Moneyline Bet Definition, Examples
Mark Brown/Getty Images. Pictured: Colts WR Michael Pittman, RB Jonathan Taylor
A moneyline bet is when you try to pick the winner of that game or event.
But the odds are adjusted based on each team or player’s ability, so the amount you win or lose can vary greatly, depending on the event.
Take this 2022 NFL example from Week 1: The Colts are much better than the Texans. At least the betting market says so.
Betting the Texans (+290) to win the game outright would have paid $2.90 for every $1 wagered.
The point spread on the other hand levels the playing field by giving the worse team a handicap but evens the payouts on both sides.
Moneylines use American odds, which are centered around a $100 bet, though it scales up and down depending on your bet size.
How it Works
A moneyline in American odds is centered around winning or wagering $100 on a given bet.
When Betting a Favorite: The odds for favorites will have a minus (-) sign in front, and indicate the money you need to risk to win $100.
When Betting an Underdog: The odds for underdogs will have a plus (+) sign in front, and indicate the money you’ll win for every $100 risked.
Let’s use a UFC fight as an example, with odds from FanDuel.
1) The Favorite
Khabib was a -290 favorite over Tony Ferguson, who was a +230 underdog.
Let’s say you’re betting on the favorite Khabib at -290. You need to risk $290 and to win $100. If he wins, you pocket $100, plus your original $290 back.
2) The Underdog
If you’re betting on Ferguson at +230, a $100 bet would win you $230, plus your original $100 back.
You don’t need to bet $100 on everything of course — that’s just how the odds are displayed — and these moneyline odds scale to any bet amounts.
It’s often easier to think about American odds in $1 increments — for every $1 you want to win betting on Khabib, you have to risk $2.90. For every $1 risked on Ferguson, you’d win $2.30.
You can use our odds calculator to make non-round, more difficult conversions. And sportsbooks will always calculate the payouts for you.
How to Make a Moneyline Bet
Making a moneyline bet at a sportsbook like FanDuel is easy, and no different than making a point spread bet.
- Find your desired sport
- Click the moneyline next to the team or player you want to bet to highlight it.
- Head to your bet slip on the right side of your screen
- Click “Login & Place Bets”
If you want to bet moneylines now, FanDuel will give you a $500 risk-free bet.
How to Calculate Moneyline Odds
Sportsbooks will always make the calculations for you. But if you want to calculate moneyline payouts on your own, here’s the easiest way:
Favorite: Multiply the amount you want to win by (Moneyline / 100)
So if you want to win $35 betting on Khabib at -290, you’ll do the following formula and arrive at a $101.50 bet:
Win Amount x ((-1 x Moneyline)/100) = Wager
$35 x 2.9 = $101.5
Underdog: Multiply your wager by (Moneyline / 100), or divide the amount you want to win by (100 / (100 / Moneyline)).
So if you want to win $100 on Ferguson, you would do the following and arrive at a $43.48 bet:
Win Amount / (230 / 100) = Wager
$100 / 2.3 = $43.48
Here’s another example where the odds are closer to 50/50.
For every $1 bet on Darren Til, you’ll win $1.02.
So a $50 bet on Till wins $51 (50 x 1.02).
For every $1.20 risked on Robert Whittaker, you’ll win $1.
So a $50 bet on Whittaker wins $41.65.
Why Would I Bet a Moneyline?
But the moneyline is a good alternative if you…
- Think the underdog will win the game straight-up
- Think the favorite will win but not cover the spread
This is an oversimplification, but these are generally two reasons people bet moneylines.
Moneylines also apply to any futures markets, like betting the Super Bowl winner before the season. All 32 teams have a moneyline that corresponds with their likelihood of winning the Super Bowl.
Here is a recommended resource list to help you bet smartly on football:
- How to Bet on Football Guide
- Check our Expert NFL Picks
- Bettors can keep an eye on betting activity and distribution with our NFL Public Betting data.
Is There Juice on a Moneyline?
Juice is the cut a sportsbook takes on each bet, and there is juice on moneylines. It’s the gap in between two moneylines.
Sportsbooks aren’t letting you off the hook that easy, after all.
That’s why you have to risk more to bet on a favorite than you would win betting on the underdog.
- Duke -140
- Kentucky +120
The implied probability of the Duke winning is 58.33%. For Kentucky, it’s 45.45%. That adds up to 103.8%, meaning the sportsbook has a 3.8% hold on this wager.
Some books will offer 10-cent lines on baseball moneylines, meaning a -140/+120 moneyline would turn into -135/+125, which is quite advantageous for the bettor.
Here are a couple of recommended resources to help you bet with insight on college basketball: