Moneylines represent the most straightforward betting market. Essentially, you pick the outcome of a match and have to choose between two or three, home win - draw - away win, depending on the sport. It is mainly associated with US leagues, like NFL, ice hockey, baseball, and basketball. Still, it’s also available in other sports, like soccer, where it’s applied as a 3-way market (WDW).
Even though it is simple, we will explain what is moneyline in betting, using helpful examples from the most popular sports. Which is the best strategy to follow when placing ML wagers, and how can you calculate your winnings? Let’s find out.
How Does Moneyline Betting Work
When you bet on the moneyline, you pick a team or athlete to defeat the other side. Once the game ends, sports bookmakers settle wagers one of two or three ways. When it comes to soccer, possible extra time isn’t included, so the moneyline and match result market means precisely the same. A moneyline bet in soccer consists of three possible outcomes: 1 (home win) - X (draw) - 2 (away win).
Here is a typical example of how the US bookies present it in soccer.
Moreover, other versions of the main types of moneyline betting odds exist.
The NHL game between Colombus Blue Jackets and Montreal Canadiens (overtime included).
- The home team, Columbus, pays -102 (1.98) odds in the ML.
- The away team, Montreal, pays -108 (1.92).
The NBA game between Portland Trail Blazers and Brooklyn Nets (overtime included).
- The home team, Portland, pays -135 (1.74) odds To Win.
- The away team, Brooklyn, pays +115 (2.15).
The NFL game between Detroit Lions and Buffalo Bills (overtime included).
- The home team, Detroit, pays 4.20 (+320) odds to become the Winner.
- The away team, Buffalo, pays 1.26 (-385).
How to Calculate a Moneyline Bet
What happens if you bet $50 on this market and win? Answering this question is the best way to understand how the market works and how to bet online on moneylines. Let’s use an example from the ice hockey game, Boston Bruins vs. Philadelphia Flyers, for the NHL at 1.32 - 3.50 odds.
If your stake is $50:
- A winning moneyline bet on Boston at 1.32 odds gives you $66, which means a $16 clear profit.
- A winning ML bet on Philadelphia at 3.50 odds secures a $175 or a $125 profit.
What does -300 mean on the Moneyline
US bookmakers have their odds format. A minus (-) sign indicates a favourite. So, if a moneyline bet pays at -300, you must stake $300 to have a $100 clear profit. For example, you can back the Dallas Stars to beat the Chicago Blackhawks straight up at -300 odds. If you are still getting familiar with this format, check out our article on converting different types of betting odds.
What does +300 mean on Moneyline
On the other hand, prices with a plus (+) sign indicates an underdog team. The odds show how much you will profit if you bet $100. So, for instance, you bet $100 on Kareem Kline to prevail against Theo Haig at +300 odds. If your wager is successful, you will have a $300 profit. To avoid unnecessary maths and conversions, you can use our implied probability calculator and save precious time.
What is Period Moneyline Betting
Period betting has grown in popularity. So, you can approach the moneyline market for the final result and each period or quarter of an ice hockey or basketball game. Placing a bet on the winning team at the end of the 1st quarter of an NBA game or individually on the winners during the three periods of an NHL game can give you an edge.
The first set of a tennis match, the second half of a football game, and the final quarter of an NFL contest are crucial, and they can determine the winner. Let’s see what is moneyline in sports betting, regarding periods and quarters and how to bet on sports when the odds are conformed to separate spaces during a game.
Betting the Moneyline in Basketball 1st Quarter
A time period moneyline bet is available on sports like basketball, including for all four quarters. The final 10 or 12 minutes are the vital part of a game which is why players adjust their basketball 4th quarter betting strategy. However, you can find better odds and alternatives when wagering the moneyline in the 1st quarter.
For example, the full game odds for the NBA contest, Golden State Warriors vs. Los Angeles Clippers, are 1.24 - 4.30. If you bet pre-match on the 1st quarter, the respective prices are 1.44 - 6.00 - 3.90.
- You can secure better odds if you believe GW will take an early point advantage.
- You have the draw option at a high price.
- Suppose you back a road upset from the LA Clippers; it’s easier to make a strong start for 12 minutes than to win a better opponent after 48.
What is a Moneyline Bet in NFL Half-Time
All online bookmakers offer half-time odds for American football betting. You can wager pre-match or in-play on the 1st or 2nd half-winner. For instance, the moneyline betting odds for the Minnesota Vikings vs. New England Patriots clash are 1.75 - 2.12. Searching the half-time markets, the prices for the winning team at the half are 1.91 - 9.25 - 2.32. Either if you went to bet on the favourite or the underdog, the odds are more profitable, considering that a half draw only has a 10,81% possibility to happen.
