MONEY LINE: How to Bet Money Line

money line
image credit: SukiDhanda

The most popular type of sports bet by far is the money line bet. Money line bets are great because not only are they easy enough for new sports bettors to understand and use correctly, but also professional sports bettors use them all the time to win big every day in sportsbooks all over the world. In fact, there are a lot of very successful professional sports bettors whose only winning strategy is to bet on the money line. This guide will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about the money line betting calculator and a lot more. No matter how much you know about betting or how new you are to it, we have something for you here. We’ll explain what a money line bet vs spread is, and how to understand the different numbers, payouts, and ways they’re shown.

What Is a Money Line Bet?

Money line bets are bets on how a game will turn out. In essence, they are bets on which team or competitor will win a given match.

Money line bets have only two possible outcomes because the bet is usually on who will win between two teams or competitors. Whichever the team chosen will win, in which case the bettor will get paid based on the odds, or the team will lose, in which case the bettor made a bad choice. Some events, like fights, might offer a third way to bet: a draw.

The money line is one of the oldest methods of betting, along with the point spread and the over/under. I think it to be one of the most basic ways to bet.

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In betting terms, the numbers that show how much you can win by betting on a game are called the “Moneyline.” Bookmakers divide each team into two groups: the favorites and the underdogs. There is a negative number for the team that is the favorite to win and a positive number for the team that is the favorite to lose (the underdog). For example, if the money line for a football game was “Team A (+150) vs. Team B (-170),” the bettor would know right away: Team B is the favorite to win, so if you bet on it, you will get less money back.

The numbers next to the teams, like +150 and -170 in the example above, show the money line payouts, which are based on how the odds were calculated. The negative number tells you how much you have to risk to win $100. So, if the money line for the team you chose was -400, it means that you would win $100 if you placed a successful $400 bet. This means that the person would have lost $400 but won $100 in the end. The number that goes up shows how much you would win if you bet $100 and won. A +300 Moneyline, for example, means that if you bet $100 and win, you will get $300 back.

How Do Moneyline Bets Work?

The degree to which one side is more competitive or talented than the other, both on its own and in relation to the specific contest, is a determining factor in the price that is placed on that side. To put it another way, the bookmakers will decide on a price for each side of the game that they believe appropriately reflects the amount of money it should cost a bettor for that side to win the game. In American oddsmaking, the proximity of the price to the number “100” indicates the degree to which the two teams are competing against one another. When it gets into the region of -120 to +120, it’s just about a “coin flip,” meaning there are two sides that are evenly matched.

How Do You Figure Out a Money Line?

Before you can calculate how much money you would win by betting on a money line, you need to first determine how much money the bet would pay out. Take a look at the numbers that are written next to the teams. The ones that are positive tell you how much money you would win if you wagered $100 and won, and they are located next to the underdog. When you see a negative number next to a favorite, it indicates the amount of money you would need to be prepared to risk in order to win $100.

Are Moneyline Bets Good Bets?

They don’t need any improvement at all. It all depends on how much money you have. Large bets placed on favorites who are expected to win are not a winning strategy over the long run since, statistically speaking, favorites do not win more often than they lose. The “spread” is believed to be the great equalizer, and it requires a bit more handicapping (by how much will X team win or lose?), but there is nothing wrong with simply picking the winner straight up.

 Do Moneyline Prices Differ from One Sportsbook to Another?

Absolutely. There are occasions when there is a significant gap between the two. It is usually a good idea to do some comparison shopping to find the greatest pricing for the option that you choose. For instance, you could find the number -200 in one book and the number -160 in another. If you wager the same $100 and your team wins, you will receive an additional profit of $12.5 if the odds were -160.

Benefits of Money line Bets

Before we go any further, we want to talk about why Moneyline bets are so popular and why professionals all over the world use them so often. Before you put in the time and effort to learn about something, you should always know why it’s important. Let’s look at how money-line bets can help you win in the future when you bet on sports.

#1. Simplicity

All of our professional bettors on staff say that there’s no reason to make things harder than they need to be. They are talking about the terrible trend of people who want to make a living betting on sports, and think that they have to make more complicated bets. We say it’s a bad trend because this is the furthest thing from the truth.

To win at sports betting, you need to find value and pick winners. There is no link at all between how complicated a bet is and how likely it is that you will win. In fact, you could say there is a negative association because many bettors don’t fully understand the complicated bets they are making. This means they are more likely to make mistakes and misjudge values.

When it comes to ease of use, money line bets are the best. Choose a winner, decide if the payout is worth the risk, and then place your bet. You win if your team or player wins. People will try to make things harder than they need to be, but that’s all there is to it.

#2. Easier to Find Value

Money line bets are easy to understand, and it’s also easy to figure out how much they’re worth. Now, you’ll notice that it just doesn’t say “Easy to Find Value.” That’s because finding value in sports betting is never easy. If it was easy, everyone would do it as a job. It does say, though, that money line bets are easier to find value in because they are so straightforward.

Checking the forecast isn’t a complicated task (one that is going to make you money). With a few easy math calculations, you can figure out if a bet is worth it or not. Money line bets are straightforward and easy to “eyeball” value, even if you don’t like arithmetic.

#3. Great Introduction for Beginners

Have someone you’d like to get interested in sports betting? Too often, people try to get new people into sports betting by giving them too much information. They’ll give them too much information and too many options, which will drive them away from the games.

Money line bets are a great opportunity to show a friend, family member, or partner how to bet on sports. They’ll comprehend better and be more willing to learn and help with your project.

Money Line Bets vs. Point Spread Bets

A point spread bet doesn’t just look at which team wins, but also how much they win. In this kind of bet, the favorite must win by at least a certain number of points. The underdog, on the other hand, doesn’t have to win. All it has to do is lose by less than the spread.

