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Sports Betting Basics Ep. 3 – Understanding The Money Line


Understanding the Money Line 

There are some major factors that come into play when you are placing a bet or wager on your favorite sportsbook. It’s important to know what you’re potentially gaining or risking when you look at the specific money line for the game you wish to bet on.  

If you’re drawn to bet on a game, chances are it’s because you simply think one team is going to win over the other, but you likely haven’t thought about what the actual spread is. That’s where the money line comes into play. 

When you look up the money line, that is where you’ll see the odds presented. You’ll see a plus(+) and a minus(-) option. Be aware that the plus(+) is presented to the underdog and the minus(-) goes to the favorite. So what does that math actually mean?

When you’re on a sportsbook looking up a specific bet you’ll see something like this example for a Giants/Eagles game: (Giants +190 vs Eagles -200). These numbers are based off of a $100 bet. 

Let’s say you bet $100 on the underdog (which in this case is the Giants). That +190 is the winning return you’d get on top of your initial bet. So you’d net $190 in winnings plus your $100 back for a total of $290. Pretty simple so far!

Now let’s say you bet on the favorite (now the Eagles). The system now works in reverse. The -200 is the amount you would have to initially bet to win $100. So you would have to put up $200 to receive a net return of $100 plus your $200 back. The heavier the favorite, the heftier the bet is going to be to get that $100 back. Makes sense, right? 

That’s really the essence of the money line as it’s really based around the odds. If you’re betting on the favorite, you’ll have to put up more money to win that $100. On the other hand, if you’re betting on the underdog, you’re going to win more than what you put up.   

Watch Sports Betting Basics- Episode 3 below, where Alex & Ron from DraftFuel discuss how the moneyline works with the novice sports bettor in mind.

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