After the end of half-time, bookies set the odds for the 2nd half. Let’s say the Vikings have opened up a 14-0 lead after 30 minutes of play. However, the Patriots have dominated that time statistically, and you know they can take over in the 2nd half. You can take advantage of the newly offered odds during the break.
NHL Moneyline Betting on Periods
In ice hockey, each game is split into three 20-minute periods, so bettors can take advantage of two intermissions in a 60-minute clash. Betting sites offer odds for moneyline betting for the entire contest and the three periods separately. Let’s take an example from the NHL game between Carolina Hurricanes and Arizona Coyotes, where the starting odds are 1.26 - 4.10.
- The Period 1 prices are 2.00 - 2.85 - 4.80.
- The Period 2 prices are 1.88 - 3.25 - 4.50.
- The Period 3 prices are 1.75 - 3.65 - 4.60.
Read our NHL betting guide and learn what move is more profitable. If you don’t want to check the game’s flow or see the starting goaltenders’ stats in the 1st period but you believe in the favourite Carolina, it’s better to back Hurricanes in the moneyline market at Periods 1 and 2; the 2.00 and 1.88 odds are higher than the starting 1.26.
What is a Moneyline Bet in Baseball 5-Innings
The 5-inning markets are popular among baseball bettors, especially for the moneyline market. They don’t want the bullpen (i.e., relief pitchers) to get involved, so they prefer to bet around the first 5 innings of a ballgame. In that case, the moneyline bet meaning is which side will be the winner once the 5 innings end. So, the final result after the 9 innings will not impact their bets.
Let’s take the MLB example for the Chicago White Sox vs. New York Yankees game, where the odds are Chicago (-135) - New York (+135). The moneyline prices for the F5 market work like the ML for the full game. The White Sox remains the favourite at -175, and the Yankees the underdog at +155. If you believe the starting pitching matchup is in the home team’s favour, you can bet on the ML enjoying better odds at US bookmakers.
How to Build a Winning Moneyline Betting Strategy
A quick look at the odds will instantly explain to you who is the favourite and the underdog. Every day we release our best daily betting tips for the elite leagues in all popular sports, from the English Premier League to the NFL. This is one option to build your moneyline betting strategy. However, the optimal way to be successful is to exploit the simplicity of the market in your favour by evaluating the prices. Below are some of our experts’ top tips to create a profitable strategy for game winners.
Bet on the sports you know
The option for a bettor are numerous in the industry; there are several elite sports with plenty of opportunities to bet on. So, before you answer the question, “What is moneyline in betting?” you should remember that, especially in this market, the final selection is the key part of the game. Tennis is the most popular individual sport on the planet, while cricket is one of the most wagered-on sports globally. Although to place a bet on these sports, you need specialized knowledge to win. So, you must check that you know what you are doing before you go to the betslip.
Are you an American sports bettor who has the background to predict winners for the NFL, ice hockey, and baseball? You can move on and chase profit. Are you a soccer fan where the ML is the same as the match result market? The draw changes your implied probability of winning because you have to choose between three possible outcomes. It’s essential to keep in mind that you can compete in bookies only if you have at least a decent knowledge of a game.
Check value odds
It’s critical to state that finding the best moneyline betting odds available is not routine; even the most minor differences can increase your bet’s payout. You have all the time and a selection of online bookies to choose from; some of them have more VIG than others, which can badly affect your bankroll. Remember that betting on favourites and underdogs can’t secure a winning record, although you can receive the best possible payout from your wagers.
Before you compare odds among betting sites, read our online betting guide and check all the factors that can affect the result in your game: a. Latest news (injuries & bans), b. Statistics & current form, c. Home advantage, and d. Weather conditions (for outdoor sports).
Make a long-term approach
Betting is a long-term game, but moneyline betting is a long-way run in which you must be resistant alongside your bankroll. Always there’s a danger of losing more than half of your wagers; on this occasion, you must know which games you should pick to make money.
For example, you have a $500 bankroll, and your strategy is adjusted to 10 $50 ML bets you want to place in the next 10 days on the NBA. Using our betting bankroll management calculator, you can realize that even if you lose six games, which will cause $300 in damage, you can still receive earnings. How? If you win the other four at an odds average of 2.70 (+170).
So, follow the tips below for a successful long-term approach to ML betting.
- 1 Build a bankroll for at least 10 bets.
- 2 Compare odds and choose the right pick (heavyweight favourite or value underdog).
- 3 The best value in moneylines is mainly found on dark horses. Although, avoid back underdogs on every bet; you will lose more bets than enjoy winners.
- 4 Create an archive or a tracking system to know how much money you win and lose after each bet.
