Online Sports Betting- Betting The Moneyline

Moneyline odds are the primary way to bet on baseball, hockey and soccer games. However, they can also be a great way to bet on football and basketball games from a value standpoint.

The main concept to keep in mind is that a moneyline bet involves picking a straight-up winner. The matchup is handicapped by risk and reward. There is going to be more financial risk betting on the favorite with a higher financial reward betting on the underdog.

The bigger the gap between a favorite and underdog from a competitive standpoint, the bigger the risk or reward. A typical moneyline listing for a MLB game at an online sportsbook would be presented as follows:

Boston Red Sox +120

New York Yankees -140

The road team is always listed first in a moneyline bet. The underdog in the game is normally identified with a plus (+) sign in front of its posted odds. The favorite is designated by a minus (-) sign.

In this scenario, New York is a home favorite. To collect $100 betting the Yankees to win would cost $140. If they lose the game straight-up, you would lose $140. Betting the Red Sox to win as road underdogs for $100 would return $120 if they go on to pull off the upset.

The risk and reward is always calculated as a percent of the bet. To win $10 on the Yankees would cost $14. You would collect $12 on a winning $10 bet on Boston.

Tips for Betting The Moneyline

  • Shop for Lower Juice

One of the best ways to bet moneylines for any game is to shop them across a few online books you do business with. While pointspreads for football and basketball games tend to be similar across multiple books, you can find some beneficial variances among the moneyline for the same game.

Using our example above, HRWager online sportsbook has the Yankees listed as -130 favorites with +120 odds for Boston. The difference between the two numbers is only 10 so this would be considered a ‘dime line.’

While there is no advantage betting Boston, you would be reducing your risk betting New York. Nobody bets to lose but paying less when you are on the wrong side of a moneyline can add up to quite a bit of savings over the course of an entire season.

  • Betting The Underdog

Since online books already know the betting public leans towards the favorite, the best value in most moneyline odds moves towards the underdog.

If your confidence level remains high that the underdog will win the game straight-up, then betting that team on the moneyline becomes a no-brainer. This is different than speculating on a huge upset. The bigger the underdog, the less value they add to the betting odds on both sides of that matchup.

The strategy of betting underdogs on the moneyline comes down to solid handicapping efforts. You need a good reason to bet the underdog for the added return other than a hunch.

  • Time Your Moneyline Bets

If you love the moneyline odds on the favorite when they are first released, you may want to bet that game right away. The natural lean towards betting the favorite is likely to drive those odds higher. When betting the underdog, you may want to take a wait and see approach since the actual return could move higher as well.