Money lines (also called American Odds) are one of the most common ways to bet on sports. They do not use a point spread, and are straight-up bets on who will win the game or event.
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To properly explain how to bet the money line, the first thing to understand is the difference between a negative and positive money line. Both money lines use $100 as the basis point for calculating payouts, but they’re calculated differently.
- What Is a Moneyline Bet? A moneyline bet simply involves you picking one of two teams to win the game. No catch, no angle, just the right answer or the wrong answer. Each team/person in a matchup for a moneyline betting option is given a separate numerical value for bettors to wager on and these are called “odds.”.
- Online Sports Betting Sites. Using an online sports betting site is far and away the best way to bet on football, or any sport for that matter. It’s the most convenient and accessible option,.
- Arguably the most accessible form of betting, money line is what most regular bettors use as well as the preferred choice for newcomers. Below you’ll learn the fundamentals of money line betting.
How to Calculate Money Line Payouts
A negative money line is indicated with a ‘-‘ in front of a number, like -230. The number represents the amount of money that would need to be wagered in order to win $100 in profit. So, a -230 money line would require a wager of $230 to win $100 more, for a total payout of $330 ($230 wager + $100 profit). Of course a $230 bet is not required, it’s just the basis for calculating the payout. With odds of -230, a $23 bet would return $10 in profit, or a $2.30 bet would return $1 in profit.
A positive money line is indicated with a ‘+’ in front of a number. In this case, the number represents the amount that would be won from a $100 wager. So, a +170 money line means that a $100 wager would return $170 in profit, for a total payout of $270 ($100 wager + $170 profit = $270). A bet of $10 would result in a $17 profit, and a total payout of $27 ($10 wager + $17 profit = $27).
More About Negative Lines
Generally a negative money line represents the favored team in a match. There are exceptions to this and we’ll discuss that later. For now, think negative money line = favorite.
In most two-team games like football, baseball or soccer, one team will have a negative money line, and the opponent will have a positive money line. The team with a negative money line is the favorite, and the team with the positive money line is the underdog.
- New England Patriots +140
- Indianapolis Colts -160
In this case, the Colts are the favorite. It would take a bet of $16 to win $10 in profit, for a total payout of $26 ($16 wagered + $10 profit = $26). For the Patriots, as the underdog, it would only take a bet of $10 to win $14 in profit, for a total payout of $24 ($10 wager + $14 profit = $24).
Since the favored team is considered more likely to win, and because no handicap is being used, it takes a larger wager to win a smaller profit on them.
More About Positive Lines
In a 2-team game where one team has a positive money line, they are always the underdog. Since they’re underdogs, it requires a smaller wager to win a larger profit.
- Pittsburgh Penguins +130
- New York Rangers -150
In this case, a bet of $10 on the Penguins would result in a $13 profit if they win, for a total payout of $23 ($10 wager + $13 profit = $23). For the Rangers, it would take a bet of $15 to win $10 in profit, for a $25 total payout ($15 wager + $10 profit = $25).
Games Where Both Teams Are Negative
In games like baseball or football, it’s not uncommon to see both teams represented with a negative money line. When this happens, it means the teams are very closely matched.
- New York Yankees -113
- Boston Red Sox -107
In the scenario above, the game is considered very close, with a slight edge towards the Yankees. It would require a bet of $113 to win $100 on the Yankees, or $107 bet to win $100 on the Red Sox.
Sports With Multiple Teams or Competitors
Of course there are sports with multiple competitors in a single event, like horse racing, Olympic events, and golf. This is also the case in futures bets, where the handicapper is choosing between multiple teams to win a seasonal champion.
In this case, there will generally be one favorite, indicated with a negative money line, and the rest of the field will have positive money lines. Sometimes, when there are no clear favorites, there may not be a single competitor with a negative money line. In this case, the competitor with the lowest positive money line is favored.
