Placing wagers on sporting events is as popular today as ever. Getting started, however, can be intimidating for the uninitiated. With so many confusing terms and statistics, it can be difficult to get your feet wet in the sports handicapping game. The Whale is quite possibly the premier sports handicapper today. He not only wants you to win, but to also understand every aspect of the sports betting world. Here is The Whale’s guide to moneylines in sports betting.
What Is a Moneyline?
Moneyline betting is the simplest and the most straightforward form of betting in any sports. The returns in playing moneyline are not as static and consistent as betting on spreads or totals, however, this is an attractive option for many new sports bettors because it’s very easy to understand. To put it simply: A moneyline bet on a certain team will require that team to win the game for you to win your bet. If your team loses, then you lose your bet. In case of a tie, the wager is graded as a push, and you’ll receive your risk money back.
A moneyline is always associated with the odds associated with it. The odds can either be a negative ( – ) or a positive ( + ) number. The odds determine whether the team is a favorite or underdog, as well as deciding the amount of payout for your wager. In short, you will get small returns when you win from betting on the moneyline on the favorites, and larger returns when you bet on the underdogs. If you take a really good team against a really bad team, the moneyline odds can be quite severe. For example, you could be offered -900 odds on the moneyline. This means you’ll have to risk $900 for every $100 you want to win.
Below are some examples of NBA Moneyline odds and their meaning:
|Golden State Warriors||-110||Favorite||$90|
|Los Angeles Clippers||+120||Underdog||$120|
Referring to the above example, the Warriors have a corresponding -110 moneyline odd. The negative ( – ) symbol tells us:
- that this team is the game’s favorite and therefore is expected to win; and
- that a $100 wager on this moneyline odd will payout $90.
Referring to the same example, the Clippers have a corresponding +120 moneyline odd. The positive ( + ) symbol tells us:
- that this team is the game’s underdog and therefore is expected to lose; and
- that a $100 wager on this moneyline odd will payout $120.
Below is an explanation of how the payouts for the moneyline odds are computed:
|Negative Moneyline: $100 wager at -110||Positive Moneyline: $100 wager at +120|
$100 / (110/100) = Payout
Payout = $100 / (1.1)
Payout = $90
$100 x (120/100) = Payout
Payout = $100 x (1.2)
Payout = $120
Let’s assume the bettor is wagering on Golden State Warriors Moneyline ( -110). Below are examples of different scenarios with different game outcomes:
Scenario 1: Golden State Warriors wins the game.
In this scenario, the bettor WINS his wager because the Warriors won the game and because the moneyline is at ( -110), a $100 wager on this puck line will win $90.
|Warriors / Clippers||141 / 130||WIN|
Scenario 2: Golden State Warriors loses the game.
In this scenario, the bettor LOSES his wager.
|Warriors / Clippers||106 / 125||LOSS|
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