Moneyline betting is most probably the first form of betting ever to take place, although it’s hardly probable people called it that.
So what is a moneyline? It is the simplest way to wager on a specific outcome with preset betting odds, answering a question, “Who will win the contest?”
Let’s go into more depth and see what does moneyline mean, how it works, and what you need to know before placing your first bets!
Moneyline betting is straightforward and holds no hidden angles you have to be wary of. You pick your winner, and if you get it right, you get a payout.
It’s based on fixed odds, and only the actual outcome matters, with no regard to the score, the winning margin, or any additional stat some other bet types could depend on.
Its simplicity is its strong suit in bettor appeal. Pick your side, set stakes, and place bets to back your claims!
See the matches/events unfold and cash in if you got the outcome right; it’s as simple as that. However, there’s still more to money line meaning, and we now go on to cover all bases.
Three Possible Outcomes
A beginner would surely feel there are only two possible outcomes to a moneyline bet. That is, you either win a bet or not, right?
Indeed, most of the moneyline bets end up getting paid out or lost.
in bets where no draw is offered, and the match can end in a draw, bettors get their stakes back,
Alternatively, most European sportsbooks offer all three outcomes with moneyline bets but also have a ‘Draw no bet’ section, which resembles the type we already mentioned above
In that case, you usually get somewhat lower odds and get paid regularly if you win but get your stakes refunded in case of a draw result.
Moneyline bets are preferred in the United States, and they’re consequently closely connected to what is also known as ‘American odds.’
They’re used on their own as values to represent the chance each opponent has to win, unlike instances such as point spread betting, where specific odds are connected to spreads that could also change over time.
Odds are set by linemakers or traders, often externally employed by the sportsbook companies. They are affected by various factors, with major ones like quality, the recent head-to-head results, current form, and injuries, as well as home turf and success there.
Generally speaking, odds are rather easy to understand, and we will now probably oversimplify them to suit our needs here.
Favorites & Underdogs
All bets use a baseline value of $100, with favorites marked by a minus sign (-) and underdogs a plus sign (+).
This means you will see the amount you need to wager in order to win $100 with favorites, while underdog odds show the amount you win if you place a $100 bet.
For example, Buffalo Bills (-210) were rated favorites to win as they hosted Patriots (+175) in January. You would have to bet $210 on Bills to win $100 (a total payout of $310).
On the other hand, placing $100 on Patriots to win brings potential winnings of $175 and a total payout of $275.
In case the sportsbook, or rather the odds compiler, feels the opponents are evenly matched with equal chances to win the match – they will offer even odds.
This is commonly known as “pick ‘em” or just “pick,” denoted by PK with most bookies in the US. Placing a $100 bet on PK will get you winnings of $100 (and a total payout of $200).
When Moneyline Works Better Than Point Spread
Point spreads are practically designed to create more evenly matched chances for each side to win on any of the outcomes.
This means adding excitement to the most one-sided contests you can think of. It also results in better odds to attract the punters.
Working off the above-mentioned example of Patriots (+175) and Bills (-210) in moneyline odds, adding a spread of -4.0 sees odds on Bills drifting to -115.
This means point spread is best used when you believe favorites will make it a gap or when you find a profitable spread that can help underdogs win it.
What does money line mean for bettors, then?
Moneyline is preferred in most cases where opponents are closer to being evenly matched.
This means picking your favorites at solid odds with the belief they have what it takes to turn a tight contest in the making their way.
Of course, moneyline is a more popular option with low-scoring popular sports such as soccer and hockey.
It does not matter if the player/team you backed wins by a point or 20; you get the potential winnings paid out with no alterations.
It could be important to note Run Line in baseball is quite similar to Moneyline in that it offers a fixed spread of 1.5.
With such handicap involved, sportsbooks try to level the playing field too and create a more exciting betting environment where there isn’t one already.
Final Thoughts on Moneyline Betting
Moneyline is one of the simplest types of a wager you can make, and it shouldn’t take a beginner more than a bet or two to get the hang of it.
There are absolutely no gimmicks with a Money line bet meaning that it is a great place to start if you are new to sports betting or a specific sportsbook. You get locked in once you place the bet with a fixed potential payout and wait for the results.
Of course, there’s more than just that to winning it and doing so in the long run.
We strongly recommend taking the time to read through betting guides and employing your best knowledge in an attempt to make the best verdicts, and everything else should fall into place with time and experience.