Tiger Woods +600
Phil Mickelson +850
Martin Kaymer +1300
Lee Westwood +1600
Steve Stricker +2300
In this case, Tiger Woods is the favorite, but he has a positive money line. A bet of $10 on him would result in a $60 profit if he wins. A bet of $10 on Steve Stricker would result in a $230 profit if he were to win.
Converting Moneyline Odds to Fractional Odds
We all learned how to do fractions in elementary school, and once you understand money line odds, the conversions are simple.
How to Convert Positive Money Lines to Fractional Odds
To convert a positive money line into fractional odds, divide the number in the money line by 100.
- +250 Money Line: 250/100 = 2.5/1 (5/2) Fractional Odds
- +400 Money Line: 400/100 = 4/1 Fractional Odds
- +650 Money Line: 650/100 = 6.5/1 (13/2) Fractional Odds
How to Convert Negative Lines to Fractional Odds
To convert negative money lines to fractional odds, divide the number in the money line by 100. Put that number on the right side of a fraction which begins with ‘1/’. Some numbers on the right side of the fraction will have a decimal in them. Since decimals are not used in fractional odds, they are removed by multiplying both numbers in the fraction by 2.
- -200 Money Line: 200/100 = 2. Put the 2 on the right side of a fraction beginning with 1/, resulting in fractional odds of 1/2.
- -350 Money Line: 350/100 = 3.5. Put the 3.5 on the right side of a fraction beginning with 1/, resulting in fractional odds of 1/3.5. Multiply both numbers in the fraction by 2 to remove the decimal = 2/7 fractional odds.
- -650 Money Line: 650/100 = 6.5. Put the 6.5 on the right side of a fraction beginning with 1/, resulting in fractional odds of 1/6.5. Multiply both numbers in the fraction by 2 to remove the decimal = 2/13 fractional odds.
Converting to Decimal Odds
Positive money lines show the profit that would be won from a $100 bet, not including the original wager. Negative money lines show the wager required to win $100 in profit. Neither of these reflect the total payout. This is different in decimal odds.
Using decimal odds, a handicapper can easily calculate their entire payout. For example, a team with decimal odds of 3.0 would be multiplied by the wager amount to calculate the entire payout. A $20 bet with 3.0 decimal odds would pay out a total of $60 ($20 x 3.0 = $60).
The calculation to convert a positive money line to decimal odds is different from the calculation of a negative money line to decimal odds. Here’s how they convert:
How to Convert a Positive Money Line to Decimal Odds
To convert a positive money line to decimal odds, divide the money line by 100, then add 1.
- +200 / 100 = 2 + 1 = 3.0 Decimal Odds
- +350 /100 = 3.5 +1 = 4.5 Decimal Odds
- +625 / 100 = 6.25 +1 = 7.25 Decimal Odds
Negative Lines to Decimal Odds
To convert a negative money line to decimal odds, start with the number 100 and divide it by the number in the money line, then add 1.
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- -200 Money Line: 100 / 200 = .5 +1 = 1.5 Decimal Odds
- -350 Money Line: 100 / 350 = .286 +1 = 1.286 (1.29) Decimal Odds
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- -625 Money Line: 100 / 625 = .16 +1 = 1.16 Decimal Odds
Pros & Cons of Money Line Bets
When compared to a point spread, for the underdog, the benefit of a money line bet is the increased odds a handicapper receives. For the favorite, the benefit is that no handicap is given to the underdog, making it more likely their bets will win.
For the underdog, the negative is that they don’t receive a handicap, making it more difficult to win these bets. For the favorite, the negative is that the punter receives lower odds than they do when they’re giving up points on the spread.
Comparing the money line to the run line in baseball or puck line in hockey, the benefit ‘can’ be slightly reduced juice (vig, or commission). For example, many online sportsbooks charge a 5% vig on baseball or hockey money line bets. However, it’s harder to find reduced juice on run lines and puck lines, where punters normally pay 10% vig. Over the course of a season and a lot of bets, 5% can be the difference of being a winning or losing handicapper.
