Moneyline
A moneyline is a betting market where a wager is made on which team or player will win a given match outright. They are one of the most common sports bets placed along with spreads and totals.
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Moneyline Odds
Unless both players or teams have the same implied probability of winning the match a moneyline betting market will feature a favorite and an underdog. This is displayed in different ways depending on odds format.
American Odds
American odds (alternatively referred to as moneyline odds) is a format predominantly used in the United States. Positive and negative numbers are used to indicate potential profit. A bet on a moneyline with a negative number would require the bettor to risk that amount in order to profit $100. A bet on a moneyline with a positive number would see the bettor win that amount if they risked $100. It should be noted that bets can be for any amount and are not required to be in increments of $100.
Two competing teams with equal moneyline odds would normally be set at -110 due to the bookmaker's commission (known as the vig). A risk of $110 would yield a $100 profit on either side. The more a team is favored to win the more negative the moneyline odds will become. Odds of -150 would now require a greater risk of $150 to profit $100.
Moneyline Odds | Risk | Profit | Return |
-500 | $500 | $100 | $600 |
-250 | $250 | $100 | $350 |
-200 | $200 | $100 | $300 |
-150 | $150 | $100 | $250 |
-110 | $110 | $100 | $210 |
Consequently, the larger the underdog the more positive the odds will be. A moneyline set at +150 will require a smaller risk of $100 to produce a greater profit of $150. The table below visualizes the transition from negative to positive odds:
Moneyline Odds | Risk | Profit | Return |
-105 | $105 | $100 | $205 |
-101 | $101 | $100 | $201 |
+100 | $100 | $100 | $200 |
+101 | $100 | $101 | $201 |
+105 | $100 | $105 | $205 |
In the example below the New England Patriots are favored to win with -180 moneyline odds. A bet of $180 would yield a profit of $100 for a total return of $280 in the event of an outright Patriot victory by any margin. The Baltimore Ravens are underdogs with +160 moneyline odds. A wager of $100 would produce a $160 profit and a total return of $260 should the Ravens win.
Team | Spread | Total | Moneyline | |
New England Patriots | -3.5 (-110) | Over 44.5 (-110) | -180 | |
Baltimore Ravens | +3.5 (-110) | Under 44.5 (-110) | +160 |
Decimal Odds
Decimal odds format is commonly used in Canada and across Europe. A decimal number is used to indicate potential return. Multiplying the decimal odds by the amount risked will calculate the total return (risk and profit) if the wager were to win.
Two competing teams with equal decimal odds would normally be set at 1.91 due to the bookmaker's commission. A risk of $110 would yield a $210 return on either side for a net profit of $100. This can be verified by multiplying the risk and odds together. The more a team is favored to win the smaller the decimal odds will be. Odds of 1.50 would require a $200 risk to generate the same $100 profit.
Moneyline Odds | Risk | Profit | Return |
1.20 | $500 | $100 | $600 |
1.40 | $250 | $100 | $350 |
1.50 | $200 | $100 | $300 |
1.67 | $150 | $100 | $250 |
1.91 | $110 | $100 | $210 |
The larger the decimal odds the greater the total return will be relative to the initial risk. Placing $100 on a moneyline at 2.50 odds will grant a return of $250 for a net profit of $150.
Moneyline Odds | Risk | Profit | Return |
1.95 | $105 | $100 | $205 |
1.99 | $101 | $100 | $201 |
2.00 | $100 | $100 | $200 |
2.01 | $100 | $101 | $201 |
2.05 | $100 | $105 | $205 |
Using the following example the Montreal Canadiens are favored to win the hockey game with 1.66 moneyline odds. A bet of $100 would return $166 for a net profit of $66 should they win. The Toronto Maple Leafs are 2.30 underdogs, meaning that the same $100 risk would now return $230 for $130 profit.
Team | Puckline | Total | Moneyline | |
Montreal Canadiens | -1.5 (2.70) | Over 6.5 (1.91) | 1.66 | |
Toronto Maple Leafs | +1.5 (1.50) | Under 6.5 (1.91) | 2.30 |
Fractional Odds
Fractional odds are primarily used to when discussing betting markets with long odds such as futures, but can also be used for moneyline wagers. A number in fraction form is used to indicate potential profit. Multiplying the fractional odds by the amount risked will calculate the profit if the wager were to win.
Two competing teams with equal fractional odds would normally be set at 10/11 due to the bookmaker's commission. A risk of $110 on either side would yield $100 in profit for a total return of $210. This can be verified by multiplying the risk and odds together. The more a team is favored to win the smaller the decimal odds will be. Fractional moneyline odds of 1/4 would need a $400 risk in order to generate $100 in profit.
Moneyline Odds | Risk | Profit | Return |
1/5 | $500 | $100 | $600 |
2/5 | $250 | $100 | $350 |
1/2 | $200 | $100 | $300 |
2/3 | $150 | $100 | $250 |
10/11 | $110 | $100 | $210 |
The greater the fractional odds the higher the potential profit relative to the amount risked. A wager on a 4/1 moneyline would turn a $100 winning bet into $400 profit for a total return of $500.
Moneyline Odds | Risk | Profit | Return |
1/1 | $100 | $100 | $200 |
3/2 | $100 | $150 | $250 |
2/1 | $100 | $200 | $300 |
5/2 | $100 | $250 | $350 |
5/1 | $100 | $500 | $600 |
Below is an NBA match which shows the Los Angeles Lakers as 1/9 favorites on the moneyline. An initial risk of $100 would only net $11.11 profit. The same $100 risk on the underdog Memphis Grizzlies would yield $600 profit as a result of their 6/1 moneyline odds.
Team | Spread | Total | Moneyline | |
Los Angeles Lakers | -11.5 (10/11) | Over 217.5 (10/11) | 1/9 | |
Memphis Grizzlies | +11.5 (10/11) | Under 217.5 (10/11) | 6/1 |
Grading Rules
Moneyline grading rules vary by sport and betting site. The industry standard is that overtime results are considered when grading moneylines for matches that are tied at the end of regulation. In the event of a draw at the end of overtime a moneyline bet will be graded as a push and the initial risk refunded.
Below are common moneyline grading policies by sport which most sportsbooks follow. It is critical that a bettor is aware of their respective bookmaker's grading policies before placing a bet.
Baseball
If a baseball game is suspended before completion moneylines will be graded based on the winner at the time of the last complete inning. An exception to this is made in the case where the home team tied or took the lead in the bottom half of an on-going inning at the time the game was called. In this case moneylines will be graded against the score at suspension.
Basketball
NBA matches that are suspended early must have at least 43 minutes of elapsed game-time for moneyline wagers to have action. Basketball leagues that play four 10-minute quarters must have at least 35 minutes of elapsed time to have action.
Football
The winner of a professional or college football match will be determined by the final score as long as at least 55 minutes of official game-time has elapsed. If a match is postponed before 55 minutes have passed moneyline wagers will be graded no action and bets will be refunded.
Hockey
At least 55 minutes of official game time must have passed for hockey moneylines to be graded. If the match is postponed before this time moneyline wagers will be graded no action.
Tennis
In the event of a walk over where a player retires before the match begins all moneyline wagers will be graded no action. Most betting sites will void moneyline wagers if the first set has not been completed. If a player retires after the first set has been completed the advancing player will be declared the winner for moneyline wagers.