Moneyline Betting Explained

Complete moneyline betting overview. Learn all about moneyline betting, how to bet the moneyline, and how game results determine a winning outcome. Watch our tutorial video for a quick refresher. The complete text tutorial follows below. Our live moneyline bet example explains possible outcomes for an upcoming matchup. Finally, learn when to bet moneylines instead of points spreads when you gamble on sports.

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What is a Moneyline Bet?

A moneyline bet is placed on a team or side to win the game outright. No point spread is involved. Some sportsbooks offer moneylines for quarter, half, period, or the first 5 innings of a baseball game. Odds for each side determine risk and win amounts.

2-way Moneyline
This bet is also known as a “Draw, No bet”.

Most sports matchups have a stronger and weaker side. The stronger side is called the favorite. The weaker side is called the underdog. Bettors taking the favorite will risk more money for a smaller payout. On the other hand, bettors taking the underdog will risk less money for a smaller payout.

This difference serves two purposes. One, it rewards moneyline bettors relative to the risk they took. Two, it balances the sportsbook’s action.

3-way Moneyline
Many sportsbooks offer a moneyline for a draw or tie in addition to the moneylines for each side. This is common for soccer and hockey games where point scoring is limited. Bet on a tie just like you would bet on either side.

How does the Moneyline Bet Win or Lose?

Favorites will have minus moneylines. A bet on the favorite wins if they win outright. Underdogs will have plus moneylines. A bet on the underdog wins if they win outright. Similarly, a bet on a tie or draw wins if the game results in a tie.

Sometimes, both sides will have -110 odds. In this case, the sportsbook considers both teams equal competitors. Neither side is the favorite or the underdog. A bet on either team wins if they win outright.

When does the Moneyline Bet Tie or Push?

2-way Moneylines

2-way moneyline bets push when the game results in a tie. The sportsbook will refund your bet. This doesn’t happen much when sports like football, basketball, hockey, and baseball have extra playing time or shootouts to determine a winner. This bet is also known as a “Draw, No bet”.

3-way Moneylines
3-way moneyline bets cannot push because a tie or draw outcome has its own moneyline. For example, if a soccer game results in a draw, anyone who bet draw wins. Those who bet on one of the teams loses.

In rare cases, your bet might be canceled and refunded in the event of extreme weather, a scheduling error, or some other extreme circumstance.

How to Place a Moneyline Bet

  1. Review each side’s moneyline odds. Note the value for a tie or draw if it’s a 3-way moneyline.
  2. Pick either side if it’s a 2-way moneyline. Pick either side or a draw if it’s a 3-way moneyline.
  3. Your bet wins if you picked the correct winning team or outcome.

What do Moneyline Odds Numbers Mean?

The odds next to each side or outcome indicate risk and win amounts. The sportsbook wants to balance its action. It will frequently change moneyline odds to encourage betting on one side more than the other.

Minus Odds Numbers
A minus number indicates how much you risk to win $100. -180 odds mean you risk $180 to win $100.

Plus Odds Numbers
A plus number indicates how you win if you risk $100. +250 odds mean you win $250 for risking $100.

PK Odds
PK odds means each side has -110 odds. Risk $110 to win $100 on either side.

+100 Odds
+100 odds means the sportsbook will pay even money on a winning bet. You win what you risk. A winning $100 bet with +100 odds pays $100.

More about Reading Betting Odds

SportsBetting3.com’s video and text tutorial  “How to Read Sports Betting Odds” discusses how to read betting odds in detail.

SportsBetting3.com College Football Odds Example

College Football Odds and Outcomes Explained

Game
BetRivers BetRivers
Bet
Toledo
Ohio
12:00pm EST
Possible Moneyline Outcomes
  • Ohio bettors risk $100 to win $125 at +125 odds. The implied probability for Ohio is 44.44%.
  • Toledo bettors risk $100 to win $65.79 at -152 odds. The implied probability for Toledo is 60.32%.

How do Sportsbooks Grade Moneyline Bets?

The following examples demonstrate how sportsbooks grade 2-way moneylines and 3-way moneylines.

2-way Moneyline
This bet is also known as a “Draw, No bet”.

Chicago -220
Seattle +190

Risk $220 to win $100 on the favorite, Chicago. Risk $100 to win $190 on the underdog, Seattle.

If Chicago wins outright, all favorite bettors win. On the other hand, if Seattle wins outright, all underdog bettors win. If the game results in a tie or draw, the sportsbook will refund all bets.

