What is the Moneyline in Sports Betting?

min read
(Erik Drost/Wikimedia Commons)
BetMGM @BETMGM Apr 20, 2022, 6:24 PM
  • What's the difference between moneyline and spread?
  • There are three components to a moneyline.
  • Learn how to calculate payouts for moneyline odds.

Online sports betting has never been more accessible and easier to understand, particularly moneyline betting, which, as betting explodes in popularity and more types of bets are offered, remains the simplest form of sports betting.

What Does Moneyline Mean?

A moneyline bet – also written as “moneyline” or “ML” – is placed on an outcome of one event. In most cases, there are only two outcomes: Team (or Player) A wins or Team (or Player) B wins. In sports with occasional or frequent ties, including soccer betting, a tie (or draw) is also offered.

Without a point spread in moneyline betting, the margin of victory is irrelevant. In point-spread betting, the Dallas Cowboys, for example, might defeat the Philadelphia Eagles by four points but because the Cowboys were 6-point favorites, the Cowboys’ spread would’ve lost.

How to Read the Moneyline

There are three parts in moneyline betting:

Favorite: Which team or player is favored to win? If one side has minus odds, they are the favorite. For example, if the Los Angeles Lakers are -180 in moneyline odds vs. the Boston Celtics, they are the favorite.

Underdog: Which team or player is favored to lose? If one side has plus odds, they are the underdog. In the case of the Lakers-Celtics game, the Lakers are the moneyline favorite at -180, while the Celtics are the underdog at +130.

Even: If neither side is favored, the moneyline odds are even, aka a pick or pick ‘em, at +100.

How to Calculate Moneyline Payouts

The BetMGM sportsbook automatically calculates betting payouts for each customer. However, understanding payout calculations can help in managing your bankroll and selecting betting odds.

If the New York Yankees are a -150 moneyline favorite, you must wager $150 to profit $100 (total payout, including stake, would be $250). Or if the Boston Red Sox are a +130 moneyline underdog, you must wager $100 to profit $130 (total payout, including stake, would be $230).

You can see the potential payouts before placing a bet by adding moneyline wagers to your Bet Slip. And you can learn how to calculate parlay odds and payouts.

Moneyline Parlays

You can add more excitement and bigger potential payouts to your sports betting experience by combining moneyline bets into parlays.

Instead of placing a $100 moneyline bet on the New York Giants (-130) for a potential payout of $176.92, you could combine the Giants’ moneyline with the Cleveland Browns’ moneyline (-140) for a potential payout of $303.29 on the same $100 bet.

Parlays aren’t limited to one type of bet in one game or one sport; you can combine moneyline odds with point-spread odds, over/under total odds, and more across one or multiple games in one or multiple sports. 

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