The Moneyline Explained
You’re clearly intrigued by the idea of sports betting, but maybe view it as a sort of foreign language. That’s okay! We were all rookies who had to ask questions at some point.
We’ll breakdown what moneyline bets are and walk you through everything you need to know about them.
The Moneyline Made Easy
You’ve already learned how to read and interpret the three types of odds you’ll encounter, so let’s move onto the elements of sporting events you can bet on.
When making a fundamental moneyline bet, you’re simply selecting the outright winner of a single game. This is the most straightforward bet you can make. There are no other contingencies.
When making a fundamental moneyline bet, you’re simply selecting the outright winner of a single game. This is the most straightforward bet you can make. There are no other contingencies. Here’s an example:
To place your bet, all you need to do is click on the moneyline number attached to the team you believe is going to win the game. If you think Anaheim will win, click on the +135. If you like Nashville, click on the -135.
Breaking Down the Moneyline
The moneyline numbers next to each team are American odds which:
- indicate each team’s implied probability
- determine how much money you would win, based on your wager.
The team that has a “+” sign on next to its moneyline number is the underdog, while the team with “-” next to its moneyline number is seen by your sportsbook as the favorite.
In some cases, both teams will have “-” signs next to them. In this case, the team with the number farther from 0 should be regarded as the favorite (eg. -120 would be the favorite over -105).
The moneyline is a relatively easy concept to understand, once you get the hang of it.
Why Are There Fractions or Decimals on the Moneyline?
This depends on the audience your sportsbook targets. The + and – signs you see are referred to as “American” odds. As such, American-facing books will almost always represent the moneyline in this format.
If you’re placing bets at a European book, you may see the moneyline represented with either a decimal or fractional format. Rest assured, the moneyline always refers to betting on the winner of the game, no matter what.
If you’re placing bets at a European book, you may see the moneyline represented with either decimal or fractional format. Rest assured, the moneyline always refers to betting on the winner of the game, no matter what.
If you need a refresher on calculating all types of odds, be sure to check out our guide. This skill is essential to understanding the moneyline and giving you a return on wagers!
Why Is There No Moneyline Option Listed for a Particular Game?
Sportsbooks don’t always offer a moneyline option for a game. Sometimes, they will simply offer totals and spread bets.
For example, many sportsbooks only offer an option to bet on the NFL moneyline if the spread is between 3 and 10 points. If one team is a heavy favorite (and the spread is listed at 14 points or more), many sportsbooks will choose to offer only spread and totals bets. This is an industry-standard, in most cases. However, there are exceptions to this rule at select online sports betting sites.
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