Sports Betting » Sports Betting Guide » What is a Moneyline Bet?

If you’ve bet on sports before, then you’ve almost certainly placed a moneyline bet on a game. However, if you’re new to sports betting then here is your go-to-guide for all things moneyline betting.

Moneyline Betting Explained

In sports betting, a moneyline bet is a wager that determines the winner of a sporting event. This can either be a team such as the Baltimore Ravens winning a NFL game, or an individual athlete such as Jon Jones winning a UFC fight. It’s the simplest and most popular type of bet in the whole sportsbook industry and is the very foundation of sports betting itself.

Understanding Moneyline Odds

It can be confusing when you first go on a sportsbook site or app and see a bunch of numbers with plus and minus symbols. In reality these wagers are much simpler than they look and can be explained easily. Here’s the rundown on moneyline odds and what they mean.

Minus Odds (-)

This means that the team or athlete is the favorite in the game they are playing and more likely to win than lose.

Example – If the Washington Commanders were -125 favorites in a game, it would mean that a $100 winning moneyline bet on them would result in a $180 payout. This would equate to a total profit of $80.

Plus Odds (+)

This means that the team or athelte is the underdog in the game they are playing and more likely to lose than win.

Example – If the Baltimore Orioles were +150 in a game, it would mean that a $100 winning moneyline bet on them would result in a $250 payout. This would equate to a total profit of $150.

Even Odds

Sometimes in close games there will be no favorite or underdog. In these situations both teams have the same odds. These are also known as “Pick ‘Em” odds.

Example – Pick ‘Em games usually have odds of -105 for both teams or athletes. Sportsbooks must class both teams as favorites because if they put both teams at +110 the company would lose a lot of money. The reason this would happen is because a user could bet on both teams and turn a profit no matter the outcome. Therefore having equal minus odds for all sides guarantees money can be made for the sportsbook.

How to Place a Moneyline Bet

Placing a moneyline bet is very easy. Here are the 3 crucial steps you need to know to get started now.

Step 1: Sign Up to a Sportsbook

The first step in the betting process is to create an account on a sportsbook platform in your area. BETMGM and Caesars are two of the best in the country and we highly recommend using them.

If you’re in DC you can sign up and use them now. If you’re in Maryland or Virginia, you can also access their services along with many other great sportsbooks in your state.

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Step 2: Find a Game to Bet on

Once your account is ready, you will be able to choose from hundreds of upcoming games to wager on. In this example, we look at Game 1 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals that sees the Boston Celtics face the Miami Heat.

On the third column, it shows the odds for the moneyline bet for both teams. The Celtics are the favorites with -350 and the Heat are the underdogs with +280.

Moneyline Bet

Step 3: Place Your Moneyline Bet

After picking which moneyline bet to place, a bet slip will appear with information about your wager. In this example, you can see that a $100 bet on the Heat to win as underdogs will have a total payout of $380, with $280 of this being a profit.

Once you’ve looked over your bet details and are ready, you will be able to click the bet now button and your moneyline bet will be placed. All you have to do now is wait for the outcome of the game to see if you’ve won or lost.

Placing a Moneyline Bet

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Which Sports Use Moneyline Betting?

Almost every sporting event in the world that can be wagered on has a moneyline betting option of some sort. Here are the main sports in America where you have the ability to place a moneyline bet on.

NFL Logo

NFL The most popular league in the US has the option for moneyline bets on all of its games. American football games rarely ever go to a tie, meaning there are only two options on them.

NBA Logo

NBA Basketball is an incredibly high scoring game. Even if teams are tied at the end, overtime will happen until a winner is finally declared. This means you can place a traditional moneyline bet on these games.

NHL Logo

NHLAlthough Ice Hockey is a low scoring game, only two options are part of the moneyline bets. Nevertheless, you can bet on all of the favorites and underdogs on the ice.

MLB Logo

MLB Due to the little to zero chance that a baseball game ends in a tie, you can only bet on the two plus and minus odds on a game. Each team plays a whopping 162 games each so there will be many chances to bet on the MLB this year.

Why do Moneyline Odds Change?

Moneyline odds often change regularly between the time they odds are announced, to the time the game begins. There are a number of reasons for this.

Injury News

If a great player on a team gets injured, then this will have a big imapct on the moneyline odds. The team that loses out on the player will have their odds increase and the other teams odds will decrease. This is because sportsbooks will view the team that lost the player as having less of a chance to win and more of a chance to lose.

Team Selection

If a coach decides to bench a player or several key players, then this will have a big impact on the moneyline odds of a game. For example, if Lebron James was benched for a game of the NBA finals, the Lakers odds would change so that more money could be made from betting on them to win.


At the end of the day, the market is one of the biggest deciders of the odds on a game. The more bets that are placed on a team by the public, the shorter the odds will be. This is because the sportsbook is covering themselves from big potential losses.

Moneyline Betting FAQs

Should I place a moneyline bet?

If you’re looking to place a bet on which team you think will win a game. Then a moneyline bet is perfect for you.

What is a 3-way moneyline bet?

This is a moneyline that has an extra outcome, a tie. This is used in the MLS due to the low scoring nature of soccer games.

What does -125 mean in moneyline sports betting?

A team or athlete with -125 odds is classed as the favorite to win. In order to make a $100 profit from this bet, you would need to wager exactly $125.

What does +150 mean in moneyline sports betting?

A team or athlete with +150 odds is classed as the underdog to win. Wagering $100 on this bet would mean a profit of $150.

Other Sportsbook Bets

Check out our in-depth sports betting guide to find out about all the different types of sportsbook wagers, what they mean and how you can maximize your betting experience.

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