to look at each game individually and decide which side you want to bet on only after weighing the risk and reward.

Sports That Have Moneyline Odds

  • Football
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Hockey
  • Soccer
  • UFC/MMA
  • Golf
  • Boxing
  • Tennis
  • NASCAR

Does Every Game Have A Moneyline To Bet?

Not all games will offer a moneyline. Certain matchups may be so lopsided that no matter what the bookmaker sets the odds at, both sides will not be bet evenly. This is most common in college football, often in matchups between a member of a Power-5 conference and a member of a smaller conference. Sportsbooks that do not offer a moneyline for a game will sometimes still offer a points spread, allowing bettors to still place their wagers on the game.

Why Are The ML Odds The Same For A Game?

Some games may be too close to choose a favorite and be considered a “pick ’em”. In this type of scenario, legal sportsbooks may offer the same odds for both sides of the matchup. You can bet on either of these teams and receive the same payout for a winning bet.

How To Shop For A Better Moneyline

If you plan to bet on a team that is a (-135) favorite on one sportsbook, you should check other leading sportsbooks’ odds for the same game. It is very possible that one of these sportsbooks offers that same bet for (-125) odds, allowing you to risk less money for the same payout simply by using a different sportsbook.