Understand How a Moneyline Bet Works
We are about to explain what a moneyline bet is, how it is used and whether it is a good betting system. Basically, this is a wager that you place on which player or team will win a given sports event. This is one of the best options for baseball and hockey. It is considered a secondary alternative to point spread. The term originated in the US and is used in some native sports.
However, a money line bet is also used in other sports outside of the United States, where it is called a win bet. The name is different but the principle is all the same. In this post, we will give you more details about this system and have betting lines explained completely. We will also offer several tips. You will see that it is not complicated at all. Let’s get it started.
The Difference between Moneylines and Point Spread
In most cases, you want to use a money line bet on a sports game or match where only two outcomes are possible, such as a basketball game, where you will have to choose which one of the two teams will win the game. When it comes to a point spread, you are interested in which team wins and by how much. Let us give you a more detailed example to illustrate that.
Imagine that you want to bet on an upcoming basketball match and your preferred bookmaker has set a point spread as follows: -5.5 for team A and +5.5 on team B. This means that team A has better chances of winning, according to bookmakers. The numbers here mean that once the game is over, the sportsbook will deduct 5.5 points from the team’s total points. Hence, if you place a wager on them, you will win if they have at least six points more than their opponent.
In this situation, team A is the favourite, and team B is the underdog, i.e. the one that is expected to lose the game. For this point spread bet to be valid, once the game is over, the sportsbook will add 5.5 points to the team’s total. For your bet to be successful, they will have to lose or win by less than six points.
The main idea of the sportsbook is to make a betting proposition of 50/50 where the likelihood of team A winning by six points is just the same as the likelihood of team B losing by less than six points. In comparison, when it comes to a money line bet, you only choose who will win according to you. The purpose of the point spread is to create interest in bettors on both teams. The numbers have to be so appealing that both the favourite and the underdogs are backed. It goes without saying that the odds need to reflect the point spread. In this case, they could be -110 vs. +110 in moneyline odds, which is 1.91 on team A and 2.10 on team B in decimal odds.
If you find other odds for the same game, but there is no point spread, they will probably reflect the same proposition that team A is more likely to win against team B. They could be expressed like that: 1.42 on team A to win and 3.10 on team B to win. But, if you take a close look at them, you will see that this is not a 50/50 proposition. In this case, you only need the team you back to emerge a winner. It does not matter how many points they will score over their opponents. They just have to win the game. And that is the difference between a point spread and a moneyline wager.
One thing you need to remember is that the favourites always get lower odds than the underdogs (e.g. 1.42 vs. 3.10) because the former are more likely to win than the latter.
So, what is the money line used for? The right question would be: when is it used? And the answer is, a moneyline wager is used when a point spread opportunity cannot be created. There are games like soccer, hockey and baseball where the victory margins are so minute that a point spread becomes irrelevant.
How are Moneyline Payouts Calculated?
For the purposes of having lines explained, we are going to use the moneyline odds format, but we are going to write the decimal odds equivalent in brackets, so it is easy to see what we are talking about. You can solve the given equations easily with your mobile or a regular calculator.
The simplest way to calculate the payouts of a moneyline wager is to divide the moneyline odds by 100. The purpose is to get a decimal. For instance, if the favourite in a game is given odds of -240 (expressed in the decimal odds format, that would be 1.42) and you want to bet on that outcome, you should divide 240 by 100 (do not mind the negative). You get 2.40. Next, you should divide the amount you want to stake by the number you just got. Let’s assume you want to stake £200. Your calculations would be as follows: 200 / 2.40 = £83.33. This would be your potential payout given the odds and your stake.
Now, for the sake of understanding betting lines, we ought to give you the formula for the negative American odds. Here it is:
Stake / (Odds / 100) = Your Potential Profit
If you want to place a money line wager on the underdog, there is a slight change in the formula. Again, you should divide the odds by 100 (ignoring the positive). After that, though, you should multiply rather than divide the amount of money you want to stake. You will get:
(Odds / 100) x Stake = Your Potential Profit
Assuming the odds on the underdog are +210 (expressed in the decimal odds format, that would be 3.10), and you want to stake £150, you get the following calculations:
(210 / 100) x £150 = 2.10 x £150 = £315
It makes sense to generate more profits from the underdogs winning since they have smaller chances of being successful. If you keep on wondering, “What does money line mean?” continue reading this post because we have some more valuable information to share with you.
List of the top moneyline payouts bookmakers
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100% Up to £100
* T&C’s apply. More:
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Implied Probability and Moneylines
We are getting gambling lines explained in this post, and there are a few more things to say in order to make our explanation more accurate and comprehensive. So, what we want to talk about next is probability. Each and every moneyline bet has an implied probability. You should make sure you understand that before you place such bets in the future, especially if you want to generate some profits from them. The term is used to describe how often your bet should be successful to break even. Here is how to calculate that:
Implied Probability of Moneyline Bet = Risk / Return
The original amount of money you stake on a bet is assumed to be the risk, whereas the original amount you stake plus the prospective profits are considered to be the return.
Using the same odds as the examples above, we get -240 (1.42) on the team we want to bet. This means that we need to stake £240 to win back £100. In this case, it equals a total of £340 if we win. So the risk is £240, and the return is £340.
£240 / £340 = 0.7059 (Implied Probability)
Please note that implied probability is always depicted as a number between 0 and 1. We already explained that in the previous sections of our betting guide. Please refer back to them for more details. And as we have said it before, in most cases, implied probability manifests itself as a percentage. The result we got, 0.7059, equals 70.59% (you convert it into a percentage by multiplying the number you get by 100). The suggested percentage demonstrates that the team you want to bet on has a 70.59% chance of winning.
