Moneyline Odds Basics

I like to bet of sports and baseball season is all about moneyline betting.  Things are just getting rolling in baseball so I figured it would be a good time to touch on what a moneyline is.  Moneyline betting is basic for me because I bet on sports regularly, but I get asked often “what’s up with the pluses and minuses.” I’ll break it down as easily as I can.

Moneyline is a simple bet as there is no worry about point spreads.  You’re just picking winners.

The moneyline is based around $100.  For example, +200 means you will win $200 if you bet $100.  If the moneyline is -200, you must bet $200 to win $100.  I’ll get a little more specific:

Moneyline favorites usually come with a minus next to their name.  For example if the Yankees are -190 you would have bet $190 to win $100.

The underdog usually has a plus next to their name.  For example if the Red Sox are +150 against the Yankees you bet $100 to win $150.

It’s pretty simple when you’re looking at head to head moneyline sports bets.  The same form holds true if you’re betting on a race or multi-participant event (golf, NASCAR, etc.)

Tiger Woods -150
Phil Mickleson +500

Clearly Tiger Woods is favored over Phil Mickleson.  Mickleson is 5-1.  Pretty long odds.  A $150 bet on Tiger would give you returns of $100, while $100 on Phil would return $500.

Moneyline betting doesn’t take center stage for all sports.  Basketball and football are more about the spreads while baseball and hockey are more focused on the moneyline.

Hopefully this helped simplify how to make a moneyline bet.

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