Bookmakers use point spreads to spread bettors out evenly on both sides of a bet so that they don’t take on too much risk.

Money line vs point spread are both based on the same knowledge, and both payouts are based on how likely it is that a team will win or lose. In fact, both try to figure out how strong each team really is. They do this in different ways, though. The money line vs spread changes how much you have to pay to bet on a team. According to several studies, money line market information may be more accurate than point spread market information.

Correlation Between Money Line and Spread

There is an obvious link between the money line and the point spread line. You won’t see Alabama at -10000 on the money line against Duke and only a 10-point favorite against the spread unless a sports book made a big mistake. In that game, Alabama was 34 points ahead of the other team. Since everyone expects Alabama to win over Duke, point spreads make betting more intriguing and fair (and they did, 42-3).

All sports have a link between the two types of bets, although it’s most clear in football and basketball. Spreads of more than one or two are rare in hockey, soccer, and baseball, so money line bets are enticing.

A more advanced method is to look at the relationship between the spread and the money line. For example, the money line for an NFL team that is favored by seven points is usually around -350. If the spread is -7 and the money line is -300, that could be a nice play.

Money line Calculator

The Gaming Today Money Line Calculator makes it easy to figure out payout odds and bet amounts for any bet amount. You can use American, decimal, fractional, Hong Kong, Indonesian, or Malay odds to calculate a bet’s payment.

Even though it’s important to understand and be able to figure out favorite and underdog Moneyline odds for all the different ways odds are written, the money line calculator can save a lot of time and effort.

The Implied Probability part of the Gaming Today Money line Calculator is one of its most important parts.

For each favorite or underdog, the calculator tells you how likely it is that team will win. Smart gamblers can use the calculator to locate teams whose actual win likelihood is higher than their odds.

The “To Win” window shows how much money you can make with any combination of odds and bet size. Add “To Win” to the original bet to determine the return.

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How To Use The Money line Calculator To Place A Sports Bet

To figure out how much a $50 money line bet on the Buffalo Bills will pay out, put $50 in the “Bet Amount” box and “+115” in the “American Odds” box. Hit “Enter” or click the “Convert Odds” button to see how the money line calculator changes this information into several useful categories.

The calculator turns “+115” odds into all the different symbols that a sports book might use.

The +115 American odds are the same as the 2.15 decimal odds, 23/20 fractional odds, 1.15 Indonesian/Hong Kong odds, and -0.8696 Malay odds. When odds are published differently at different sportsbooks, our money line calculator can help you win.

At +115 odds, the “Implied Probability” output shows that the Bills have a 46.51 percent chance of winning. Skilled bettors will take that offer if they think Buffalo has a better chance of winning the game.

If the Bills win, the “To Win” output shows how much money I will make. If you bet $50 on the Bills and win, you get back $107.50. (A profit of $57.50 plus the original bet of $50)

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Will the Moneyline Change Once It’s Set?

Definitely. Betting lines spread, and totals can change at any time. Bets (the “activity”) are monitored and adjusted accordingly, especially for “sharper” customers (well-informed). For sustained success, being on the moral high ground is important, but so is obtaining a fair deal. To illustrate, if two persons, John and Joe, both bet on the Chiefs to win the Super Bowl, but John bets a week before the game at -130 and Joe waits until the last day to bet and gets K.C. at -120, Joe is getting a higher price and payoff, percentage-wise.

Can the Moneyline Price for My MY Bet Change Once I’ve Bet it?

No. This is in contrast to “parimutuel” betting on horse races, where the odds and prices are subject to alter right up until the gates open. When you make a money line wager and click the “place bet” button, the price at which you bet is locked in. You’d be in good shape if you bet on the Packers-Lions game and chose the Lions at +300 (bet $100 to win $300) but then Aaron Rodgers was ruled out of the game later in the week. However, that works both ways; those who bet against the Packers would be left feeling regretful.

Why  Was My Moneyline Bet Canceled?

When a game ends up exactly on the spread, it is considered a “push,” and the bettor gets their money back. This is only a possibility on even spreads, such as +6, and not on the more common +6.5.

While it happens much less frequently when betting on the Moneyline, it is still possible for your wager to push or be voided.

Obviously, the case of a tie game is the most prevalent. Ties can occur in some sports, such as NFL football. If the game ends in a draw, your Moneyline wager will be refunded.

Books typically provide three-way markets in soccer, with each team to win, lose, or draw. Be aware that if you wager in three-way markets (which often only feature regulation), you will incur a loss even if the final score is a tie.

Bets may also be void in other circumstances. When betting on baseball, the default setting is “pitchers listed,” which implies that if the pitchers on either club specified on the bet do not throw the opening pitch, the wager is nullified. Pitchers are delicate creatures, so it is not uncommon for them to get scratched late in a baseball game. Your wager could be voided if a team makes a late change to its starting pitcher.

Another reason wagers could be voided is if games are called off early or are postponed due to bad weather. You should check the policies of your sportsbook, since many of them have a set number of innings before a wager is considered active. However, wagers are typically called off when this occurs.


Money line bets are one of the easiest types of bets to make because they let people choose who they think will win a competition. A number next to its name shows the odds of a team or competitor winning, such as +200 or -110. This number determines how much a bet would win.


Is there a difference between the moneyline and the point spread?

Yes. The outcome of a money line vs spread bet depends only on which team wins, while a bet depends on how much of a disadvantage each team has.

What does it mean to take the points?

When you take the points, you bet on the underdog on the point spread. If the underdog in an NFL game was +10.5 and you wanted to bet on them, you would “take” 10.5 points and add them to the underdog’s final score.

What is bet amount?

The amount of a bet is how much you are willing to lose. As a responsible gambler, it is important to know how to handle your money.

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