3-way Moneyline

Houston -150
Miami +160
Draw +280

Risk $150 to win $100 on the favorite, Houston. Risk $100 to win $160 on the underdog, Miami. You can also risk $100 to win $280 on draw.

If Houston wins outright, all favorite bettors win. On the other hand, if Miami wins outright, all underdog bettors win. If the game results in a tie or draw, all draw bettors win.

Pros And Cons

Pros

  • Sportsbooks use moneyline odds to indicate risk and win amounts for matchups, prop bets, and futures. Once you understand them, sports betting will become second nature.
  • Pick the outright winner or final result. You don’t have to worry about point spreads, totals, or other handicaps.
  • Winning underdog bettors are handsomely rewarded. Your risk is rewarded.

Cons

  • Moneylines don’t allow room for error. You’re picking an exact result. When in doubt, consider the point spread to give you some breathing room.
  • Taking an obvious moneyline favorite can be expensive. A -300 favorite means you risk $300 to win $100. This corresponds to a -6.5 spread. It would be cheaper to make a $110 spread bet to win $100. Use the $190 elsewhere.
  • Consistently breaking even on big favorites requires a high win percentage. See chart below.

Tips

Compare numbers to find value

Shop moneyline values at different sportsbooks. One sportsbook might require less money to bet a favorite. Another may offer a greater payout for the underdog.

Moneyline Underdogs pay better

Use the moneyline when you’re confident in the underdog. Moneyline underdogs offer higher expected value than a spread bet. A -110 underdog spread pays $90.91 for every $100 bet. But a +125 moneyline pays $125 for every $100 bet.

Hockey, Baseball, Soccer, and Others

Use moneylines for hockey, baseball, soccer, and individual sports like boxing, UFC, golf or tennis. Some find run line, puck line, and soccer Asian handicaps confusing. Moneyline betting is straightforward and easy to understand.

Put Moneylines in Parlay Bets

Combine multiple money line bets into parlays, progressive parlays, if bets win-only and reverses. Including a moneyline selection forces the sportsbook to payout the parlay using true odds versus its standard parlay payout.

Moneyline Bets to Try

  1. Baseball First 5 inning – Choose the winning team after 5 innings. Compare each team’s starting pitchers to determine the likely winner. The sportsbook will refund your bet if a starting pitcher scratches. A tie also produces a refund.
  2. Hockey 1st Period Moneyline – Choose the winning team after 1st period. The sportsbook will refund your bet if the score is tied. This bet is ideal for fast starting favorites or underdogs. Late game fatigue and line changes do not matter.
  3. Fight night Bet – Pick a boxer or UFC fighter to win. Heavy favorites will get a modest win. However those taking a longshot underdog stand to collect a giant payout.
  4. Football Underdog – Confident in the underdog? Bet the moneyline instead of the spread. Successful underdog moneyline bets pay more than spread bets.
  5. NHL Underdog Parlay – Combine 2 or more hockey underdogs into a parlay bet. Successful parlay bets pay much more than separate successful straight bets.

Moneyline Betting History

The Moneyline or fixed-odds betting has existed since sports betting began. It later made its way to the United States in the late 1800s.

Interest in bookmaking increased as the first amateur sports leagues and racetracks organized in the United States. It wasn’t uncommon to find bookies around early ballfields offering bettors game odds or parlay cards.

Bookmakers occasionally struggled to turn a profit with moneyline bets. Sportsbooks must balance their action. Bookies quickly learned to set lines based off probabilities totaling more than 100%. This meant they could make a profit no matter the result.

Bad Lines Make Bookies Go Broke

Yet the occasional bad line bankrupted a budding bookie. Paying out heavy favorites was difficult if few bettors were attracted to the underdog line. Likewise, paying out a longshot underdog was hard if the bookie’s favorite line didn’t collect enough money.

The arrival of the spread bet in the 1940s remedied this situation. Bookmakers could finally generate long term profits.

Moneylines are still extremely popular for their simplicity. Well managed sportsbooks rarely have problems paying winning customers.

