When it comes to sports betting lines, you probably are wondering what the lingo of lines, odds, and spreads really mean. Understanding what these terms mean is essential to making proper picks on your favorite teams. For the most part these rules apply to all the main sports such as football, basketball, soccer, and hockey. But there are some key differences when betting against the big leagues like the NFL, NBA, and MLB.
Ncaa Football Betting Lines
A moneyline wager is a straight bet on the winner of a game. There are no point spreads attached or any other factors to consider. The sole concern is which side will win the contest. After taking a look at the. At +136 odds, a $100 wager would pay $136 in profit if the Buccaneers won the game (for a total payout of $236). Bettors often like picking underdogs because they are usually “plus” money. Liberty 7 slot games. This side of the moneyline bet pays out more money per unit than a wager on the favorite. In this example, the moneyline.
Super Bowl and Stanley Cup Betting Odds
A betting line is another terminology for point spread, which is tied to the outcome of the event. It is a forecasted prediction of how many points an anticipated stronger team will win by against a weaker team. In the betting world the stronger team is referred to as the favorite, and the weaker team is referred to as the underdog. These collectively are referred to as spreads.
NHL, Baseball, WNBA Playoffs Betting Picks
In a point spread, you have to bet against the forecasted outcome one way or the other, you cannot just pick a team to win lose or it without laying down a lot of money or it would be too easy to beat a highly likely winner. Instead if a team is predicted to win by 7 points, the spread would be -7 towards that team. You then must place on a bet on whether you think the favorite would beat the underdog by at least 7 points, or if you think the underdog could cover and lose by less than 7 or win. Sometimes a game is considered highly contested and balanced that you might have what is called a pick-em where you simple pick which team will win. Point spreads are common in the NFL.
NBA Point Spreads and NCAA Lines Reviewed
After point spreads are established, you can then look at the moneyline bet. This is generally correlated to the point spread except it shows how money you can win based on your wager. Some sports do not use a point spread but rather just stick to a moneyline bet. For example, a team that was a -7 favorite would likely have a moneyline negative as well, say -200. That means, you would have to bet $100 to win $200. Alternatively there is a plus bet that goes with the underdog, say at 250. That means if you bet 100 and the underdog wins, you can win $250. Moneyline bets generally involve a higher wager to make money as opposed to point spreads. Moneyline picks are the most common wager instrument in the major sports of NBA, MLB, hockey, and soccer.
Nascar, PGA Golf and MMA UFC Betting Lines
In unique situations, where a game has a lot of prestige such as the NFL super bowl , NBA playoffs, or the Stanley Cup, you can bet on prop bets which are bets on specific things that could happen during a game. This is a play strictly based on odds of something happen against it not happening. An example might be whether a field goal would be the first type of score in the football game. At any time as people are betting one way or the other, the odds will adjust as people make picks one way or the other.
Premier League, British Open Championship and College Football Odds Every Week
Opening lines generally come out a week before an event but for major events like the Superbowl, it might be out for two weeks once the matchup is established. Football events opening lines generally come out on a Tuesday after all the previous weeks games have been played and is usually the sport most heavily used to gamble on. Basketball and MLB have games more frequently and usually the opening line might only exist for the day of an event.
The sports betting menu is crowded with choices. Some of the wagering opportunities you’ll come across are a bit on the advanced side, but there are also ones which are straightforward and easy to wrap your head around.
Moneyline bets fall into the latter category. For these wagers, you’re simply choosing the winner of the game. That’s it. There’s no point spread to worry about or anything like that. If the side you pick wins the game, you’re golden.
While the concept itself is simple, there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to the moneyline. There are times when the bets make sense, situations where you should pass, and other scenarios in which you may want to do a little shopping.
We’re going to take a detailed look at everything you need to know right here. For starters, here are the best spots to place your bets online legally and safely.
How Does the Moneyline Work?
After a quick glance at the moneyline odds, you will immediately know which side is the favorite or the underdog in a game. Oddsmakers will attach odds to both sides of the equation.
The favorite will be designated with negative odds, while the underdog will have positive odds attached. Here’s what they’ll look like at an online sportsbook using a random NFL game as an example.
