What is a Moneyline Bet?: A Beginner's Guide

Written by George Webb on 19.04


Moneyline Bets - Understanding the Basics

As you dive into the fascinating world of betting in the US, one of the most fundamental bet types you’ll encounter is the moneyline bet. This simple and straightforward wager is popular among both novice and experienced bettors.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the basics of moneyline betting, explain how to read and interpret moneyline odds, and offer tips for making successful wagers.

A moneyline bet is a wager placed on which team or individual will win a game or event outright, without considering the point spread. Essentially, you’re betting on the winner, with no other factors involved. Moneyline bets are commonly used in sports like baseball, hockey, and soccer, where low-scoring games make point spreads less applicable.

Moneyline odds are typically represented by a positive (+) or negative (-) number. The odds indicate how much you stand to win based on your wager and are determined by the perceived strength of each team or individual.


Positive Moneyline Odds (+)


Positive odds indicate that a team or individual is considered an underdog or less likely to win. The number following the plus sign represents the profit you would make from a $100 bet. The higher the positive number, the greater the perceived risk associated with betting on the underdog.




  • Team A has moneyline odds of +250
  • Betting $100 on Team A would result in a profit of $250 if they win


Calculating Profit for Positive Odds:


  • Profit = Bet Amount * (Odds / 100)
  • For Team A: Profit = $100 * (250 / 100) = $250


Negative Moneyline Odds (-)


Negative odds indicate that a team or individual is considered the favorite or more likely to win. The number following the minus sign represents the amount you need to bet in order to win a profit of $100. The lower the negative number, the greater the perceived likelihood of the favorite winning.




  • Team B has moneyline odds of -150
  • Betting $150 on Team B would result in a profit of $100 if they win


Calculating Profit for Negative Odds:


  • Profit = Bet Amount / (Odds / 100)
  • For Team B: Profit = $150 / (150 / 100) = $100


Converting Moneyline Odds to Implied Probability


Understanding the implied probability of moneyline odds can help you assess the value of a bet. The implied probability represents the bookmaker’s estimate of a team’s or individual’s chances of winning, expressed as a percentage.


Positive Odds Implied Probability Formula:


  • Implied Probability = 100 / (Odds + 100)




  • Team A has moneyline odds of +250
  • Implied Probability = 100 / (250 + 100) = 100 / 350 = 0.2857 or 28.57%


Negative Odds Implied Probability Formula:


  • Implied Probability = Odds / (Odds + 100)




  • Team B has moneyline odds of -150
  • Implied Probability = 150 / (150 + 100) = 150 / 250 = 0.6 or 60%


Examples of Moneyline Bets in Different Sports


Baseball: In a Major League Baseball game, the New York Yankees might have a moneyline of -130, while the Boston Red Sox have a moneyline of +110. In this scenario, you would need to bet $130 on the Yankees to win $100 or bet $100 on the Red Sox to win $110.


Hockey: In a National Hockey League game, the Pittsburgh Penguins might have a moneyline of +140, while the Washington Capitals have a moneyline of -160. Here, a $100 bet on the Penguins would yield $140 in profit, while you would need to bet $160 on the Capitals to win $100.


Soccer: In an English Premier League match, Manchester United may have a moneyline of +180, while Liverpool has a moneyline of -200. Betting $100 on Manchester United would result in a $180 profit if they win, while a $200 bet on Liverpool would be needed to win $100 in profit.


Tips for Making Successful Moneyline Bets


Moneyline bets are popular among bettors due to their simplicity, but making consistent profits requires a strategic approach. In this guide, we’ll discuss four key tips to help you make more successful moneyline bets and improve your overall betting experience.


Tip 1: Research Thoroughly


Comprehensive research is the foundation of successful betting. Before placing a moneyline bet, make sure to consider the following factors:


  • Recent form: Analyze the recent performances of both teams or individuals to identify trends or patterns.
  • Head-to-head matchups: Examine past encounters between the competitors to gain insights into their strengths and weaknesses against each other.
  • Injury reports: Keep up-to-date with injury news, as it can significantly impact a team’s or individual’s chances of winning.
  • Other factors: Consider elements such as coaching changes, weather conditions, or travel schedules that could influence the outcome of the event.


Tip 2: Shop Around for the Best Odds


Different sportsbooks may offer varying odds for the same event, so it’s essential to shop around and compare odds before placing your bet. By finding the best value, you can increase your potential profits and give yourself the best chance of success. Online odds comparison tools can be a valuable resource to help you identify the most favorable odds.


Tip 3: Manage Your Bankroll Wisely


Effective bankroll management is crucial for long-term betting success. Here are some tips for managing your bankroll:

  • Set a budget: Determine an amount you’re comfortable risking on your betting activities, and avoid exceeding this limit.
  • Use a staking plan: Implement a consistent staking plan, such as betting a fixed percentage of your bankroll on each wager, to help minimize risk and maintain control over your betting activities.
  • Don’t chase losses: Resist the temptation to chase losses with impulsive bets. It’s essential to remain disciplined and stick to your strategy, even during losing streaks.


Tip 4: Stay Objective


Personal bias and emotions can often cloud your judgment when betting. To make more successful wagers, try to maintain an objective mindset and avoid letting emotions influence your decisions. Here are some suggestions:


  • Bet based on data and research, rather than personal allegiances or gut feelings.
  • Avoid betting on your favorite team or players, as this can lead to biased decision-making.
  • Recognize when you’re not in the right frame of mind to bet, and take a break if needed. Betting while emotionally charged can lead to poor decision-making.


Final thoughts on Moneyline bets


Moneyline bets are an essential part of any bettor’s arsenal, offering a simple and accessible way to wager on the outcome of a game or event. By understanding how to read and interpret moneyline odds and following our tips, you’ll be well on your way to making more informed and successful bets.

Written By

George Webb


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