What is the Money Line in Sports Betting?

min read
(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
BetMGM Aug 03, 2021, 1:39 PM
  • What's the difference between money line and spread?
  • There are three components to a money line.
  • Learn how to calculate payouts for money line odds.

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

What Does Money Line Mean?

A money line 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 money line 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 Money Line

There are three parts in money line 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 money line 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 money line favorite at -180, while the Celtics are the underdog at +130.

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

How to Calculate Money Line 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 money line favorite, you must wager $150 to profit $100 (total payout, including stake, would be $250). Or if the Boston Red Sox are a +130 money line 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 money line wagers to your Bet Slip. And you can learn how to calculate parlay odds and payouts.

Money Line Parlays

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

Instead of placing a $100 money line bet on the New York Giants (-130) for a potential payout of $176.92, you could combine the Giants’ money line with the Cleveland Browns’ money line (-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 money line odds with point-spread odds, over/under total odds, and more across one or multiple games in one or multiple sports. 

Place Sports Wagers at BetMGM

At BetMGM, you can view updated odds and place a bet online throughout the year. Whether you’re browsing live sports betting odds on your computer with online sports betting or NFL betting odds on your phone with mobile sports betting, the best online sportsbook has you covered.

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