Moneyline Betting: A Guide to the Most Popular Market

There are countless sports betting sites out there, and each one has different markets and betting options. However, there are certain markets you are likely to find on all the betting sites around. One of these is Moneyline betting.

Moneyline sports betting, also often called ML, is a form of betting where bettors place bets on the direct outcome of a game. Essentially, they are picking who will win. This market is popular amongst seasoned bettors and newcomers alike.

In this Moneyline betting guide, we’re going to cover all you need to know about this market. We’re going to explore how does Moneyline betting work, how to best utilize it, and what makes it a great opportunity for bettors. Hopefully, you’ll come out of this guide ready to start profiting big off this market. Ready? Let’s dive in.

What is Moneyline betting?

The Moneyline is the first market that every bettor should learn about. It is the simplest, most popular market, and one that we’ll cover in depth. So what is a Moneyline bet? Essentially, it is betting on the outcome of a game, whether a team wins or loses. If you pick a team on the Moneyline, you’ve picked them to win their game. Moneyline bets extend into overtime or shootout, so if your team doesn’t win in regulation, all is not lost.

On a bookmaker, you’ll see Moneyline sports bet odds represented by a line under each team’s name. This line represents the likelihood that the team will win the game, according to the oddsmakers. Bettors click on the odds under the team they expect to win, input how much they want to pay, and see the potential payout if their bet cashes.

For a Moneyline bet to win, the team you picked has to win the game. Only wins count for the ML. If the game is played in a sport where there are ties, ties result in a lost bet.

Let’s look at an example. Say you’ve visited your favorite NFL betting sites searching for odds and now want to make a Moneyline NFL bet. If the Buffalo Bills are playing the Los Angeles Rams, and you place an ML bet on the Bills, the Bills would then need to win the game for your bet to cash.

What makes it so popular

So what makes Moneyline betting so popular? The answer is easy. Moneyline is the most straightforward, simple way to bet. There are two primary outcomes that can occur, and you are picking the one you expect to happen. You can also find a lot of value in Moneyline bets, as underdogs often have extreme odds. Moneyline sports betting is easy to follow, can have big payouts, and is accessible to bettors of all experience levels.

Moneyline betting parlays and single bets

There are two primary options for the types of bet you can make with a Moneyline bet. These are single bets and parlays. Single bets are when you bet on just one outcome, so just a single ML bet. Parlay bets are when bettors tie multiple bets together, so either an ML bet and other ML bets or ML bets and other kinds of markets. Every outcome within a parlay needs to hit for the bet to cash.

Single betting is less risky, so if you are an inexperienced bettor, maybe start with that. Moneyline single betting is extremely straightforward and can still yield some massive payouts.

Parlay betting is also a great form of Moneyline sports betting. It requires more events to happen, but bettors can win much more money making parlay bets, although they take on more risk. A great use of parlay betting is adding ML favorites into a bet. If a team is -250 to win a game, you will need to throw down a big bet to profit significantly off that team. But if you add it to a parlay with another market you feel confident about; it can augment the winnings you’ll receive.

Our advice is to be careful with parlays and try single Moneyline bets first. But if you feel confident and ready, Moneyline parlays can be a blast.

Understanding Moneyline Betting Odds

Knowing the odds is the first step to understanding sports betting, as everyone, from new betting sites to legacy bookmakers, uses the same odds. Odds explain the implied probability of an event occurring while also showing bettors how much they can make by placing a bet on that outcome.

While this may be information for less experienced bettors, it is always crucial to explain things like this, so below, we’ll break down some info on betting odds.

The most common kinds of betting odds you’ll see are American. American odds show you how much you would need to bet to make $100 or how much a $100 bet would make you. This may sound confusing, but it is straightforward.

Bets show you how much you would need to bet to make a $100 profit. If a team is -200, bettors would need to bet $200 to make a $100 profit. + Bets show you the profit you’d get from a $100 bet. If a team is +200, you’d need to be $100 to receive a $200 profit. 