If you think that the team has even bigger chances of winning than what the odds’ implied probability suggests, which is referred to as expected value, then you should bet on the said team. If your estimations are accurate, you will make a profit from your moneyline bet.
Now, if you plan to bet on the underdogs who happen to have odds of +210 (3.10), these odds designate that in order to win £210, you need to risk £100. If you won, you would get a total of £310 (£210 return plus the initial stake). Hence, the calculations would look like this:
£100 / £310 = 0.3226
Converted into a percentage, this would be an implied probability of 32.26% of your moneyline bet. Now, despite the small percentage, it will be a good idea to back that team if you think that they have greater chances of winning than 32.36%.
Continue reading this article. We believe that at the end of the page you will be able to give a confident answer to the question: “What does money line mean?” It just takes a few more things to say, so you get the whole concept right.
Shopping Moneyline Bet and Removing Vig
Like we said above, we are here to assist you in understanding lines and so we have to explain a few more things. Taking into account the above calculations, we obtained a 32.36% implied probability for the underdog to win and a 70.59% implied probability for the favourite to win. When we add these two numbers together, we get 102.95%. Do you see that extra 2.95%? This is called vig and, technically, it represents the advantage of the sportsbook. That is, every time you place a wager, you are charged a small commission.
The fair odds can be calculated by removing the vig. For the purpose, you ought to add the two implied probabilities like we did above and divide their total by every probability individually. Here are the calculations:
70.59% + 32.36% = 102.95%
32.36% / 102.95 % = 31.43 %
70.59% / 102.95% = 68.57%
This is the no-vig implied probability for each moneyline bet we discussed above. Note that if you add those two numbers together, you will get precisely 100%, which is the actual result without the bookmaker’s advantage.
Using an odds converter on the Internet, you can easily see what the fair odds are. You just need to enter the two solutions into the field about probability. We have done the job for you. If you have a 31.43% implied probability, then the fair odds would be +218.17 (or 3.18). Typing 68.57% into the field returns odds of -218.15 (or 1.45).
We are trying to have lines explained in a straightforward way. We think that the above formula is quite easy to understand and use. However, many people erroneously think that they can get the fair odds using the 30 cents difference between the odds presented above. They believe that they need to add 15 cents to the team that is expected to lose (and which happens to have odds of +210), and deduct 15 cents from the team that is expected to win the game (-240). The end result here would be +225 (3.25) and -225 (1.44). However, this is not correct.
It is best to stick to the formula we gave you. If someone asks you “What is moneyline?” make sure to show them this post, especially if they don’t know how to properly remove the vig.
Needless to say, when you shop for lines, i.e. compare odds and lines at various sportsbooks, it is impossible to find the best opportunities without understanding how to calculate the vig and the fair odds properly, as this is the only way to determine whether there is a positive expected value or not. This will help you figure out whether a proposed moneyline bet is worth placing.
For instance, let’s say you find odds of +450 for the team that is expected to lose and -550 for the team that is expected to win on the Internet. But then you also find that another bookmaker offers odds of -490 for the favourite, and you decide to go for it because the odds seem very appealing. But when we do the calculations, it turns out that after removing the vig from the odds we get fair odds of +466 and -466. Basically, this means that there is no value in the odds of -490.
Understanding gambling lines is paramount to making a profit from this kind of bets. Armed with this knowledge, you have a great advantage over a host of bettors who do not know what they are doing and are not aware how a moneyline bet works.
Strategy for Moneyline Bonus
The last step of having lines explained is to tell you how to make the most out of bonuses. There are two main types of bonuses as far as sports betting is concerned: free plays or cash. You can use a strategy for the first option. Why do you need one? Imagine you make a £100 bet on +100 odds (2.00). Your total return will be £200 (£100 winnings and your £100 stake). However, if you bet £100 free play on the same odds, what is the moneyline bet total that you get?
The truth is, you only get £100 in return. In other words, the free play gets used up no matter if you win or lose. Since, our goal is to make understanding punting lines easier and faster, let us suggest a solution to this problem.
The best way to avoid using up the free play is to make a moneyline bet at multiple sites. This probably sounds familiar to you. It is called hedging.
For example, you can place a £100 free play bet on the underdog with odds of +210. Then you can visit another bookmaker(here you will find list of bookmakers suitable for moneyline bet) and place a £150 cash wager on the favourites with odds of -240. If the underdogs win, the £150 cash you wagered on the other site will be lost forever, but you will have a return of £210. This means that you get a £60 profit. Now, if the favourites win, you will only lose the free play credit of £150, and you will generate a £62.51 profit.
As you can see, understanding gambling lines take time. In this section, we went above and beyond to explain how a moneyline bet works. We hope the information is clear to you. We also answered some burning questions that new sports bettors often ask themselves, such as: “What does moneyline mean?” and “What is vig?” We believe this article will be useful to you in the future. Do not hesitate to read it through over and over and practice the formula we gave to you. This is the only way to get better at it.
If you are not into mainstream bets, check the ones in the table.
Types of Betting
- Arbitrage Betting Explained
- How Hedging Bets Work
- Kelly Criterion Betting Strategy
- Parlay Betting Explained
- All about Point Spread Betting
- Meaning of Over Under Betting
- Understanding Outright Bets
- What Prop Bets are About
- Explaining a Bet Accumulator
- Making Betting Permutations
- What is Exchange Betting