Sports betting options provide the patrons of different sportsbooks with a variety of bets to place. There’s spreads, totals, parlays, futures, and, of course, the moneyline; as well as many others. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at moneyline bets and explain what these bets are and how you can go about betting on them.
A moneyline bet is basically the simplest form of bet in a competitive sport. Moneyline betting entails picking one of two (or in some cases three) options, and these options have to do with the outcome of any particular two way contest. When placing a moneyline bet, you’re placing a bet for the team you expect to win the match and obtain a favorable result. The third option, when applicable, is for the event of a no-contest or draw. Sports like association football, boxing, MMA, and certain formats of cricket feature draws as a potential outcome, and therefore it is either accounted for as the third possible outcome, or treated as a “Draw, No Bet.” A “Draw No Bet” moneyline bet will allow gamblers to bet on any outcome besides a draw.
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How to bet the Moneyline | Moneyline odds explained
The “Moneyline” itself refers to a sportsbook’s collective odds for the fixtures within a particular period. Betting the moneyline refers to betting on a particular fixture to turn out a certain way. Moneyline Odds are therefore very mutually dependent, and one team being favored results in the other team offering better return. The three possible stakes of a moneyline bet are as follows:
Betting on the favorite
The favorite is the team that the books favor to win. Note that this isn’t necessarily the team that is most likely to win, but just the team that the bookmaker, and most bettors, expect to win. A bet for the favorite can be recognized by negative odds, and you read the odds as the amount you would have to bet to win a 100 dollars. Say, for example, that a particular contest between the New England Patriots and the Las Vegas Raiders has Patriots at (-175) and the Raiders at (+200). A $175 bet for the Patriots would therefore net you an additional $100, meaning four sevenths of your original bet amount in profit if successful.
Betting on the underdog
The Underdog needs no introduction, and is a term used to refer to the unlikely winner in a contest. Once again, this has little to do with statistics; it’s just a measure of public perception. A bet for the underdog can be recognized by its positive odds, but positive odds read differently from negative odds. When dealing with positive odds, the number in parentheses represents the amount a successful bettor would win upon a successful $100 bet, and not what they would have to bet to win $100. Considering our previous example, it should be clear to you that the Raiders are our underdogs in this scenario. If the Raiders won the game after you bet on them, you’d pocket a cool $200 on a $100 bet, which is a 2x.
Evens / Pick ‘em
When contests don’t have a clear favorite, sportsbooks will sometimes offer a bet with equal odds for both teams. When placing such a bet, the odds effectively don’t matter, and you’re looking at the same return regardless of who wins; you just have to bet on the winning team. If you see moneyline odds with the word “Evens” within the parentheses, you’re looking at an Evens bet. Some sportsbooks might denote it as just “(+/-100)” which means a 100 percent return on a wager either way. Evens bets are difficult to factor in to any moneyline betting strategy as the odds don’t shift depending on how people bet. Thus, there’s never the prospect of greater reward or lesser risk, it’s always just 50-50.
The third outcome | A draw or no contest
Draws aren’t possible in gridiron football, so let’s shift to an association football example. Say Real Madrid and Barcelona are going head to head in a coveted “El Classico” fixture. After a very close match, neither team is able to establish themselves on the scoreline, and the game ends 0 – 0. Does this mean anyone who bet on either side loses their money?
Not always. Like we mentioned earlier, there’s such a thing as a Draw No bet, which entails that bettors stakes are simply returned in full in the event of a draw. But this is only one outcome.
The other potential outcome only applies if bettors were given the opportunity to bet the odds of a Draw. That’s right, when it comes to sports like soccer, there can be three possible bets for any one fixture, depending on the bookmaker’s willingness to offer a draw as an option. In this case, there is no prospect of returned stakes, and only one of the three bets may be successful.
A no contest works similarly to a no bet. In the event that a fixture rains out or is canceled for other reasons, bookmakers usually return bettors’ bets.
Moneyline Betting FAQ
A moneyline bet is one of the simplest forms of sports betting. It involves choosing one of two (or sometimes three) possible outcomes in a sporting event. You bet on the team or outcome you expect to win, and the odds indicate the potential payout. If there’s a draw, it may be treated as a separate outcome or a “Draw No Bet” depending on the sport.
The favorite is typically the team or outcome that the sportsbook and most bettors expect to win. It is represented by negative odds, indicating the amount you need to bet to win $100. The underdog, on the other hand, is the less likely winner and has positive odds, showing the potential profit on a $100 bet.
When there is no clear favorite in a sporting event, sportsbooks may offer an “Evens” or “Pick ’em” bet. This means both teams have equal odds, and regardless of which team wins, your return is the same. It’s a 50-50 bet with no shifting odds based on public perception.
The treatment of draws or no contests in moneyline bets depends on the sport and the specific bet type offered by the sportsbook. In some cases, there may be a “Draw No Bet” option where stakes are returned in the event of a draw. However, in other cases, draws may be one of the possible outcomes, and if you didn’t bet on the draw, your bet could lose.
Moneyline betting strategies primarily involve analyzing the teams or participants, considering factors like recent form, injuries, and historical performance. It’s also important to understand the implied probabilities of the odds and look for value bets. However, keep in mind that moneyline betting is straightforward, and there are no complex strategies like point spreads or totals.