Let’s put this in terms of soccer. If you are betting on the World Cup, and the ML odds are Spain -150 and Columbia +120, Spain would be the favorite, as a $150 bet would earn you a $100 profit. Meanwhile, a $100 bet on the underdog Columbia would earn you a $120 profit.

The other two odds you might encounter are decimal and fractional. Decimal odds show you the payout you’d receive on a one-dollar bet, including the dollar. If a decimal odds is 4, you will receive $3 profit and your $1 back. Fractional odds show you how much you’d win in the form of a fraction. If something is 10/1, and you bet $1, you’d win $9 profit and your $1 back.

Moneyline Betting Strategy

Knowing what Moneyline betting is might not be enough for bettors to benefit from this form of betting. You have to understand how to use it. Moneyline is the most popular form of betting for its simplicity, but that doesn’t mean that strategies aren’t important. Bettors need to have a coherent action plan to get the most out of their Moneyline sports betting.

Let’s look at some of the different strategies that bettors should utilize to help them bring home the big bucks with a Moneyline bet.

  • Check Recent Performances: Every team will go through highs and lows throughout the season, and momentum is a big factor. Before placing a Moneyline bet, check the recent performances of both teams to see how they’ve looked.
  • Monitor the Conditions: There are a lot of factors that impact a game. Look at where the game is being played, who has the home-field advantage, and what the weather will be like for the game if it is played outdoors. This will show you who might have specific advantages.
  • Look into Matchups: Matchups are another thing bettors need to consider. Every team has different strengths and weaknesses. For example, if you are betting on an NFL game, check how each team’s offense and defense perform and if there are notable matchup discrepancies. If an underdog has a really strong rushing offense and is going against a weak rushing defense, that is important to know.
  • Chase Value: Value is what every bettor should be seeking out. Straightforward Moneyline bets on teams that are massive favorites aren’t exactly valuable. Bettors should look for close odds, where they believe teams have specific advantages that are being overlooked.
  • Parlay Heavy Favorites: If you do want to bet on heavy favorites, the best way to do this might be parlaying. Adding a heavy favorite to your parlay allows you to increase your potential winnings and still place a bet on the team that is highly likely to win.
  • Take Smart Risks: Risks are an inherent component of betting but don’t get carried away. Take smart risks and think about every move you make. Parlaying multiple longshot underdogs on the Moneyline may give a massive potential payout, but these teams are massive underdogs for a reason. Be smart and bet with your brain, not your heart.            

Favorite vs. Underdogs

Understanding the favorite/underdog in Moneyline betting is important. The favorite is the team projected to win by oddsmakers. Unless a game has even odds, every game will have a favorite. Betting on a favorite will give you less money because they are the likeliest to win in the eyes of oddsmakers. The underdog is the team not favorited. Betting the underdog gives bettors a higher payout. 

Moneyline Outcomes

Whether you are making a Moneyline bet on PowerPlay, Bodog, or Sports Interaction, the outcomes are likely going to remain the same. What is most simple about Moneyline bets is that there are only two primary outcomes that can happen, and that will influence whether you win your bet or lose.

Essentially, for almost every sport, there are two outcomes. Let’s say you are using NHL betting sites, for example, and want to do some Moneyline hockey betting on the Toronto Maple Leafs against the Calgary Flames. If you bet on the Maple Leafs, there are only two results that can occur: the Leafs win, or they lose. There are no ties in hockey. If the Leafs win, your bet cashes. If they lose, it doesn’t.

This is true for almost every sport. Baseball, hockey, basketball, and tennis all don’t have ties. While there are external circumstances, like the game not being finished, that can result in neither option occurring, these are highly improbable situations.

Moneyline 3 ways

In sports where there are ties, this adds a third outcome. This makes Moneyline bets slightly more difficult, especially in soccer, where ties are extremely common. In football, ties happen maybe twice a season in the NFL, but in soccer, it is a regular occurrence.

