What is a moneyline bet and how is it different from other types of wagers? Bet Station is a sports betting expert where you can find the answers you need. We have put together a series of guides to help new players distinguish between the various bets you can place at online sportsbooks. This moneyline bet guide will tell you everything you need to know about one of the most popular wagers at sports betting sites across America.
If you have visited any of the best sports betting sites, you might have noticed three types of wagers. The point spread, the moneyline, and the over under. These are the wagers you will find if you click on NFL, NBA, and MLB games as they are the three most common bets players place. These are not the only wagers you can place at a sporting event, just the three default bets often displayed next to a game. If you click on a boxing match, then you will most likely just find one type of wager, the moneyline.
If you are new to sports betting, the moneyline wager is one of the easiest to place. It is a direct wager where you are betting on one team to win outright. When you click on an American sport, like hockey, they give you two options for the moneyline bet. Either the home team or the away team will win. When you click on a soccer game, you can bet on the home team, the visitors, or a draw. The difference between these bets is that one sport has overtime to settle draws, and the other does not. If you do your research, you can find moneyline bets in the NHL for draws, but most sportsbook will count a draw as a push and refund you your money.
What is a Moneyline Bet?
The moneyline bet is one of the most straightforward wagers you can place on any sportsbook. Unlike the over under or the spread bet, the total number of points scored by both teams does not matter. All that matters in a moneyline bet is which team scored more points or goals than the other. What makes this wager so popular is that it applies to almost every single sporting event. Whether you are betting on football, soccer, hockey, swimming, golf, or boxing, you can always place a moneyline wager on the outright winner of the game.
All you need to do for a moneyline bet is predict the winner. This would have been a good wager for the 2022 Super Bowl, as the Rams did not cover the spread. Most online sportsbooks in America offered a spread of four points. The Rams would need to win by four points or more to win the bet. In the end, the Bengals lost to the Rams, but only by three, resulting in most spread bets failing. Traditionally, the moneyline has lower-paying odds than the spread, but it would have been a winning bet at the Super Bowl.
Moneyline Betting Explained
The best way to think about a moneyline bet is to assume it is an outright game prediction. You are predicting who will win a sporting event regardless of the scoreline. Now that you understand what the bet does, it’s time to explain what the numbers mean. Usually, when looking at a moneyline bet, there is a number with a plus and one with a minus. That is not always the case. If you use the fraction or decimal odds system, then it will look different. Also, the sportsbook can give both the home team and the visitors the same symbol, often a minus.
The plus symbol represents the underdog, as the symbol shows how much you could win on top of your stake. Whenever you see the plus symbol for a moneyline bet, think of it as whatever you bet, you will win more in profit than your stake. This is not the case for a moneyline bet with a minus symbol. This symbol should immediately tell you that the team is likely to win. Expect that your profit will be less than your stake. If you were to bet $10 on the Miami Heat at -300, you would make $3.33 in profit. If you picked the Atlanta Hawks to beat the Heat at +245, your ten dollars would net $24.50 in profit.
Although this may sound confusing, the bet slip will do all the hard work for you. Simply add the bets you want, and experiment with putting in different wagers to see the returns. Remember, plus means you win more than you stake, minus is the opposite!
How to Bet the Moneyline
Making a moneyline bet is one of the easiest wagers to place on an online sportsbook. All you need to do is browse the sports you want to bet on, and look for the bet marked "Moneyline". If you click on an individual game, you can normally spot a moneyline bet as it usually has a three-digit number in a box; if you are using the American odds system. We recommend the American system, as it is the easiest for new players to understand. All the examples we use at Bet Station are in the American system, rather than the decimals or fractions.
Once in your bet slip, the very best sportsbooks, like DraftKings, allow you to add multiple moneyline bets and adjust the wagers as singles. This is important, as once you add multiple wagers to your bet slip, you are eligible for a parlay. A parlay is where they combine all your bets into one giant wager, where you could win a lot more than any single bet. If you just want to place separate moneyline bets, you will need to make sure you bet singles. A parlay is good for returns, but one wrong prediction and you cannot win any cash.
