Wagering the money line is the base of crypto sports betting and is definitely the best solution for beginners. The money line type of betting is easy to understand, so it is perfect to start your journey in gambling and avoid some complicated bets at first.  So, what does the money line mean? In the review, I will answer this question and explain how  money line odds are calculated and what the difference is between the most popular sports wager types – money line and point spread.

What Is A Money Line Bet?

The money line bet is the type of wager that has become the most popular one due to its simplicity and versatility. The moneyline bet implies placing a bet on the game’s outcome. Since every game sooner or later comes to an end and there are winners and losers or at least a draw, which is also a result, this wager type is called the basic stake because it represents classic sports gambling. Once upon a time, sports gambling began precisely with staking on the victory of one or another player. The principle of this wager has been preserved to this day, and now every gambler knows what moneyline is.

This type of stake does not offer a wide variety of gambling opportunities since it offers only a few possible outcomes (win, loss, and draw). Nevertheless, it is suitable for all sports in which bets are accepted.

As you might have guessed, the moneyline stake works very simply: if the player/team you gamble on wins, then you receive a payout according to the odds, and if the player/team loses, you lose the stake. This type of stake is also attractive for beginners because it gives a high percentage of luck, especially when gambling on sports, for example, volleyball or tennis, in which there is no draw. It turns out that the game offers only two possible outcomes: victory of one side or the other. Betting on one of them gives you a 50% chance of winning.

Understanding Money Lines

To be able to effectively use the moneyline type of stake, you need to understand the basics of the money line and figure out its mechanism. So, let’s start with the most important question – what does the money line mean?

When it comes to special gambling terminology, the “money line” means the row of the whole numbers that represent the winnings of the game stakes.

If you are at least a little familiar with sports gambling, you know that before the start of any game, bookmakers divide players and teams into favorites and underdogs. There is a negative whole number for the participant that is more likely to win (the favorite) and a positive whole number for the team/player considered more likely to lose (the underdog).

Bookmakers determine odds based on the current team level and the list of recent successes and defeats. The location of the odds on the line allows you to understand the correlation of teams in terms of level and competitiveness. The closer the teams are to each other, the closer the odds are to 100 on the line. When two equal teams/players meet in a game, and each has a 50% chance of winning, the odds range from -120 to +120.

Let’s discover what moneyline is in practice. For example, you are watching a football match and see the money line of The First Team (+150) and The Second Team (-170). This information is enough for you to understand that The Second Team is expected to become a winner. Therefore, a bet on it will pay out less as it is favored. The integers you saw in the example above (+150 and -170) show moneyline payouts and are related to the calculated moneyline odds.

The negative integer demonstrates the amount you need to risk to get a $100 payout. So, you can get a payout of $100 if you make a successful stake of $400 on the team whose money line is -400. If you win, you will get $500 as you return your bet and receive $100 on top. The positive integer represents the sum that you can receive on a successful $100 stake. For instance, a +300 money line means that if you make a winning wager of $100, you will win $300.

How To Calculate Moneyline Odds

When you have already given yourself the answer to the question, “What does the money line mean?” you need to pay attention to the odds. The ability to read them is essential for successful gambling with this type of stake. Odds calculating is the responsibility of the bookmakers, who base the calculation formula on the perceived probability of each team winning the game. Of course, considering that all teams/players are not equal, moneyline odds will not be the same in each game.

More often, odds are demonstrated in an American Odds format. It shows odds with positive and negative integers that occur at 100. In games that are predicted to be competitions on equal terms, the difference between the odds of the two sides will be smaller. In games that are predicted to be one-sided, the gap in the money lines will be larger.

For example, if a football league team that is having a successful season faces off against a team that is having a very bad season, then, of course, the first team is expected to be like a -10,000 favorite on the money line. This situation will mean that to win just $100, you will need to stake $10,000.

Also, take into account that there are sportsbooks that present odds in decimal format, which is a classic European format. For example, they show -110 as a decimal 1.91. Here, you need to multiply your stake by 1.91 to determine how much profit a successful stake would return.