Other Names

  • Fixed Odds Bet

Similar Bets

Tables and Reference

Moneyline Break Even Win Percentages

Moneyline Favorites Break Even %
Negative ML Numbers
ML Decimal BE %
+100 2 50.00%
-110 1.909 52.38%
-120 1.833 54.55%
-130 1.769 56.52%
-140 1.714 58.33%
-150 1.666 60.00%
-200 1.476 66.66%
-300 1.333 75.00%
-400 1.25 80.00%
-500 1.2 83.00%
-1000 1.1 90.91%
-2000 1.05 95.24%
-3000 1.033 96.77%
-4000 1.025 97.56%
-5000 1.02 98.04%
-10000 1.01 99.01%
Moneyline Underdogs Break Even %
Positive ML Numbers
ML Decimal BE %
+100 2.0 50.00%
+110 2.1 47.62%
+120 2.2 45.45%
+130 2.3 43.48%
+140 2.4 41.66%
+150 2.5 40.00%
+200 3 33.33%
+300 4 25.00%
+400 5 20.00%
+500 6 16.66%
+1000 11 09.09%
+2000 21 04.76%
+3000 31 03.23%
+4000 41 02.44%
+5000 50 01.96%
+10000 101 00.009%

Moneyline Payout Calculation

Calcuate Payouts for Amounts
Other than $100
ML Calculation Example
+Num (ML/100) x $Bet +150, $20 Bet
(150/100) x $20
1.5 x $20 = $30
-Num Drop – Sign
$Bet/(ML/100)
-160, $20 Bet
$20 / (160/100)
$20 / 1.6 = $12.50

Convert Moneyline to Decimal Odds

Convert ML to Decimal Odds
ML Calculation Example
+Num
Ex. +225
(ML/100) + 1 225/100 =
2.25 + 1 =
3.25 Dec
-Num
Ex. -555
(100/ML) + 1 (100/555) =
0.180 + 1 =
1.18 Dec

Convert Moneyline to Fractional Odds

Convert ML to Fractional Odds
ML Calculation Example
+Num
Ex. +350
(ML/100)
Quotient Over 1
Convert Decimal to Fraction
350/100 =
3.5 / 1 =
7/2 Frac
-Num
Ex. -250
(ML/100)
1 Over Quotient
Convert Decimal to Fraction
(250/100) =
1 / 2.5 =
2/5

Note: (ML/100) recurring number quotients become approximate fractions. Ex. -225 = 0.444… = 4/9. Use a converter when in doubt.

NFL Spread to Moneyline Relationship

NFL Spread to Moneyline Relationship
General Correlation
Fav -ML Dog +ML
-2 -130 +2 +110
-2.5 -140 +2.5 +120
-3 -155 +3 +135
-3.5 -175 +3.5 +155
-4 -200 +4 +170
-4.5 -220 +4.5 +180
-5 -240 +5 +190
-5.5 -240 +5.5 +190
-6 -270 +6 +210
-6.5 -300 +6.5 +220
-7 -330 +7 +250
-7.5 -360 +7.5 +280
-8 -360 +8.5 +280
-8.5 -360 +8.5 +280
-9 -400 +9 +300
-9.5 -400 +9.5 +300
-10 -450 +10 +325

Required Reading

Moneyline Betting FAQs

What does -150 odds mean?

-150 odds means you risk $150 to win $100 on the favorite outcome.

What does -250 odds mean?

-250 odds means you risk $200 to win $100 on the favorite outcome.

What does -500 odds mean?

-500 odds means you risk $500 to win $100 on the favorite outcome.

What does PK odds mean?

PK moneyline odds stands for “pick’em”. Each side has -110 odds. Risk $110 to win $100 on either side.

What does +150 odds mean?

+150 odds means you risk $100 to win $150 on the underdog outcome.

What does +225 odds mean?

+225 odds means you risk $100 to win $225 on the underdog outcome.

What does +250 odds mean?

+250 odds means you risk $100 to win $250 on the underdog outcome.

What does +500 odds mean?

+500 odds means you risk $100 to win $500 on the underdog outcome.

What does a 3-way Moneyline No Push mean?

A 3-way moneyline no push includes a tie (or draw) as an outcome. If the game ties, a bet on tie (or draw) wins, while a bet on either side loses.

Can a Moneyline bet push?

2-way moneyline bets push when the game ties (or draws). Your bet will be refunded. 3-way moneylines cannot tie because they include a tie (or draw) as a possible outcome.

Time needed: 1 minute.

How to Place a Moneyline Bet

  1. Review the odds.

    Review each side’s moneyline odds. Note the value for a tie or draw if it’s a 3-way moneyline.

  2. Choose either side or a tie or draw.

    Pick either side if it’s a 2-way moneyline. Pick either side or a draw if it’s a 3-way moneyline

  3. The bet wins if you picked the correct result.

    Your bet wins if you picked the correct player, team, or outcome.

References


wunderdog.com/betting-the-moneyline.html
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fixed-odds_betting#Moneyline_odds
betfirm.com/betting-first-five-inning-odds/
sportsinsights.com/how-to-bet-on-sports/bet-soccer/