There are many wagers at every online sportsbook, a lot of which have similarities. If you look at the proposition bet or any futures, they all have one number in a box. They are both similar to a moneyline, but not entirely the same. If you want to know more about those wagers, then you should check out our other guides.
How to Win a Moneyline Bet
There is no guaranteed way to win a moneyline bet, just as there is no surefire way to win any sports bet. However, that does not mean that Bet Station will hang you out to dry. Instead, we like to advise on how to avoid losses and maybe even win some bets. Below are just a few tips to help you stay out of the red.
- Be thorough: We mention above that the moneyline is one of the three most popular bets at American sportsbooks, but that does not mean they are the best paying. Seeing as this wager is easy to add to your bet slip, it is far more effective if used in a parlay than a single. We recommend going into each game you want to bet on and searching around for boosted odds or a more interesting bet. Usually, extra work pays off!
- Adjust your stake: If you are new to sports betting, you might have the urge to make large bets, hoping to win big. This can be problematic for more reasons. Betting big on the clear favorite yields a small return, so it’s not worth risking a large sum for a poor return.
- Try to request a bet: The very best online sports betting sites have sections where you can request a bet. These special moneyline bets are tailored to suit you. You might think Sidney Crosby will score two and assist one in the next game. So, get in contact with the sportsbook and get much better odds than just the Penguins to win.
What Does it Mean to Bet the Moneyline?
When someone says they are betting on the moneyline, they simply mean picking the winner of a game. There are many bets on an online sportsbook. Some do not require you to choose the winner of a game to receive a payout. However, a moneyline is all about choosing the team that will score more points than the opposition.
The moneyline bet is a great wager to select when you aren’t super confident in a prediction. If you follow a few teams religiously, then you might have a better idea of who will perform or score on the day. Those types of wagers are far more rewarding. The more specific you are with your prediction, the more you can win from a sports bet.
Moneyline Betting Examples
We have put together a range of moneyline bet examples to help give you an idea of what to expect at a sports betting site. Most sportsbooks have a wide range of moneyline bets, so we can only give you examples of the most popular ones.
What is a Moneyline Bet Football?
If you are looking to place a bet on the NFL, a moneyline bet is just for the winner of a game. If you are new to sports betting, you might hear pundits or enthusiastic giving you their picks. This is when somebody predicts who will win in the next round of fixtures. Some players will follow professionals to get their picks every week, as they feel it’s a safer bet than making the predictions yourself. Remember, no matter how knowledgeable someone appears, there is no guarantee they will be correct. They might well know something you don’t, or they could take a stab in the dark.
MLB Moneyline Picks
If you are a baseball fan, then you might want betting advice for next week’s games. These are called MLB picks, and they are often expert predictions for the next game week. When talking about MLB moneyline picks, professionals just go with whichever team the sportsbooks mark as the favorite. This is usually easy to spot as one team will have a plus, meaning they are the underdog. If both teams have odds with a minus, such as the New York Mets at the St. Louis Cardinals, then the pick gets a little harder. The Mets had -116, and the Cardinals had -102, making the Mets marginal favorites. When both teams have a minus, the higher the number, the less you will win.
3-Way Moneyline Hockey Example
The NHL is one of those sports where you can choose the traditional moneyline or a 3-way no push moneyline. The difference between these two options is that there is no way for your bet to end as a push. For those of you who don’t know, a traditional moneyline bet for American sports like the NFL and NBA will end as a push when a game ends as a draw. This means your bet is null and they refund your stake. Sometimes players might want to bet on the possibility of a draw, which is where this wager comes into play.
The 3-way moneyline will give you three options: the home team to win, the visitors, or a tie. The tie will cause overtime, where the overall winner does not affect your bet. This moneyline bet is desirable because of the payout. For example, the Carolina Hurricanes were visiting the New York Rangers and FanDuel gave -104 and -115 for the moneyline bets, respectively. In the same game, they gave +150 for the Hurricanes, +135 for the Rangers, and +310 for a draw on the 3-way no-push bet.
