The money line is a name for a sports betting market, based on the result of a sporting event. It’s primarily an American expression, so you tend to find it used for US sports. We’re going to explore the question of what does money line mean in betting, show you how it works and even give you some tips and strategies.
Many people that are new to online gambling wonder what does money line mean in betting. The chances are that they already know, but are simply unfamiliar with the term and this type of bet.
The moneyline bet refers to a results-based market offered by betting sites on popular sports. Depending on the sport, it can have two or three potential outcomes. So a soccer match for instance, can see the home team win, or the away team win, or a draw, which means that there are three potential outcomes. There are 3-way moneyline bets available. A tennis match can’t be drawn, so with that sort of money line market, there are two results. Either Player A wins, or Player B.
As we mentioned in our introduction, moneyline betting is American in origin. The prices are displayed in a different way than UK or European punters might be used to with online bookmakers, but they essentially work in the same manner. Understanding how betting odds work in general will help you too. We’re going to explain exactly how the money line works in the next section.
To demonstrate what does money line mean in betting to you, we’re going to show you an example of a money line bet on NFL American football. Imagine the New York Giants are facing the Detroit Lions in a upcoming game. The betting lines are as follows: the Giants are priced at -145 in the mark, with the Lions at +125.
The negative number represents the moneyline favorites, which are the Giants, while the positive number represents the underdog. With the odds of the favourite based on implied probabilities, the number shows how much you’d have to bet to win $100 (or whatever currency you are using). So the Giants’ price of -145 has them as heavy favorites. You’d have to bet $145 to potentially win $100.
Money line odds of the underdog show how much you would win if you bet $100. So the Lions’ price of +125, shows that if you bet $100, you would stand to win $125. If the two teams were dead even in the betting, then both would be prices at underdogs.
So in a scenario with the Giants and the Lions were both given a 50/50 chance of winning, they might both be priced at -110. That means that in either case, you’d have to bet $110 on a moneyline wager to win $100, which gives the sportsbook the house edge that they factor into their odds.
If there is the chance of a draw/tie, which gives three possible outcomes, they would typically be priced up with one favourite and two underdogs. Alternatively, the market may state that a draw will result in your stake being refunded, leaving just the two win options. This sort of money line works like the Draw No Bet market in soccer.
As we’ve said, money line betting hails from the USA. It’s therefore most typically seen in the big four US sports, which are American football, baseball, basketball and ice hockey. We’re going to take you through how money line betting works for all of these sports.
The most popular market in American football betting is the money line. It’s a straight bet to see which out of two teams will win. Ties are possible in the NFL, but also extremely rare. If the score is level at the end of regular play, it will go into overtime and if they remain level at the end of that period, then the game is tied.
If you place a money line bet on NFL and the game ends level, then the bet will be made void. There were only two draws in the 2022 NFL season, which demonstrates how rare an occurrence a tie is. Over the course of the regular season, there are 272 games on which you can bet on the money line. This is then followed by the playoffs, which conclude with the Super Bowl, which is the biggest money line betting event of all US sports.
When it comes to baseball betting money line is where the bulk of the wagering goes. It is fair to say that there are plenty of opportunities to place such a bet. Over the course of a regular MLB season, each team plays 162 baseball games. As there are 30 teams, that comes to 2430 games and that’s before you even think about the playoffs.
That’s a huge schedule, which absolute dwarfs that of rival US sports and creates plenty of money line betting opportunities. Ties in baseball are even rarer than in the NFL, so that’s not much of a consideration, but if there is one, your bet will be made void. The season concludes with the World Series, which sees the two finalists compete in a best-of-seven encounter.
With money line basketball betting in the NBA, you don’t have to worry about the prospect of a tie. If the scores are level, they just keep on playing overtime periods, until there is a winner. While there’s not as many games as in the MLB, the NBA still creates plenty of basketball betting money line opportunities, with a busy schedule.
Each team plays 82 games and with 30 franchises involved, that creates 1230 games in a regular season. Then there’s the playoffs and NBA finals, with all the encounters played over a best-of-seven format, creating even more opportunities for punters that like to money line bet on basketball.
Ice hockey betting has another term that UK and European punters may be unfamiliar with. Along with the money line, which concerns the result, there is the puck line, which is the same as sports spread betting, or handicap. Like the NBA, there are no ties to worry about. If the scores are level, there is overtime, followed by a shootout.
Another similarity with basketball money line betting is the amount of games. The NHL and the NBA have the exact same amount of games, with each team playing 82 times, creating a total of 1230 games in a regular season. The playoffs conclude with the finalists competing for the Stanley Cup, in a best-of-seven ice hockey games series.
As popular as money line betting is, there are pros and cons. We think that the benefits far outweigh any drawbacks, but in the interest of fairness, here are both the pros and cons, as we see them.
As you will have seen when we answered the question of what does money line mean in betting, the odds of money line betting markets are pretty easy to work out.
That said, if you’ve been using fractional or decimal odds all your life, having to convert a new odds format can be somewhat tiresome. This is especially true if you’re trying to quickly gauge where the value is.
In such instances, using our free bet calculator is a smart move. It can quickly allow you to look between the new odds formats, get a better idea of where the value lies and look at potential payouts for moneyline bets
We’re now going to give you some betting tips and strategies for when betting on money line.
As with any type of betting options and markets, moneyline odds vary between bookies. You’ll normally find that there is a general consensus on who should be the favourite and who is the underdog, though that’s not always the case. Yet some bookies will be more generous than others with their pricing. Keep an eye on odds comparison sites, as they will show you at a glance, where the best price can be found, for any money line market.
A money line price of +200, indicates that the selection is the outsider. The odds signify that if you bet $100, you will potentially win $200. So odds of +200 are therefore the same as fractional odds of 2/1, or decimal odds of 3.00.
Money line betting is found on major sports in North America. The big four US sports are American football, baseball, basketball and ice hockey. These are also higher-scoring sports and team sports, rather than individual sports.
With a moneyline bet, the selection with a minus sign in the odds is the favourite, while a plus indicates the outsider. The odds relate to $100. So a price of -145, means that you would have to bet $145 on the favourite to win $100. Odds of +125, show that a $100 bet, would win you $125.
The money line is a betting market that is purely based on the result of a sporting contest. With the spread, you are betting on the margin of victory of a result in which a handicap has been applied. The favourite starts the game with a points handicap, while the outsiders have a points advantage.
There are various reasons why moneyline betting odds change. Sometimes it can be because of a change to the perceived chances of a team winning, such as their star player getting injured. Or, it can be due to the amount of money being placed by bettors. The more that goes on, the more the odds will be reduced.
Yes, you can put money line and spread bets together in parlay bets, along with any other type of bets. The only exception is with a feature that can be known as Bet Builders or same-game parlays, in which you form an accumulator bet with wagers from the same game.