Moneyline Betting Strategies

Moneyline betting on sports is a way in which fans bet on which team will win in a particular game. Moneyline bets are the primary betting option offered by bookmakers and online gambling sites for hockey and baseball. However, when it comes to sports bets on football and basketball, the primary betting options are the point spreads and the secondary option is the moneyline.

Favorites vs Underdogs

When it comes to moneyline bets, the favorites are indicated with a negative number and the underdogs with a positive number. For instance, a moneyline bet that reads A+180/B-200 should be read that team A is the favorite and team B is the underdog. The gambling site or book maker essentially says that if you bet $180 that team A wins you will receive a $100 as winnings if they do so, while if you bet $100 that team B will win, they will pay you $200 if team B wins. As with other U.S. betting norms, your win amount and the amount you staked will be returned to you if your team wins.

Calculating Winnings

As many sports bets are not made in multiples of $100, you can calculate your winnings using a simple formula - divide the Risk or the amount you bet by the decimal of the moneyline bet for favorites and multiply the risk amount or stake by the decimal in the case of underdogs. This means that if you stake $150 on team A, you need to divide this by 1.8 and get $83.33 as your winnings. On the other hand if you stake $150 on team B, you need to multiply it by 2 to get $300 as your winnings if team B wins.

Implied Probability

All moneyline bets have an implied probability of the chance each team has of winning. For instance, in our example, we can calculate the implied probability of team A winning by dividing the risk by the return or divide 180 by 280 and get 0.6428 or a probability of 64.28 percent. On the other hand, the implied probability of team B winning is 100 divided by 300 or 0.3333 or 33.33 percent. As such you should bet on team A winning only if you think the probability of it winning the game is greater than 64 percent and bet on team B if you think the probability of it winning is greater than 33 percent.

Comparing Gambling Sites

Recreational gamblers should study the odds offered by the various online gambling sites and calculate the implied probability of the odds being offered before placing their bets. This will increase your chances of making a profit from your knowledge of the strengths and abilities of the various teams. For instance if one book maker offers odds of A-180/B+200 and another offer odds of A-170/B+190 you can calculate the implied probability in the second case as well.

In this case the probability of team A winning is placed at 170 divided by 270, that is, 62.9 percent while the odds of team B winning are placed at 190 divided by 290, that is, 34.48 percent. This shows that you need to pick the second gambling site if you are betting on team A and the first if you are betting on team B winning.

Cash vs Free Play Bonus

Many online gambling sites offer bonuses for using them to place bets. Some of these offer cash bonus while other offer free play bonus, both of which are covered in detail in our sports betting bonuses section. When you get a cash bonus, your winnings are greater as if you risk $100, use a 50 percent cash bonus, on a +100 you will be paid $300 if you win, $100 + $50 + $150. However, if you use a site that offers a 50 percent free play bonus on the same odds, you will be paid a total of only $250 if you win - $100 + $150.

Recreational gamblers should, therefore, calculate their winnings before choosing between free play and cash bonus sites and factor this into their calculations before placing bets. This is because the implied probability of your bet changes when you factor in the actual winnings you will make for a $100 bet at various online gambling sites.

For instance in our current example, the implied probability for a site that offers a 50 percent cash bonus on a +100 bet is 100 divided by 300 or 33.33%. On the other hand, when a 50 percent free play bonus is offered, the implied probability changes to 100 divided by 250 or 40%. This makes the cash bonus the better odds for you to choose.

Related Pages:

Point Spread Wagers

Betting the Total

Parlay Bets