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Sports Betting 101: The Moneyline

Matt Brandon Aug 17th 4:34 PM EDT.

Moneyline bets are perhaps the most popular among sports bettors. The moneyline bet is a straight-up wager on who wins a game, fight, event or other matchup. Although moneyline wagers are popular among experienced bettors, many rookies don’t know exactly what a moneyline is. Don’t worry. FantasySP has you covered.

The Moneyline

When placing a moneyline bet, you are simply selecting the winner of a single event. There is nothing to worry about outside of the winner of the contest. Let’s take a look at an NFL example.

Matchup Spread Moneyline Total
Dallas Cowboys +2.5 +135 49.5 (-110) O
Philadelphia Eagles -2.5 -135 49.5 (-110) U

Calculating The Payout On Moneyline Bets

For the purposes of this article, we are only looking at the moneyline. As you can see, if you take the Cowboys, you would win $135 if betting $100 since they are the underdog. If you take the Eagles, you would have to bet $135 in order to win $100 since they are the favorite. That is how moneyline bets work. Your wager is entirely dependent on who wins the game, nothing else.

Breaking Down The Moneyline

The team that has a (+) sign next to their odds is considered the underdog while the team that has a (-) sign is considered the favorite by the sportsbook. In some cases, both teams will have (-) signs next to them. In this case, the team with the number farther from zero should be regarded as the favorite. For example, -120 would be the faovirte over -110. 

Remember, you will always receive a higher payout when you bet the underdog on the moneyline. However, the risk of losing is also much higher.

Popular Sports With Moneyline Odds

You can find moneyline odds for almost any sport. Below are some of the most popular:

  • NFL
  • NBA
  • MLB
  • NHL
  • UFC

Moneyline odds will look similar across the board. The positive number indicates the betting favorite and the negative number is assigned to the underdog.



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