What is a Moneyline Bet?

What is a Moneyline Bet?

What is a Moneyline Bet?

Simply put, the moneyline bet is when you, the bettor, pick the winner of a match, game, or event. Simple.

It’s not as simple as wagering $100 to win $100, or $10 to win $10.  Some teams have a more likely chance to win than others. Or at least the sportsbooks think so. Therefore, the sportsbooks adjust the odds for each moneyline bet that make the returns on that wager larger or smaller for each match, game, or event. 


Let's say the New York Yankees are playing the Baltimore Orioles.  Let’s assume, for argument sakes, that the Yankees are a far better team than the Orioles are. The Yankees are listed at -800, and the Orioles are listed at +500.  What on earth does that mean?

If you are betting the Yankees, you would need to wager $8 to win $1. It’s a ratio that could be applied to any wager.  But, essentially, your return is 1/8 of your wager. Of course, you also get your wager back.  So risking $8, would return to you $9. $8 of which, was your initial investment or wager. That’s $1 in profit.

On the flip side of that, if you are betting the Baltimore Orioles, you’d be risking $1 to win $5.  So, a $1 wager would return to you $6. If the Orioles win of course.

How does Moneyline work?

Moneylines, in America, are listed using American odds. Which is all centered around the $100 bet. When there is a minus in front of the number, it means you need to wager that amount to receive $100.  So -110, means you need to wager $110 to win $100. 

On the flip side, a plus in front of a number, means you will receive that amount for a $100 wager. +600 results in a $100 wager returning $600. Not including your initial investment.  A bet of $100, would return a profit of $600 + your initial $100 for a total of $700.

When the sports book deem a team to have a higher chance to win a game, and are returning you less than $1 for every $1 wagered, the wager is called the Favorite.  If the Yankees are listed at -900, they are considered to be the “Favorite” and $900 wagered will result in $100 in returned profit.  You can wager any amount you like, typically, but the odds are all built to be considered in a ratio relative to $100. 

When you return more than $1 for every $1 wagered, the team is called the Underdog.  If the Packers are +350 vs the Vikings, we will call the Packers Underdogs.  Bettors will receive $350 for every $100 wagered in profit should the Packers win.  

Why bet the Moneyline?

If you think a particular team will win the bet outright, you would then want to bet the moneyline.  Moneyline also applies to the future markets.  If you are betting on which team will win the NBA finals, you can pick from every team in the league.  For example, the Minnesota Vikings are +5000 to win the Superbowl.  Nearly all future markets will be underdogs.  In the Vikings Example, +5000 would mean every $100 bet would result in $5,000 return.  Big money, eh?

What is “Juice”?

You’ve probably heard this term before - Juice.

Juice is the profit the sportsbook make.  Take for example NFL spreads.  If the Vikings are +3 vs the Giants -3, each team would typically be listed at -110.  So, let’s say the sports books have $100,000 in bets on the Vikings, and $100,000 in bets on the Giants. If the Vikings win by 5 points, the Vikings cover and the Giants don’t.  That means, the sports books would pay out $90,909 to Vikings bettors, and receive $100,000 from Giants bettors. The sportsbook will profit regardless of who wins. Take the amount the sportsbook profited, divide by the total amount wagered, and you get the juice.  So, $9,091 / $200,000 = 4.5% juice.