Why was this bet so much more rewarding than the traditional moneyline? Well, the additional option for this wager adds complexity to the bet. Instead of it being a 50/50 bet where a draw is a push, it becomes a bet where there are three possibilities. Two will end with a failed wager. The added becomes more rewarding as it is harder to walk away with some winnings.
What is a Moneyline Bet in Basketball?
It is not uncommon for players to look for NBA moneyline picks. These are usually an expert’s best guess at who will win a game in the next round of fixtures. These picks are usually just for the outright winner of a game. You can pick certain picks and place them all as singles. Or you can combine multiple moneyline wagers into one bet, called a parlay. This is where they group your bet into one, where you could win a lot more than just placing singles. However, you need every single bet to come through to win any cash. Some sportsbooks, like BetMGM, offer players bet insurance if one leg loses in their parlays. Make sure you check the promotions and opt-in if necessary.
What are the Moneyline Betting Odds?
Calculating the odds of a moneyline bet is easy. It is one of the few wagers where there is just one number in the box; the odds offered by the sportsbook. If you are using the American odds system, then you can tell this number apart from the rest, as it will either have a plus or minus in front of it. In this situation, the minus is for the team more likely to win, and the plus is for the underdog.
How can you tell how much your bet is going to win? If you see a bet with a plus in front, let’s say the Chicago Bulls +550 against the Milwaukee Bucks, the plus tells you how much you could win. If you bet $100 on the +550, you could expect to see $550 in profit if your bet comes good. This ratio still applies to lower stakes; if you bet ten bucks, you would win $55. When there is a minus in front of the number, then you should expect to win less than what you stake. If the Bucks had -900 and you bet $100, then you would only win $11.11 profit. That means you would risk $100 on a bet, and only stand to win around 10% of what you wagered.
There are many ways to improve your moneyline odds. This includes browsing the game for a more specific bet with better odds. Or you could combine several moneylines into a parlay and enjoy much larger odds altogether.
What is a Moneyline 3-Way No Push?
Some sportsbooks offer you the chance to use a special moneyline bet called a moneyline 3-way no push. The best way we can describe this wager is to look at any soccer bet. When you look at a soccer game, they offer you a moneyline bet for the home team, the visitors, or if there is a draw. This is not a default bet when browsing other sports, like football, basketball, hockey, and baseball, because of overtime. This type of wager exists to give you the chance to bet on a tie and you will either win or lose; no push.
Removing the chance of a push from the moneyline bet drastically increases your odds. We don’t mean you have a higher chance of winning. We mean if you were correct with your prediction, you would stand to win more. The amount you could win varies depending on the sportsbook. At the PointsBet Sportsbook, the Flyers play the Jets and the traditional moneyline is +160 and -196, respectively. The moneyline 3-way bet is -125 Jets, +215 Flyers, and +350 for a draw. Introducing the third option makes it less likely for you to have a winning bet, but who wants a push, anyway?
It is not uncommon for new players to look for a moneyline calculator to help them stay in control of their betting. This is unnecessary as the best sports betting sites have a bet slip that does all the work for you. It can be difficult on mobile devices to constantly flick between the bet slip and the various wagers you can place. We recommend either using a tablet or a good old-fashioned computer to add and adjust wagers quickly.
The reason we are advocates for the bet slip at a sportsbook is because of the live odds. If you use a calculator website, you have to manually enter your stake and the odds for every wager. This may not sound like too much trouble, but odds at sportsbooks change all the time, even inside your bet slip. So, there is no point in making all these calculations and then placing your bet to see a different outcome. The only way to secure a bet is to place it.
When to Place a Moneyline Bet
One of the hardest things to do when talking about sports betting is deciding what type of wager to place. Whenever you look at a sportsbook, you will see an enormous selection of sports and a vast number of wagers. Below, we have organized a few tips to help you place a moneyline bet at the right time.
- Do you know the sport? The moneyline bet is to predict whether the home side or the visitors will win the game. This is one of the few online sports wagers where you need not worry about the scoreline, just which team comes out on top at the end of the game.