Money lines are the most popular way to bet on MLB baseball and NHL hockey, so the lines can move dramatically from the time they’re posted to the time they close. If you know how to watch lines move and predict where they’re going, money lines can offer a lot of value. For example, when betting on big underdogs in baseball, the best money line odds can often be found as soon as the lines open – before other bettors see the same value you do and bring the odds down. For big favorites, it’s often best to wait until 1-2 hours before game time. For big games with a lot of action, sharp bettors often place big wagers just before a game, which can also create optimal betting opportunities.
What Is Money Line Betting In The Nfl
For casual bettors, money line bets are easier to make. There is no point spread to mull over, and all that matters is that you choose the winner.
1X2 betting is also known as three-way betting, and simply refers to betting on a home win, a draw or an away win. This is typically what you used to find on betting coupons when visiting a good old fashioned UK betting shop. The 1 marks the home win, the X marks the draw and the 2 marks the away win. To illustrate I would like to point to another popular form of betting. Asian handicap lines for instance consists of only two outcomes. The bookmaker attempts to make the line as even as possible utilizing handicaps. In their 1X2 betting, the bookmakers do not seek to even out any difference in class between the listed teams or players for that bet. 1X2 betting lines simply aim to reflect the true odds of every possible outcome minus the bookmaker’s hold.
1X2 betting example
You have found a game you want to bet on. It happens to be Premier League betting that is on your plate for this evening. Aston Villa – Newcastle is the Monday night game and you are planning to meet up with your mates at the pub. On the way you go by the betting shop and look up the match in their betting offer. The home win (1) is priced at 2.55. The draw is priced at 3.30 and the away win is 2.85. If you choose to bet on Villa you have made a 1 bet. If you bet the draw you went for X, and if you went for Newcastle you bet on 2.
What markets are 1X2 used for?
Bookmakers use 1X2 betting pretty much for every market where three outcomes are possible. It is also used in European handicap betting lines where a draw is still possible. A European handicap would typically be when one team is given a one goal head start, but the option of a draw is still possible on the betting coupon. Most bookmakers in Europe prefer 1x2 lines over the above mentioned asian lines. Why? Simply because they make more money. Very few punters pick the draw, and those so value oriented that they do, often get limited in terms of how much they can stake on such a bet. On top of that, the bookmakers often are smart enough to keep the draw odds closer to the true odds, and deduct more of their juice from the 1 and 2. So most of the time the draw comes around the bookmakers can high five. On top of that, at least until recently the bookmakers have been able to deduct more from the true odds in their offerings on the 1x2 lines than what we punters prefer. There is heavy competition in the market these days though, so with some shopping around, one can get pretty good lines though.
Howtobet.net 1X2 Predictions and Tips
Howtobet.net analyses hundreds and hundreds of betting events on a monthly basis. The idea is to give you a solid platform when you are picking your bets. Hopefully over time we can help you win money, or at the very least save you big losses. You can find all our betting predictions and betting tips here: Howtobet.net predictions and tips
What bookmakers to choose
Be sure to select trusted, solid bookmakers for your betting. In the jungle of bookmakers very few will stand the test of time. The betting market is becoming more and more regulated, and the competition is fierce. Putting your money with the wrong bookmaker can end up with your bankroll going from hero to zero in no time. Here are two bookmakers we are fairly confident will be around for a very long time to come. Be sure to have an account there!
1. BET 365: The obvious choice is BET365. They got a massive list of bets available, and offer a very generous 100% deposit bonus as well. If you like to bet big, this is also one of few EU licensed bookmakers where they still will take a fair bit of action. Try out BET365? You should, they are the gold standard in Europe. If you are not. You are really giving money away. Test them hereTake me to Bet365
2. : Another relatively player friendly bookmaker is Unibet. By gamblers. For gamblers has been their punch line for years. They do limit faster though, so for value only-punters this is not the best destination. But, if you are looking for good bonuses. A good selection. More than decent odds, and a high degree of fairness. This is something you can try out. Do click here if you would like to test Unibet.
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What Is Money Line Bet
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