What is a Money Line
What is a Money Line
A moneyline wager is simply a bet on which team or player will win a game. Given that virtually every game has one team that is considered more likely to win than the other, moneylines are created to give bettors of the weaker team higher payouts and bettors of the stronger team lower payouts.
For example, let’s say that the Montreal Canadiens are hosting the Ottawa Senators. Given that the Canadiens are the superior team in the standings and are at home, they are expected to win this game. A potential moneyline for this matchup might be Ottawa (+140) at Montreal (-160).
Odds that have a “+” in front of them, such as Ottawa +140 in this example, indicate what a $100 wager would pay out. So in this instance, a $100 bet would pay $140 if it wins. This ratio will be the same regardless of how much is wagered, so it could also work as $50 to win $70 or $1000 to win $1400. This team is known as the underdog.
On the opposite side are favorites, which have a “-” in front of their odds. These bets indicate how much a bettor would have to lay to win $100, so in this instance, you would have to bet $160 to win $100 on Montreal. The side that lays money like this is known as the favorite.
In the event that a side will pay even money ($100 to win $100), it can be listed as either “EVEN” or “+100”.
Moneyline wagers are very common in both hockey and baseball, where the low-scoring nature of the game leads to closer games than sports like football and basketball, which are more commonly bet on the point spread. Sports with individual players such as tennis, boxing, and MMA are also most commonly bet on the moneyline as different types of spreads can be more complicated than just betting on who wins outright.
While point spreads are popular in basketball and football, moneylines are also available for these sports as well. They are often preferred in games between two fairly evenly matched teams. For example, when Golden State visits San Antonio as a 4.5-point favorite on the point spread, a Warriors backer might prefer to go for the higher payout on Golden State at +160 on the moneyline instead of -110 on the point spread.
It is important to get comfortable reading moneylines as most wagers across all sports list odds in this format. Depending on the sport, moneylines can get quite big. For example, in a tennis match between Rafael Nadal and a player ranked outside of the Top 100, Nadal might be going off as a -2400 favorite and his competitor could be going off at +1200. This would mean that bettors would have to wager $2400 to win $100 on Nadal, or could bet $100 to win $1200 on an upset.