What is money line betting?


To master any field, you must learn the jargon prevailing in that field. This will help in efficient thinking and decision-making. This is also the case in sports betting. In this article, you will learn about the phrase, money line. If you are betting on sports, you need to know the payouts. It would confuse people if all the sportsbooks displayed their odds differently. So, there is a standard format: the money line.

In betting sports, a money line informs the bettors about the payouts. It tells you how much amount you will win on a particular bet amount. As a standard, the money line informs you how much you will need to bet to win 100 USD or how much you will win if you bet 100 USD.

There are two forms of a money line

  • With a favorite and an underdog:
  • The favorite: The team which has more probability of winning. It has a negative number associated with it.
  • The Underdog: The team which has more chance of losing. It has a positive number associated with it.
  • Even/Pick ’em: If there is no favorite/underdog, both teams are equally likely to win. The words EV for even or PK for Pick ’em will be there.

An example of a soccer money line

Argentina +150, Brazil -350

Argentina is the underdog (less win probability), and Brazil is the favorite (more win probability). If you bet 100 USD on the Argentina team, you will get 150 USD if they win. In contrast, you must bet 350 USD on the Brazilian team to win 100 USD.

If the odds are even, then they show the money line as:

Argentina (+100, Even), Brazil (-100)

You must have noticed that when there are favorites and underdogs. The odds are not equal. You will win more money if you bet on the underdog than the favorite. This is because sportsbooks want to make a profit. Unequal odds ensure sportsbooks earn a profit even when the money bet on both teams is equal.

Another example of a money line is the money line of American football:

Miami Dolphins (+200)

Buffalo Bills (-500)

Here Dolphins are the underdogs, represented by a positive number. Bills are the favorite. If you bet 100 USD on the Dolphins, your payout will be 200 USD. But to win 100 USD by betting on bills, your betting amount should be 500 USD. This is just a ratio. If you bet 5000 USD on bills, you will get 1000 USD.

Money line betting is the simplest type of betting. You don’t need to know any advanced concepts of gambling. The mathematics involved is also very elementary. These reasons make the money line betting a perfect entry for beginners. But as everywhere, there are pros and cons.

Pros of Money Line Betting

  • The concept is simple, unlike other battings such as point-spread betting.
  • Mathematical calculations are simple.
  • Friendly for beginners who just started betting on sports because of the elementary concept and simple calculations.

Cons of Money Line Betting

  • No growth for experienced gamblers because of the lack of challenge.
  • Cannot bet large amounts, as there is a risk of sudden loss.
  • Because of the popularity, sportsbooks vary the odds frequently, making the market volatile.

It is easier to calculate the money line in USD. This is because it is an American system of betting. People often call it the American odds.

Outcomes in a money line betting?

So far, you have seen two outcomes in money line betting. Either you win, or you lose. But in some sports, such as cricket or hockey, the game can end in a tie or draw. In such cases, there are two types of betting offered:

  • There is no option of draw offered by the sportsbook. Then, the sportsbook will refund your money.
  • If the sportsbook has an option to bet that the match will be a draw, then you will only win if you bet on it. Otherwise, if the game was a draw, you lose the money.

Which sports offer money line betting?

You can money line bet on all the major sports such as soccer, football, and basketball. Some sports, such as racing, which does not have scores, can only have money line betting. In such games, point spread betting is not possible.

Should you bet on the money line?

If you are a beginner stepping into online betting in India, start with money line betting. You just have to figure out who will win. There are no complicated calculations involved. However, experts warn against betting large amounts on the money line. This is because there can be unexpected losses.

In conclusion, the money line is the term given to the odds by the sportsbooks for a particular match. It informs you about the payouts you are going to get. It is the simplest form of betting. Experts advise beginners to start with betting on the money line. But betting large amounts is not advisable. Your team may lose unexpectedly, so you should not bet large amounts of money on your team. So, if you just started betting on sports, the money line is a must-know jargon.

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