Is the Moneyline a Good Bet?

by | Jan 26, 2022

Sports gambling options are pretty simple at their core. The two major types of options from game to game include betting the money line, or wagering on the point spread.

The moneyline gets talked about often, but is it a good bet? Some people have embraced the moneyline and are always looking to bet that way. Others have thought that moneyline bets are not as lucrative as point spread bets. By trying both out and giving them a fair chance, gamblers have the chance to see what works best for their strategy.

What is a Moneyline Bet?

A moneyline bet is placing a wager on whatever team or person someone thinks will win. There’s no such thing as style points or winning by a certain margin, so it makes it very simple for people to understand.

The catch is that the moneyline will change considerably based on who is involved. A heavy favorite might have a money line of -600 or -700. That means they are very likely to win, so the sportsbook is only paying out $100 to winners for every 600 or $700 they put down.

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On the other side of things, heavy underdogs will have great payouts. If a team is +600, that means they pay out $600 for every $100 bet.

How Do Moneyline Bets Work with More Than Two Options?

A money line bet can work with a head-to-head matchup, or as a way to bet on one winner from multiple choices. When there are multiple options to choose from, each one has a better payout. The odds are going to be vastly different as well, meaning that one or two will pay out only a little, while the longshots will get a ton of money to go with the payout.

How is the Moneyline Determined?

Every sportsbook has its strategy when it comes to determining a moneyline. They will usually initially release it, and then it will adjust in real-time depending on a few factors.

The number one determining factor for a moneyline simply comes down to which team is better. If it’s a mismatch on paper, there will be a heavy favorite that keeps people from putting too much money down. If there’s any chance of an upset, no one wants to lose out on thousands of dollars only to win a small amount.

Also affecting the moneyline is the health of both teams, the location of the contest, and more. Moneylines are very fluid in today’s world, so they are constantly changing depending on many factors that come up. There’s a certain strategy to betting at the right time so that the right payout is locked in. Someone betting even hours later might not get the same amount of money back on the same bet.

Moneyline vs. Point Spread: Which is Better?

If it’s all about winning, betting on a moneyline and taking the favorite will be easier than betting the point spread. A money line bet is pretty basic, as it’s picking which team will win. However, picking a heavy favor won’t pay out much, so some feel like it’s not worth the risk.

Betting on the point spread can be frustrating, as there are such things as backdoor covers and some randomness that occurs during games that will result in a loss. Some never get into that mindset that it’s not a bet on who wins or loses, but it’s a bet on the final score. While there are better payouts with a spread bet, The overall concept might be too frustrating.

It comes down to personal preference between the two options. Most will mix and match, depending on where they find value. Between the two starting out, the moneyline makes more sense from a casual sports fan’s perspective. They don’t have to worry about the point spread playing any type of role. They simply pick the winner, and root for that team to win however possible.

What are the Top Tips on Betting the Moneyline?

Having a specific strategy that goes into betting on the moneyline will increase the odds of having true success. Too many people go into it blindly, and their record starts to indicate that. What are some of the top tips on betting the moneyline? These all will help individuals make smart decisions.

Be Picky

The selection process is the number one key to success with a moneyline bet. That should seem fairly obvious, but it’s the art of finding the best value and identifying games that is tough. What ends up happening is that the smart moneyline bettors are very selective, pouncing on only what they think it is valuable.

If nothing seems good, go to the next sportsbook and see if they are offering a different moneyline. If there are still only poor options, there’s nothing wrong with skipping a day entirely and going in a different direction.

Everyone ends up having some sort of their own system when they are selecting which games to go after. It’s important to understand that sportsbooks will adjust moneylines based on public action, so jumping on the right opportunities takes great timing as well.

Long-Term Success Takes Time

Anyone looking to win big and consistently from the very beginning probably should look somewhere else besides betting on moneyline games. This is because this is a more long-term strategy overall. Evaluating success early on is mostly going to lead to frustration.

The great thing about moneyline betting is that a person doesn’t have to win half their bets to be successful. In some scenarios, a person might only win one out of every four times, but they are still winning money in the long run. It’s just a matter of picking strategy and trusting a system.

Favorites Can Make Consistent Money

As enticing as underdog moneyline options are, there’s nothing wrong with betting on the favorites as well. Some even focus only on favorites, which means that they need to win at a pretty high percentage to earn money in the long run.

Not every favorite is worth the risk. Some will stay away from favorites in the -200 to -300 range, since they are still pretty vulnerable to an upset. It’s all just a matter of how evaluating each game.

Another option when betting on favorites is to put them into a parlay where the odds are a bit more favorable. They all need to hit to win, but some like that strategy as a way to win big. A parlay bet is when someone combines multiple games in one big bet. The more favorites involved, the longer the odds.

Identify Betting Public Bias

Since the moneyline shifts depending on action coming in, one of the keys to success in betting is to identify betting public bias. A moneyline might not be entirely accurate if it involves at least one team with a huge following. Some people end up making quite a bit of money betting entirely against those types of teams.

Think about franchises like the New York Yankees, Dallas Cowboys, Los Angeles Lakers, and more. They have a worldwide brand that almost always bets in their favor and sways the line a bit. If any of those teams are down, they might have only unrealistic expectations.

Final Verdict: Is Betting the Moneyline a Good Bet?

Smart sports gamblers believe that betting the money line is a great option overall. It tends to be a more long-term play than betting on spreads, but they make sure both can be a great strategy as well.

Most importantly, find a specialty with a sport and start to grow from there. Too many people spread themselves thinly and never master even one particular sport. Blindly betting on the moneyline is a great way to start falling behind and losing money. With a keen strategy, it’s entirely possible to win consistently.


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