What is money line betting in sports and how does it work?

The most common type of sports betting in South Korea is money line betting. It has a simple format that makes it easy for new punters to understand but still holds enough value for veteran punters who want to take a strategic approach to their bets.

Find out what is money line betting, how it works and how you can test your skills out at Stake Casino. You can then bet on a range of sports including football, golf, basketball and more on our reputable bookmaker platform.

Money line sports betting explained: What is sports betting?

Sports betting is a type of gambling that involves wagering money on the outcome of a sporting event. While it comes in a few different forms, the goal stays relatively the same: use the data you get from the odds (the probability of an outcome occurring) set by the bookmakers and place your bets on the team you think is most likely to win to earn a profit. 

Sports betting rule differs from traditional casino gambling because of the difference in a player’s probability of winning. When gambling at casinos, a player is aware of the edge the house has over them. 

Players who participate in sports betting can gain an edge through strategy and research because the odds are only estimates made by the bookmakers. While these odds are usually accurate, experienced punters can use them for the best possible outcome for them.

How do odds work?

Understanding odds is vital for any punter to make the best-informed decision when placing wagers. However, reading a mess of numbers on a chart can be confusing for new bettors. Here’s a quick rundown on the two most popular types of wagering odds and how to read them:

Fractional odds

Fractional odds are shown as fractions, like 4/1 or 7/4. Multiplying your bet by a fraction will show the profit. For example, betting $10 with 4/1 odds will give you a $40 profit plus your $10 bet back with a total of $50 earnings.

To know which teams are the favourites or underdogs, just compare their values. The favoured teams will have a larger denominator than the numerator, like 1/3 or 3/7. On the other hand, underdogs will have a larger numerator than the denominator, like in our previous examples. 

Decimal odds

Decimal odds are also pretty straightforward. All you need to do is to multiply your wager with the given odds. For example, if you’re given an odds of 1.5, you will win $150 for every $100 you wagered. Any team with odds lower than 2 are the favourites, while those with odds higher than 2 are underdogs.

American/moneyline odds

These are odds with ‘+’ and ‘-’ signs denoting underdogs and favourites. The ‘+’ sign denotes the underdog team, while the ‘-’ sign denotes the favourite team more likely to win. The range between the two odds of a match indicates how close the matchup is, according to the sportsbook. In the rare chance that both sides have equal odds, that just means that the bookmakers have deemed the game to be a toss-up with both teams having equal chances of winning.

Money line betting revolves around every, say, $100 you wager. Positive (+) odds show how much you stand to win for every successful $100 you make. Negative (-) odds indicate how much you have to wager to win $100.

Money line betting explained: What is money line betting?

One of the most common types of sports betting, winning in money line betting, revolves around which teams or individual athletes win in their respective sport. There are no win requirements for punters, such as a team needing to reach a certain number of points—to win, you only need the team you bet on to win. This is common in teams and individual sports like baseball, hockey, tennis, and martial arts.


How does money line betting work in sports?

To understand how money line betting applies in sports betting, here’s a hypothetical game between the Los Angeles Rams and the New England Patriots. Say they have the following moneyline odds:

  • Los Angeles Rams: +130
  • New England Patriots: -120

Before you make any wagers, Stake Casino will show you information that looks like the above. These numbers indicate the odds of the games, telling how much you need to bet to win $100. So in this example, the underdogs are the Rams, while the favourites are the Patriots. 

Here’s how to bet on the money line and interpret these odds:

  • Wagering on a team with positive odds means you’ll earn a profit indicated by the number for every $100 you wager. In the example above, if you bet $100, you would gain a profit of $120.
  • If you want to bet on a team with negative odds, the number indicates how much you have to bet to get back $100 on a winning wager. In the example above, you would need to wager $120.

It’s important to note that money line odds aren’t completely static. As a game progresses, many events could shift the lines to either further widen or close the gap. Sometimes, these changes could be actions in the field, like one of the players having a major injury or the sportsbook making changes due to a surge in bettor volume for one team.

Calculating money line betting odds

To know your winning odds in percentage, check the simple calculation below: 

Calculating for underdogs: 

We’ll use +350 as an example.

  1. Add 100 to your number. (100+350=450)
  2. Divide 100 by that number. (100/450=0.222)
  3. Multiply that number by 100. The resulting number is your percentage. (0.222*100=22.2%)

Calculating for favourites:

We’ll use -550 as an example.