- Los Angeles Rams +110
- San Francisco 49ers -130
In this fictitious game, the 49ers are favored, and bets on that side will pay out at odds of -130 if correct. For the underdog Rams, successful bets on that side pay out at odds of +110.
So how do the odds impact what the actual return will be. Here’s the math on both sides for a $100 wager.
- $100 bet at odds of +110 = potential total return of $210 (the original $100 bet plus a profit of $110).
- $100 bet at odds of -130 = potential total return of $176.90 (the original $100 stake plus a profit of $76.90).
As you can see, a successful bet at positive odds offers the chance for greater returns than successful bets at negative odds.
However, that doesn’t mean you should randomly place your wagers on underdogs and hope for the best. Normal handicapping rules apply with moneyline betting, and the goal is to place your bets on the side you feel gives you the greatest chance of being right.
What is a Moneyline Bet?
A moneyline wager is a straight bet on the winner of a game. There are no point spreads attached or any other factors to consider. The sole concern is which side will win the contest.
After taking a look at the moneyline odds for a game you’re interested in betting on, you’ll know which side is expected to win. The favorite will have negative odds attached, while the underdog has positive odds.
Once you know that, the task at hand is to handicap the game and figure out which side you like. We’ll cover some tips on handicapping in a bit. For now, just know that it’s not as complex as it may sound.
Returns are going to vary based on which side you bet on. In a nutshell, you’ll see larger returns for correct bets on underdogs, but you shouldn’t let that be the determining factor on your choices.
There will be times when you find that the underdog makes the most sense, but there will also be plenty of times when you come up with the favorite as the answer to the question.
It can be helpful to be selective with which wagers you place on the moneyline. We’ll be covering that in more detail as we move along.
Betting on Favorites vs. Underdogs
When looking at moneyline odds, the favorite and the underdog will be readily apparent.
- Chicago Bulls +120
- Houston Rockets -140
In this fictitious NBA matchup, the Rockets are a decent-sized favorite. You’ll see less of a return for betting on that side as a result, while successful wagers on the underdog Bulls would see a bigger return.
Once again, it’s important not to let the potential return be your guide. Making the correct call is the bottom line, so your choices should revolve around which side you think has the greater chance to win.
To that end, it can be helpful to break down the game first prior to worrying about what the potential return will be. After you do this enough times, you’ll be able to figure out the range of returns quickly anyway, and that can help you be more selective with your choices.
For example, you may find that huge favorites are relatively safe wagers, but that the returns aren’t what you have in mind on a long-term basis. As such, you make a concerted effort to look for other opportunities first, such as favorites at odds of -180 or less.
After breaking down enough games on the other side, you’ll begin to understand that huge underdogs are that way for a reason. Sure, they’ll come in here and there, but solely focusing on big underdogs and hoping for a big score is not a recipe for a healthy bankroll.
Balance is a big key with moneyline betting, and the ultimate return on investment is the bottom line to focus on.
College Football Betting Money Lines
Examples of Moneyline Betting
Moneyline odds are offered for all of the major North American sports. The odds are presented in the same way for each, so you’ll be able to interpret them quickly.
For example, here’s a moneyline for an MLB game with a huge favorite.
- San Francisco Giants +180
- Los Angeles Dodgers -220
At first glance, you can quickly tell that the Dodgers have a big advantage for this contest, such as a stronger overall team or a substantial edge in pitching.
Now, let’s take a look at an NHL contest which has much tighter odds.
- Boston Bruins +100
- Montreal Canadiens -120
After looking at this game, we can reasonably assume that these two squads are relatively even. The Canadiens are favored, but the gap in odds is far from substantial.
Betting Football Moneyline
For basketball and football, point spread bets receive a ton of attention, but there’s also moneyline betting for these two sports. A common misconception is that there’s not enough value to be found on the moneyline in comparison to the spread.
If you solely focus on big favorites, that’s true. However, there are plenty of games in which the moneyline odds are tight. When you look at the point spread for these contests, you can quickly see which ones may have favorable moneyline odds.