- Who is playing? If it’s a sport you follow religiously, then you will know who are the star players and who is in form. However, injuries can occur and they can easily go under the radar. If you bet on a team to win and they turn up without their star player, you will not be thrilled!
- Don’t be afraid to cash out! The problem we face with online sports betting is greed. Sure, there have been several times in our betting career where sticking to our guns has paid off. However, more often than you would think, you are better off taking the money. Sport is unpredictable, and lots of high-value bets can turn to zero in the blink of an eye. Would you feel regret that you could have made more? Or will you feel like a fool leaving with nothing when you could have taken a decent payday? Remember, don’t get too greedy!
Why Choose Moneyline?
No matter how much sports betting experience you have, it’s never easy to select the right bet. That’s where the moneyline bet comes into play, as it’s one of the most straightforward out there. Most American sports allow you to put a moneyline wager on either the home team to win or the visitors. This type of bet takes out a lot of the variables and guesswork, as you just need one team to win; it doesn't matter by how much.
- Why choose a moneyline? A moneyline bet is not necessarily a safe bet, but it’s safer than most. If you examine the game pages in a variety of sportsbooks, you’ll notice one feature they all have in common. The better the odds, the more complex they make the bet. This complexity can include variables, like the next few goal scorers, or it can include precise predictions about the scoreline and the number of fouls. Essentially, the moneyline bet is your best way to bet on the outcome of a game without worrying about the details.
- Does that mean you are stuck with low odds? Although it can seem like you have little say over the odds, there are multiple ways to make your bets more rewarding. Some of the best sports betting sites give you bet boosts to increase the odds. Another solution is to combine your bets into either a parlay or a round robin. This will give you much better odds, but at the cost of coming away with nothing.
Best Online Sportsbooks for Moneyline Wagers
Although the moneyline bet is a straightforward wager, major sportsbooks can vary drastically with the odds they offer. There is usually a consensus, so you won’t often find different favorites and underdogs in each sportsbook. However, you will often find a better deal on one sportsbook when compared to another. Below are just some of the best sportsbooks for moneyline wagers. Don’t forget to check our Bet Station reviews for more information.
Betway Moneyline Bets
The Betway Sportsbook is a fantastic choice for players looking to make moneyline bets. Not only do they offer you a superb selection of moneylines to bet on, but they are excellent for providing in-depth team stats. On the game page, you can find useful information about the team's scoring statistics, win probability, and various other stats.
Moneyline Bets FanDuel
We examined FanDuel closely in our review and found it to be up there with the very best sportsbooks in America. This was because of its wide selection of sports and a wonderful variety of bets. The variety includes multiple different moneyline wagers, such as the 3-way no push. It is no easy task choosing an online sportsbook to join, but FanDuel is one of the best as it has promos, a wide range of sports to bet on, and even fantasy sports.
PointsBet Moneyline Wager
PointsBet is a famous sportsbook for its unique type of wager, PointsBetting. You can find out more in our PointsBet review, but the sportsbook is also very good for moneyline wagers. They have a variety of options, including the 3-way no push and they offer you the opportunity to request a bet. There are many excellent sportsbooks out there, PointsBet is among the best of them.
The DraftKings Sportsbook is excellent for many reasons which you can read about in our review. However, DraftKings is a favorite amongst bettors thanks to its range of moneyline wagers. Few sportsbooks offer as many sports to be ton as DraftKings, giving you an unrivaled range of moneylines to consider. Plus, it is another with fantasy sports, an NFT marketplace, and casino games; if you live in an eligible state.
Final Thoughts on Moneylines
The moneyline bet is a perfect entry point for new bettors and a good bet for experienced players looking to create parlays. It is exceptionally difficult to predict the outcomes of sporting events, but it is easier to say who will win rather than who will score the first run, goal, or basket. It is easy to get carried away in the world of sports betting, which is why the moneyline is important. Remember, if you bet on the 2022 Super Bowl, the high returning spread bet would have failed, but the moneyline would have won.