- 5 Evaluate the winnings or losses in your bankroll after the 10 games.
Consider Even or Pick ‘em Bets
Moneyline is one of the optimal markets for evens betting strategy; you can find many games daily from American sports, basketball, and tennis. Close games, where both teams have equal chances to win or lose (50:50 in theory), are offered at 2.00 odds (+100). So, bettors can stake $100 on a moneyline bet and win a $200 total amount with a $100 pure profit. Betting on evens on a 2-way market, such as ML, might be a handy way to recover after a losing streak; in a winning case, you will double your starting stake.
Choose the Moneyline vs. Spread
Firstly, we must analyze how does spread betting work; it’s a different betting type than ML, which requires an entirely different approach to be profitable in the long term. A moneyline betting strategy is easier to understand; your team wins the match even with the slightest margin. On the flip side, a straightforward win maybe isn’t enough to secure returns for you wagering on spreads; for example, if the team you back fail to overcome the point or goal handicap needed for you to win.
In close games, the moneyline is much preferable to spreads, but before we analyze it, let’s explain the crucial factors you need to know and check.
- Check the opening moneyline odds and lines for the game you want to bet on.
- Examine if the two contenders have a big difference in strength and quality.
- Delve deeper into key stats, which team is better at home and on the road, learning all the latest news.
If you hunt minor underdog upsets at close games like derbies, then moneylines are for you. When you pick these wins, and the spread is +1,5 or +2,5 points for the dark horse in basketball, you can get more money than betting on a positive spread line. A basketball underdog on 2.20 odds is a far better pick than the same team with +2,5 points spread at 1.90 odds; your protection from the spread is lower than a 3-point shot.
Best Bookmakers To Place a Moneyline Bet
After deep research, we recommend the best bookies for the ML market; you can find the highest odds for all applicable sports, like basketball, ice hockey, and baseball, to build your moneyline betting strategy.
Before you place a bet, you must always look at the rewards counting the risk function. The moneyline has higher payouts when you back underdogs that have winning chances. On the contrary, the odds at favourites don’t secure earnings nor a wager on the game’s spread.
A common question among bettors is, “What happens if my moneyline game ties?” If you bet on events with two outcomes, where possible overtime is included, like ice hockey and basketball, your bet can’t be pushed. On the other hand, a football wager consists of a third option, the draw; your bet is lost if you back a team to win in that case. In the NFL, a tie can come after the regulation time and the overtime (i.e., it’s a rare possibility). In that case, if you pick the 2-way moneyline, your stake is returned.
A moneyline bet in American +200 odds means you have a 33,33% implied probability of winning. If you place a $100 bet, you will win a $200 pure profit, with $300 as a total payout. Converting the +200 prices, you bet on an underdog at 3.00 (2/1).
The minus or a negative moneyline means the exact stake you must bet to win $100. So, you should bet $150 to win $100, backing a -150 (1.66) underdog. To understand the complete moneyline bet meaning of the minus, you must stake $300 to win $100 if you wager on a -300 (1.33) heavyweight favourite.
The answer to the question, “Do I lose money on negative odds?” can’t be convincing. No, you don’t lose your money if you back a heavy favourite and it wins. However, the negative odds can’t secure as high profits as positive ones. Undoubtedly, your winning chances are more, but you should be satisfied with lower returns. So, check it before you build your moneyline betting strategy.
The ML market is probably the most popular among bettors who create smaller or bigger parlays alongside spreads and totals. Parlays, or ACCAs, can combine multiple moneyline bets in the same betslip, but every part of the final bet needs to be a winner to secure returns for you.
Before you choose between a spread and a moneyline bet, you should define if you want to back an underdog or a favourite. Betting on teams’ win with higher winning chances at the ML market, you will have lower earnings than the spread. When it comes to underdogs, the potential profits are much higher with ML bets, but the point/goal/run spread minimizes your risk.
Parlay bets can offer you higher payouts, even with a small amount of money, if all the legs are successful. You can combine different betting types in the same wager. For example, suppose you want to place an NBA parlay. You can pick a point spread on Miami Heat, a moneyline on Utah Jazz, and an Over bet for the Sacramento Kings vs. Cleveland Cavaliers contest in the same betslip.
We will answer the question by introducing a moneyline betting example. Suppose you bet $100 on a slight underdog at +140 moneyline betting odds (or 2.40 on decimals). If the team you back loses, you lose your stake, either. If it wins, you get back a $240 total payout which means a $140 clear profit.
Using moneyline betting, you can protect profit by hedging your starting wager. You can place a second ML against the original one and see earnings at the end of the game. Your win will be small, but you can create some insurance if you are unsure that the bet you initially placed will go well.