As an example, a point spread of 2.5 points or less is a good indicator of a tight game. That being the case, the moneyline odds will have decent value on both sides that’s worth exploring.
Moneyline Betting on Close Games
Speaking of close games, you’ll come across many of these on the odds board regardless of which sport you’re focused on. When evenly-matched teams square off, it can be close to a toss-up in terms of which side will win.
Oddsmakers recognize this, and they will price the games accordingly. For example, in a really tight NFL game, you could see moneyline odds like this.
- Minnesota Vikings -105
- New Orleans Saints -115
When the odds are in such a close range, the difference in return is pretty small. However, that doesn’t mean you should flip a coin and hope for the best.
You’ll still be handicapping the game in search of a winner. It doesn’t matter how even teams may seem at first glance or according to the odds. There are almost always points of difference to be found, and you can always pass on those that are legitimately too close to call.
Moneyline Bet Odds and Line Moves
When odds are released for a slate of games, these are known as the opening lines. After they’re out, the betting public has a chance to weigh in.
Depending on how the action comes in, this can lead to a shift in lines. For example, if lots of money comes in on the favorite, odds on that side will rise in a bid to even out the action.
For bookmakers, the goal is to not be too lopsided one way or the other. If they get a ton of bets on one side and few on the other, that opens up liability on their end. To limit situations such as this, they will adjust the odds where needed in a bid to attract action on the other side.
Lines can also move based on new information that emerges after the initial release. A lineup change, trade, or previously undisclosed injury are among the things which can have an impact.
A good rule of thumb is to examine any changes from the opening line to the time you are ready to place your bets. This can point you to what the overall market sentiment is on the game, and also potentially alert you that there’s some news out there that you may have missed.
Moneyline shopping – What is it, how do you do it?
All odds are not created equal. While major sportsbook operators are typically in range, you can find some ticks of difference, especially on the moneyline.
In general, the differences won’t be eye-popping. Bookmakers that are far off the beaten path will stick out like a sore thumb. As a result, bettors will quickly jump on that line and bring it back more to the level of the general consensus.
To find these points of difference, you’ll need to engage in what’s known as line shopping. This refers to checking the odds and lines at different sportsbooks in a quest to find the best price.
If you were going to buy something online and found differing prices in a few different spots, you would naturally gravitate towards the better deal. It’s the same thing with sports betting odds.
For example, if one book is offering odds of -140 on a favorite, but another book is at -130, the better deal is at the latter. You’ll get a better return there for placing your wager on that particular game.
How to Handicap Moneyline Bets
Handicapping games can sound formidable when you’re unfamiliar with the concept. However, it can actually be a simple process if you allow it to be.
It can be quite easy to get lost in research, and that can make it just as simple to get overwhelmed with information. Especially when starting out, keep it simple and focus on the things that really matter.
Here’s a simple five-point plan that you can use as a starting point.
- The odds and lines for the game. What is this telling you?
- Overall strength of the two teams. Is there a marked difference between the squads?
- Home/road splits. How do the two teams perform in the role they have for this game?
- Key Stats. Points for and against, and other sport-specific stats that really make a difference in the outcome.
- Recent Play. Is one team playing much better than the other recently?
The process gets quicker the more times you go through it. Once you have a handle on it, you can begin to tweak and personalize it to your specifications, such as by adding more stats into the equation that you feel really impact the outcome.
The Bottom Line on Moneyline Betting
Best Online Football Betting
Moneyline bets are straight forward wagers in which you are simply deciding which side you think will win. For each game on the docket, oddsmakers will designate a favorite and underdog.
Which side is which will be reflected in the odds. Favorites will have negative odds, while the underdog will have positive odds. The odds tell us the likelihood of something happening, as well as what the potential return will be for our wagers.
Betting Money Line Definition
Moneyline odds are found for all of the major sports. The odds can shift based on market action, as well as news which may develop after the initial release.
Betting Money Line Vs Spread
There are a number of different systems for handicapping moneyline odds. We’ve included a simple one here in this article which you can use as a starting point. As you advance with sports betting, you’ll be able to implement your own system and tweak as needed.