You can bet a tie on the ML as well, which means you are betting for a tie to occur. Remember, the only way your bet cashes is if the exact outcome you bet on happens.

Additional Betting Markets

Moneyline betting is a ton of fun, but if you only do this market, you might be missing out. There are many other sports betting markets that bettors can utilize, and learning about them and giving them a try might expand your gambling experience. Let’s look at some of the other betting marketsFrequently Asked Questions About Moneyline Betting
you can expect to find on sportsbooks and betting apps around the world.

  • Point Spread: The point spread is a line that represents the projected score differential in a game. – means a team is favored, + means they are the underdog. If the Ravens are -6.5 against the Jets, they are favored to win by 6.5. Bettors can choose to bet the Ravens at -6.5, meaning the Ravens must win by seven or more points, or the Jets at +6.5, meaning the Jets must keep the game within six points or win outright.
  • Over/Under: The Over/Under is a line that represents the total number of combined points, goals, or runs in a sporting event between both teams combined. Bettors can choose to bet the over or under. If the line is 230.5 in an NBA game, bettors can bet the over if they think the two teams exceed that score or the under if they don’t think they reach that number.
  • Futures: Futures are a form of bet where bettors place a bet on a long-term outcome. These are not bets that are settled straight away. Typically, a future bet will be picking a team to win a championship, picking a player to win MVP, picking a team to win a division, and so on.
  • Game Props: Game Props are a market where bettors place bets on an outcome within a game. These are outcomes that don’t directly determine the final score. Examples of game props would be which team will score the first goal, how many combined three-pointers a team will have, who will win the second quarter and more. This is the most expansive market.
  • Player Props: Player Props are like game props but for players, not teams. Player props are things like will a player score a touchdown, how many three-pointers an individual will have, and over/under goal totals for a player in a game.

Moneyline Betting FAQs

The good news for bettors is that if you want to find Moneyline markets, they're everywhere. Just about every sport, betting site, and league has Moneyline sports betting because it is the most straightforward form of sports betting.

If there's a tie, then bettors who have bet on either team to win will not have their bet cashed. The only way to win an ML bet on a tie is to bet on the tie. This outcome isn't likely in most sports, but in soccer, a tie does often occur.

If a game goes into overtime or a penalty shootout, the bet remains live. If you have a Moneyline bet, and your team wins in overtime or the shootout, the bet cashes. If your team loses in extra time, the bet doesn’t cash. Moneyline bets are essentially outcomes based on who wins when the final whistle sounds.

This is extremely rare in most sports, particularly hockey and basketball, which are played indoors. But for sports that are canceled, bettors will receive their stake back. Every betting site has different rules about how long a game has to be played for the results to count, so a game can still end early and the results count. It is different with every sport and website.

Betting the favorite on the Moneyline doesn't guarantee you victory. However, teams are typically the favorite for a reason. Bettors should be aware that, more often than not, favorites win. According to an Inner Drive study of the 2019-20 Premier League Season, ML favorites won 58% of the time. This most likely aligns with other sports.

BettingTop10 Betting Markets Experts:

Cameron is a 2020 graduate from the University of Southern California’s Journalism program. He is an avid sports fan and bettor, whose favourite teams include the Toronto Raptors, and the Chicago Bears. Cameron has been writing about and following sports since the age of 10, when he first fell in love with the NFL and NBA.

Patrick covers the NHL, MLB, and NCAA football for BettingTop10 Canada. He's a huge fan of both sports – as well as many others. He is also a fan of the Ducks and the Cardinals, despite them being nowhere close to his birthplace of Ottawa, Canada. Patrick always wanted to be a writer, and sports were his favourite thing in the world, so he combined the two to make a career. He is a long-time gambler and sports betting writer that isn’t afraid to look at the underdog or specials.