  1. Add 100 to your number. (100+550=650)
  2. Divide your original number by your new number. (550/650=0.846)
  3. Multiply that number by 100. The result will be your percentage. (0.846*100=84.6%)

Advantages of money line betting

Now that you know what to look for, let’s talk about why money line betting is so popular among novices and veterans alike. For one, money line betting is flexible betting, making it a great starter for beginners. Here are other benefits of placing money line bets:

It’s easy to learn

The beauty of money line betting is its simplicity. The secret to winning lies completely in your intuition and knowledge without adding unnecessary complex steps. All you need to do is to pick which team you think will win, decide if the potential payout is worth the risk, and make the bet. If your team wins, you win. 

It’s straightforward betting. The simplicity is what makes it such an attractive form of betting to new bettors.

Finding value is made clearer

Another benefit to having such a simple and easy-to-understand system is that it’s easier for punters to recognise the value of a game. The keyword here is ‘easier’ because the truth is that finding value isn’t easy most of the time. 

What it does mean, though, is that you can properly assess the value of the odds without fighting through complex systems. All you need is to do some simple maths, and you’ll eventually figure out the value. 


Money line betting strategy: Tips to winning

Using money line betting tips and having a set strategy for your betting practices is key to making the most profit in your wagers. Casual punters might be more inclined to wager on their favourite teams or the most popular ones. More experienced bettors would know not to rely on preferences but to look at the statistics to make informed decisions that will give them the highest payout.

If you’re new to sports betting, be aware of these best strategies when betting:

Learn how to recognise the value

Players who want to profit from sports betting should understand what value is and know how to take advantage of it. Essentially, value in sports betting is when a sportsbook pays you better than you think it should.

You can recognise undervalued teams by doing your research and analyses. This can help you gain information on the probability of a team winning. When you’ve identified which teams seem to be undervalued in the eyes of the bookmakers, you can test your luck and place bets on these teams while minimising potential losses.

Predict and react to line shifts

Earlier, we mentioned that money lines aren’t static. There could be several different reasons why it should adjust for either side. This means your initial bet may not be as favourable during the game as you thought at the start. That's why you should learn to predict and react to line movements as the game progresses.

Mastering this comes from experience, but with enough practice, you should be able to make wagers that most benefit you.

Anticipate the game’s results and act accordingly. Analyse line movements from previous games. Numbers generally don’t lie, so use trends in the market to maximise what the money lines can do for you.

Avoid favourites that may not be profitable

This tip might be subjective as the value isn’t the same for everyone, but generally, you’ll want to avoid odds with huge favourites. These are bets where you risk a large amount of money for a very small profit.

Let’s say there’s a game where one team has odds like -3000. If you bet $100 on them and win, you’ll still only get a few dollars in profit. Again, this might seem worth it to some, but if you want to make a good profit from odds like that, you’ll have to wager something higher, close to $3000.

Money line betting: Sports betting made easy

Sports betting can quickly become overwhelming for new players because of all the different ways to bet or interpret odds. It can easily become a huge mess of numbers if you’re not sure where to start. 

This makes money line betting the best place to start for beginners for its simplicity. But don’t let the simple scheme fool you. With the right strategies and some choice bets, a skilled bettor could easily make a large profit using money line bets. 

If you’re looking to start your journey on sports betting, just keep in mind that this requires some long-term thinking. It’s not possible to become an expert overnight; otherwise, everyone would be. 

Take the time to hone your skills. Start small and stick to a pace that you’re comfortable with. If you’re looking for a reputable sportsbook where you can practise your skills, sign up at Stake Casino.

Frequently asked questions on money line sports betting

What is money line in sports betting? 

Money line sports betting involves betting on the outcome of a match. The bottom line is that if the team you wagered on wins, you win too. It’s straightforward as there are no win requirements like needing a certain number of points.

How does money line work on sports betting?

To place a money line bet, pick who you think will win between the two competing teams or players. Click the odds and finalise your bet slip to place your money line bet.

Can I combine money line bets and other types of bets?

Yes, you can! Combining bets is called a parlay and it's a great way to mix things up in your wagers. It could also increase your overall earnings. The catch is that all of your selections have to be correct for you to win.

How are odds determined in money line betting?

To calculate the odds in money line betting, follow these steps according to underdogs and favourites:

Calculating for underdogs: 

For this, we’ll use +350 as an example.

  1. Add 100 to your number. (100+350=450)
  2. Divide 100 by that number. (100/450=0.222)
  3. Multiply that number by 100. The resulting number is your percentage. (0.222*100=22.2%)

Calculating for favourites:

For this, we’ll use -550 as an example.

  1. Add 100 to your number. (100+550=650)
  2. Divide your original number by your new number. (550/650=0.846)
  3. Multiply that number by 100. The result will be your percentage. (0.846*100=84.6%)

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