To get money line bets explained fully, it is necessary to pay more attention to the main three components of the money line gamble that I have mentioned earlier:

  • The Favorite. This is a participant in the game that is expected to become a winner. The favorite always gets shorter and more expensive odds and a negative integer. For example, if the negative number is -110, then you need to bet $110 to win $100. The heavier the favorite, the lower the odds will drop. On the money line, the favorite is always indicated by a minus sign (-).
  • The Underdog. This is a player or a team that is predicted to be less likely to win. Underdog money lines promise payouts higher than your stake value because their win probability is lower. On the money line, the underdog is indicated by a plus sign (+). For instance, if the underdog provides odds represented by a positive number +150, a bettor can receive $150, making a $100 wager.
  • “Even” or “Pick ’em.” An ‘even’ or ‘pick ’em’ situation happens when the participants in the game are equal in level, so the bookmakers have no choice but to assess the chances of winning for both sides as equal as well. So, a successful stake on either side can bring a bettor the same amount. For instance, if your $100 wager is successful, you get a winning of $100.

The Three Types of Outcomes on a Moneyline Bet

I have already mentioned above that one of the main advantages of the money line bet is its simplicity, which lies in the fact that it involves only three possible outcomes: a win, a loss, and a draw or draw no bet. Let’s briefly discuss each of them below.


If you guess the winner of the game, then your bet on this team or player wins, and you get your payout according to the odds. In addition, you can win when the outcome of the game is a draw in case you have gambled on the draw option. Consider that this option is not offered in all sports. 


If you have not guessed the winner of the game, your wager loses. Even if there is no losing side in the game because it ends with a draw, your stake loses unless you stake on the draw option. 

“Draw” or “Draw no bet.”

A “Draw no bet” situation happens when a draw is not provided by a bookmaker as a separate money line bet, even though this result can potentially occur. When you bet on soccer matches, it often happens that the presented money line only offers the possibility of either team winning. With this type of stake, the draw outcome means that gamblers will get their full wager returned.

In case the draw option is offered as a separate staking option, bettors win their wagers only if they wager on the draw as the game outcome. If any of the participating parties wins, you will lose the stake.

Why And How Do Moneyline Odds Change?

It is necessary to consider that from the moment the odds are opened until the start of the game, the odds may change. There are many factors that influence the changes in odds. Let’s discuss the main of them:

  • Wagering activity. When the number of wagers on one team or outcome grows rapidly, the bookmaker reviews the moneyline odds to balance the amount of money gambled on each side of the wager. Changing odds in such a situation helps the sportsbook minimize the risk of not making a profit.
  • Substitution in the team or sportsman’s injury. If the exclusion of players from a team due to injury, etc., significantly reduces the level of the team (this happens when the eliminated athletes are leading players), then the bookmaker reconsiders the odds.
  • Weather conditions. All sports played outdoors, like soccer, baseball, etc., are dependent on the weather, and all players adapt differently to changes in weather conditions. Therefore, snow, rain, extreme rise or fall in temperature, etc., may be reasons to adjust the odds.
  • Public opinion. Sometimes, a team receives more attention than usual due to some events (player transfers, scandals, etc.). Increased interest in the team can be both positive and negative, but in any case, bookmakers take this factor into account when reviewing the odds.

Money Line Bets vs. Point Spread Bets

Now that you understand what a moneyline is and have learned its basic principles, it is important to understand the differences between this type of wager and other popular types. Most often, the money line type is compared with the point spread stake.

The peculiarity of this wager type is that it involves gambling not only on which team or player will win but also on how many points this team/player will beat the opponent. However, even if the underdog team/player does not win but your favorite scores fewer points than indicated in your stake, you lose.

Why do gamblers often compare the moneyline type with a point spread wager? The fact is that bookmakers use the same data to calculate both wagers. In addition, payouts for both wager types are tied to the participant’s chances of winning or losing. So, both stakes are based on the level and potential of the team or player.

Final Words

The money line bet is rightly called a classic of sports gambling because you will not find another simpler and clearer wager. Since gambling with this type of stake involves only three possible outcomes, I confidently recommend it to all newbies. In order to start betting on your favorite sport, you don’t even need to study anything; just wager on the team/player that you think will win.

However, of course, keep in mind that by spending a little time and learning the basics of how money line gambling works and how odds are calculated, you can increase your chances of making as many successful wagers as possible. Once you master the basics, you will be able to make an informed decision about each subsequent stake, taking into account all the factors affecting the odds. I hope my review will be a useful source of information for you on the path to successful gambling!

Moneyline Sports Betting FAQ